“Thankfully, perseverance is a great substitute for talent.”

-Steve Martin – Actor, Comedian and Humanist, Born Standing Up

Around 20 years ago, I earned an MBA from one of the best Universities in the US. What I’ve learned since is that our society keeps a very bad secret behind those mahogany doors paid for by endless student tuition debt. Anyone with access to a library or to the internet can get University Graduate-level schooling for free; and probably a Doctorate grasp as well. There are so many sources of knowledge, but is there the opportunity? I don’t know. But there are enough examples throughout history of those who have had challenges [or] who have been in challenging situations and have risen above and taken over the moment.

We get tense, we focus on the outcome instead of the activity, and we miss the doing of the deed. We either think the world depends on the result, or it’s too good to be true.

Matthew McConaughey – Actor and Philanthropist, Greenlights

Until someone shows me data that would lead me to believe otherwise, I think anyone who perseveres can become successful whether it’s in becoming a new celebrity, a billionaire, a high office public servant / politician, or just be a wealthy pit of information.

To follow, without stopping, one aim: that is is secret to success.

Anna Pavlova -Renowned Russian Ballet Dancer

I have a deep love for books. I started reading business topics in high school but it grew like wildfire to include diverse areas such as electrical engineering, philosophy, computer science, psychology, celebrity studies, structural engineering, philosophy, coptic history, blockchain-based currency mining in Iceland, material design, art theory, neural net particle swarm global optimization and more. I’m in love with every non-fiction topic from the mainstream to the erudite. I continue today in my late-40’s to read at least three hours nearly everyday and stopped counting how many books I’ve read, but it’d easily be over 10,000, since I usually read about 300+ books per year.

Substitute [missing] knowledge with time. This is the great secret sauce for tackling the unfamiliar.

Adam Savage – Geek Celebrity, Maker, Documentarian and Hacker, Every Tool is a Hammer

A 300 page book (+/-) will often take me just a single sitting to read nowadays (with a high retention of the information) but it’s taken years practice and the aid of reading tools to do this. I’m nowhere near being a genius though, outside of perhaps a few people from our civilized past, I really don’t believe that there really is such a thing. I invite anyone to wax some philosophy with me on this topic, though, in case I’ve missed something along the way.

Don’t ask yourself, “How should I [invest] my money?” Ask yourself, “How should I [invest] my time?”

Bryce Leung and Kristy Shen, Quit Like a Millionaire

When I don’t have my schnoz in a book I am busy with my company, Wood Computer .. but since I am a botanical-sort-of-guy I also own Rossi & Rovetti Flowers in San Francisco and Austin Flower Delivery in Austin, Texas . My family is where my heart lives but occasionally I get time to do my hobby, which is PBR CG Artistry using Autodesk Maya .

It’s better to fire in the general direction of where you want to end up and then adjust your aim, than never fire at all. Get started. Move in the general direction of where you want to go. Make course adjustments along the way.

Fred DeLuca – Founder of Subway, Start Small Finish Big

Feel free to bug me: jason [at] jasoncbraatz.com . I’m on some of those fancy-pants social media sites but I simply don’t check them that often. But, should you insist, here’s a few where I occasionally lurk:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jasoncbraatz

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jasoncbraatz

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasoncbraatz/