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#243 Francis Greenburger (Real Estate Billionaire)
April 25th, 2022 | E243

What I learned from reading Risk Game: Self Portrait of an Entrepreneur by Francis Greenburger.


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[1:26]  I can be extremely stubborn when I have a hunch about something.

[3:31] I knew all too well that markets can turn on a dime.

[5:40] Money that had once flowed freely dried up over night.

[6:41] I always listened to other people's ideas because that is how you happen upon the good ones.

[6:46] Logic is no match for bureaucracy.

[7:33] This ruthless industry has created far more bankruptcies than it has billionaires. Saying no is the most important judgment that you make.

[9:00] Time to Make the Donuts: The Founder of Dunkin Donuts Shares an American Journey (Founders #231)

[9:09] Sometimes the best lessons that you learn in life are from what you discover in the weaknesses of otherwise very good people.

[15:54] My father was terrible with money. His knack of mismanaging it, losing it, or not making it in the first place was an incredible source of stress within our family.

[19:09] The constant question mark that was my parents's checkbook balance made a lasting impression.

[24:31] His pride in my abilities formed the basis of the self-confidence that allowed me to start businesses, sell books, make crazy friends, and love women at an age when most others were busy with their homework.

[29:40]  The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King (Founders #37)

[30:12] I see opportunity where others saw nothing.

[31:34] He doesn't dilly-dally. This guy moves fast. It's not like I proved it once, let me try two or three times. He is like it worked once, it's gotta work over and over again, and he immediately starts to scale it.

[37:40] Don’t interrupt the compounding:  I was skating on razor thin margins that a busted toilet could threaten. But I prefer to remain on the edge as I kept my buildings running rather than sell any of them before they grew to the much higher value that I had a hunch they would one day achieve.

[40:45] The idea that builds his empire: By co-oping I would be dealing with tens of thousands of dollars in sales, rather than hundreds of dollars in rents.

[41:58] Once something works don't dilly dally. Go as fast as you possibly can.

[43:08] Lots of folks thought what I was doing was insane.

[43:17] I knew something that the market had not yet fully embraced.

[47:06] My advice to those with expanding businesses is that they must first make a decision about how they want to allocate their time and structure their business so that the balance reflects that.

[49:33] Children require attention and involvement. This takes you out of your self orientation and makes you invest in another person who can only pay you in one currency: Love.

[50:09]  If anyone had asked me in 1990 what the chances of my business survival was I would have said 1 in 100. I still consider it a miracle that we didn't go bankrupt.

[53:12] The main lesson is never delay discomfort. Waiting or ignoring a problem never solves it. Just run towards it.

[55:36] Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future (Founders #30)

[56:27] Every parent’s worst nightmare.

[1:06:25] Disaster usually rises when short-term profit takes precedence over lasting value creation.

[1:08:21] I don't pick investments. I pick jockeys, not horses.

[1:10:31] Tuxedo Park: A Wall Street Tycoon and The Secret Palace of Science That Changed The Course of World War II (Founders #143)

[1:10:52] The Richest Woman in America: Hetty Green in the Gilded Age (Founders #103)

[1:13:52]  Real security comes from adaptability.

[1:13:59]  Independent thinking in its simplest forms means not assuming that the status quo was the best answer, the right answer, or the most effective answer.


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