Our guest blogger, Larry Chiang, is an instructive humorist. If you liked “9 VC’s You’re Gonna Want To Avoid”, you’ll like this submission on “Navigating Bad Entrepreneurial Fortune”. This will be in his book,


By Larry Chiang

“Life is difficult,” writes M. Scott Pleck in his seminal tome, ‘The Road Less Travelled’. I have compiled raw ideas I wanted to share them from the opposite of Difficult-ville: Scottsdale AZ.

Here are my tips for when things go badly…

-1- Conserve Your Energy while you are drowning. Waves will drag you down deep but, “Allow the wave to pull you down and give in to the energy of the wave,” advise my
surf mentor. After the power of the down-wave inevitably passes,
un-drown yourself.

-1b- Set aside your fear of death like Mel Gibson in “When we were Soldiers Once and Young”. I try to set aside fear of financial death by my attitude, “Gain a zero, lose a zero… I’m still the same guy”.

-1c- “Fear,” as Lou Holtz, legendary football coach, points out, “is false evidence appearing real’.

-2- No Yard Sales. School simply does not teach you the simulated hardships of making choices and being productive while being under a barrage of fire.

-3- Learn to take it in the butt temporarily. In the ShawShank Redemption, Tim Robbins literally had to take it in the rear (just like college duckies with banks). The character, Andy Dufrain, bid his time, did not call-in favors, added value to the guards, added value to the warden and Jeffrey Dahmer-ized his sodomizers by Act III.

Cathartic. Literally.

-4- Monkey See, Monkey Do. When a person sees something they are likely to do that same thing.

Stay fundamental. In the book “Blink”, what’s-his-name had a case study of a staff saergent in the field who would drill his soldiers regularly to keep them sharp and fundamentally sound. The result; lowest casualty rates on the front line.

When was the last time you drilled. Me, I made myself buy and sell SuperBowl tickets using a cell phone lead gen system. I took down thirty numbers of dudes looking to sell and text messaged themback prior to crunch time. This is similar but harsher version of what Duck9 does on campus.

I ended up getting a person who had a friend selling two for $1200 but had walked in already. The value 60 feet away was $2k+ per. I don’t tell you this to impress you but to share that I was scared and alive at every twist and turn of my fortune.

During hardship, your default mentors behavior will shine through. I observed my cousin Andy lose two limbs. I can do anything in life with four limbs cuz Andy Yuan (his two kids are in my facebook pic) can do anything armless.

My dad is a default mentor too. He came from work everyday when I was in high school saying, I should’ve quit my job (at Argonne National Lab) earlier. Two years into engineering school, I started UCMS.

-5- Less Hell, more heaven please. Shorten your trip to hell and back by opening up your ears. I’d tell you to get a mentor, but BUDDIE, isn’t that why you are on your way to Hell– cuz your ears are in the off position?!

-6- Manage your time treasure. Do not ignore the 70-20-10 rule even if becomes 98/1/1. The numbers refer to the split of time spent doing
- core tasks
- investment of time
- donation of time

The ideal is 70-20-10, but 98/1/1 is ok temporarily.

Tread unto 105 / (-1) / (-4) lightly. Drown in 125 / (-18) / (-7) to age twelve years in less than five.

-7- Journal It. If your life is worth living, it is worth recording. I use http://www.WhatTheyDontTeachYouAtStanfordBusinessSchool.com as my journal/confessional /goal setter. I also love morning pages.

8. No cheating to temporarily feel good. Nicotine is not your friend.
Neither is vigilante-ism. Sometimes the best way to take a vacation from pain is a leisure activity with more pain (try jogging in Chicago outside in January or boxing with hot angry girl kickboxer. Oops, I just turned myself on…).

-10- Be thankful of something. Imagine you are getting pummeled by a 120 pound Filipino at a sparring match. There is no worse heck-taki if you’re 230 pound dude with a 6’6″ reach getting killed by Sheila Mendez :-( so remember it can always be worse, so effen count your blessings.

-11- Goal set (or unearth your previous goals). Pain feels good if it is FOR something you are working toward. Some entrepreneurs in Asse9 have even rewired their brain to juxtapose pain and pleasure.

-12- Make Karma Your Buddy. Can you do something good for someone even while you are suffering?!

Good luck out there and text me during my office hours of 11:00 – 11:30 am (and pm).

Larry Chiang is the founder of duck9, which educates college student on how to establish and maintain a FICO score over 750. He has testified before Congress  and World Bank on credit http://www.ucms.com/Larry-Chiang-World-Bank-Beijing-Presentation.htm

“Good luck out there and text me during my office hours of 11:00 – 11:30 am (and pm). PDA to sms: 650-283-8008″

About the Author:

Larry Chiang

Larry Chiang investigates and experiences entrepreneurship and pre-entrepreneurship. He covers the front-lines via Bloomberg BusinessWeek's channel “What They Don’t Teach You at Business School”. He has a JBA not an MBA. Its a Jedi in Business Administration. After Chiang’s Harvard Law keynote, Harvard Business wrote: “What They Don’t Teach You at Stanford Business School“ . If you read his scandalously awesome "How to Hack at AfterParty", “What a Supermodel Can Teach a Stanford MBA” and “How to Get Man-Charm”, you will like his latest post.

Visit Larry's page at http://www.duck9.com

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