Failure, finance and Bill Gates’ toilet idea: My top 10 reads of 2018

Like many industries, the hotel business is dynamic and forever evolving. To keep pace with rapid changes, participants must stay informed on a broad array of professional and personal issues and topics. Whether it be daily newspapers, industry periodicals or books, incessantly reading and learning is the antidote to deal with the new normal of constant change. 

With this said, sifting through a continuous avalanche of available content creates challenges to always remain current. Of the hundreds of writings I read during the past year, following are 10 favorites (in no particular order) that I found thought-provoking or inspirational:

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles’ Super Bowl victory speech has an important lesson about failure

A reporter asked Foles what he wanted fans to take away from his journey, and his answer is a great lesson on embracing failure. “I think the big thing is don’t be afraid to fail,” Foles said. “In our society today – you know, Instagram, Twitter, it’s a highlight reel. It’s all the good things. And then when you look at it, you think, like, wow, when you have a rough day or your life’s not as good as that, you’re failing. Failure is a part of life. That’s a part of building character and growing. Like, without failure, who would you be? I wouldn’t be up here if I hadn’t fallen thousands of times, made mistakes. We all are human. We all have weaknesses.”

LinkedIn’s CEO just identified the single biggest email mistake you can make (and we’re all guilty)

In a recent interview with CNBC’s Adam Bryant, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner shared his thoughts on a variety of business topics, including what he’s learned about email over the years. In doing so, he called out the practice that stands out as the single biggest mistake people make in email: Writing too much.

I’m a financial planner, and I repeatedly watch smart people make the same investing mistake

Plenty of smart, successful people with cash to invest are currently refusing to invest it. As a financial advisor, I see this all the time. I have clients come to me and say, “You know, I have this cash sitting in my savings account and I know how important it is to invest so I can take advantage of compound returns … but the market is going to crash soon, so I’m going to wait.”  This approach is called ‘timing the market,’ and it’s one of the fundamental mistakes even experienced investors make that causes them to miss opportunities — or worse, lose money.

Warren Buffett says the ultimate test of how you’ve lived your life boils down to one powerful word

When it comes to sage-like wisdom, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett has a mountainous surplus of it circulating the internet. Some of his advice is so commonsensical it stops us in our tracks and makes us think about whether we’re truly measuring up to the things that truly matter.

Starwood CEO Barry Sternlicht: ‘The endgame for Amazon is to wipe out Main Streets of America’  

“The endgame where the consumer will get really crushed is when my little store that I used to go to buy my pump is out of business and Amazon will charge me $80 for a (bicycle) pump and $200 to have it delivered. The government put restrictions on the sale of vaping for teens. That’s the government looking to the future and saying it’s not good for teenagers. The government could look to the future and say, ‘You’re going to destroy America as we know it today, and we can’t let that happen.’”

How Bill Gates aims to save $233 billion by reinventing the toilet  

Bill Gates thinks toilets are a serious business, and he’s betting big that a reinvention of this most essential of conveniences can save a half million lives and deliver US$200 billion-plus in savings.

What a self-deprecating sense of humor says about your EQ  

Emotional intelligence (EQ) has been deemed a more powerful predictor of a person’s success than his or her intelligence (IQ). The reason boils down to the simple fact that human relationships are at the very fabric of business. Being able to better understand, connect, empathize and negotiate with others is crucial in our personal ladder climb. Investing in your own EQ is an investment in yourself as a leader. Emotional intelligence is indispensable in leadership.

How to earn $1 billion before age 30: Mark Zuckerberg’s 7 keys to success

“People don’t care about what someone says about you in a movie — or even what you say, right? They care about what you build.” Let’s face it: Zuck wasn’t portrayed positively in “The Social Network.” But it doesn’t matter. His business speaks for itself and he made his first billion before age 30. It begs the question: how can we do the same? (With seven cartoons to show how Zuck’s unique approach led to his success.)

The three most chilling conclusions from the climate report

Thirteen federal agencies agree: Climate change has already wreaked havoc on the United States, and the worst is likely yet to come.

Are you ready for the financial crisis of 2019?

Will it last? Who knows? But in recent months, the anxiety that we could be in for a replay of 1929 — or 1987, or 2000, or 2008 — has become palpable not just for the Aspen set, but for any American with a 401(k). Irrespective of which profession or industry in which one plies their trade, here’s what’s essential to remaining relevant and valuable includes: staying up to date with a broad range of local, national and international news, events, ideas and trends, and always expanding one’s areas of knowledge by reading as much and as frequently as possible.  

Happy reading and new year!