Thomas Boone Pickens Jr. (May 22, 1928 – September 11, 2019) was an American business magnate and financier. Pickens chaired the hedge fund BP Capital Management. He was a well-known takeover operator and corporate raider during the 1980s. As of November 2016, Pickens had a net worth of $500 million.
Before his death, Pickens wrote his last words to be published on LinkedIn by his foundation after he passed.
The entire post is much longer, but below is the key excerpt. In it, Pickens lists his secrets to success and building wealth:
– A good work ethic is critical.
– Don’t think competition is bad, but play by the rules. I loved to compete and win. I never wanted the other guy to do badly; I just wanted to do a little better than he did.
– Learn to analyze well. Assess the risks and the prospective rewards, and keep it simple.
– Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader: Avoid the “Ready-aim-aim-aim-aim” syndrome. You have to be willing to fire.
– Learn from mistakes. That’s not just a cliché. I sure made my share. Remember the doors that smashed your fingers the first time and be more careful the next trip through.
– Be humble. I always believed the higher a monkey climbs in the tree, the more people below can see his ass. You don’t have to be that monkey.
– Don’t look to government to solve problems — the strength of this country is in its people.
– Stay fit. You don’t want to get old and feel bad. You’ll also get a lot more accomplished and feel better about yourself if you stay fit. I didn’t make it to 91 by neglecting my health.
– Embrace change. Although older people are generally threatened by change, young people loved me because I embraced change rather than running from it. Change creates opportunity.
– Have faith, both in spiritual matters and in humanity, and in yourself. That faith will see you through the dark times we all navigate.