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So I try to show the little homies different things
How to diversify, and change different lanes
Learn to read a little, exercise your brain
- ‘Let Us Begin’ by Snoop Dogg
Every night I read bedtime stories to my youngest girls, aged 5 and 7. We have a number of books that they choose from, depending on their mood (and mine!), but we often end up reading any of the wonderful books written by ‘Dr. Seuss’.
However, many wouldn’t be familiar with the journey of Dr. Seuss, or Theodor Seuss "Ted" Geisel to give him his full name.
Geisel was born in Springfield, Massachusetts (Pete Townsend’s hometown, BTW) in 1904, and he adopted the pen name "Dr. Seuss" as an undergraduate at Dartmouth College and as a graduate student in the UK. He left the UK in 1927 to begin his career as an illustrator and cartoonist for publications such as Vanity Fair, Life, and others.
He also worked as an illustrator for advertising campaigns and as a political cartoonist for a New York newspaper.
In 1936, Geisel and his wife were returning from an ocean voyage to Europe when the rhythm of the ship's engines inspired the poem that became his first children's book And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street in 1937. The book was initially rejected by over 20+ publishers
During World War II, he took a break from children's books to illustrate political cartoons, and he also worked in the film department of the US Army.
During his time with the Army, he wrote and produced for many productions, including Design for Death, which later won the 1947 Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.
In 1954, Life magazine published a report on illiteracy among US school children which concluded that children were not learning to read because their books were boring.
The US publishing house Houghton Mifflin compiled a list of 348 words that they felt were important for young children to know and understand. They asked Geisel to cut the list to 250 words and to write a book using only those words.
Nine months later, Geisel completed The Cat in the Hat, using 236 of the words given to him.
The Cat in the Hat and Geisel’s other books went on to achieve huge international success becoming some of the most popular children's books of all time, selling over 600 million copies and being translated into more than 20 languages.
Why Should You Care?
One of my kids favorite Dr. Seuss books is “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!,” which has a meaningful message about the importance of seizing new opportunities, keeping an open-mind, and trying new things.
I am 14 years in employment since I graduated college. In that time, I have worked in the following places doing a variety of roles:
Irish Bank - wealth management, property investment, NAMA unit
UK Bank - corporate banking
Irish Bank - recovery unit
Fintech startup - head of underwriting
German bank - product manager, fintech lead
Gov’t agency - fintech investor
Whilst I have stayed in financial services, I have always been open to looking at different opportunities because I believe we should always keep an open mind.
I firmly believe that after 18 months in a new role, (assuming you have performed at a high level) you have learned everything you can about that role and you should be looking for a pathway to progress to the next level of that role or you should be looking to move on to something different.
I don’t believe that spending a number of years in the same role makes me better at my job, in fact, it likely makes me worse as I am not paying as close attention to detail because it has become second nature to me.
Life is about adventure and new experiences and there is no reason why your work life should be any different.
I will leave you with the words of Ted Geisel…
You're off the Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!
Tell me why I’m wrong…
How do I describe ‘Left Field’? It’s a place to put the content (newsletters/articles, etc) that we have amassed over recent weeks or previous years that really make us think or change our thinking on a particular topic. All the content will offer an alternative view of some topic in financial services, technology or sport (or a combination of all three!)
Everyone knows of Oprah as this lovable public figure and talk show host, but I certainly didn’t appreciate the extent of her business accomplishments.
Anyway, I won’t give away too much. Enjoy the article and feel free to get in touch to discuss more!
MoneyNeverSleeps podcast episode from this week:
This week, Pete and Eoin take a look at what to do about the condemnation of Big Tech’s alleged monopoly powers according to US lawmakers, the catch-22 of consumer fintech, Apple One and ‘Rundles’, getting something from VCs if not a check….and godspeed, Eddie Van Halen.
Podcast Recommendation: Highly recommend checking out ‘Banking Transformed’ podcast by Jim Marous, which features interviews with some of the top minds in business and explores how financial institutions can prepare for the future of banking
Book Recommendation: I highly recommend the book, ‘The Secrets of Sand Hill Road’ by Scott Kupor. Described by many as the definitive guide to how to engage the VC community, including governance and other best practices, in a startup’s journey to a successful public company. Highly recommend this to founders planning to raise funding.
Article/Newsletter Recommendation: if you haven’t heard of it already, check out the weekly newsletter from Brett Bivens. Brett is a Paris-based venture investor at TechNexus and writes about emerging technology companies improving health, happiness, opportunity, and productivity and the ideas and trends shaping the innovation economy.
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