The Proverbs of Greed

Thomas J. "Tommy" Humphreys

(un)Original ideas on success and peace of mind

Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings...

I wish you all the success in the world and just slightly less than my own

It’s the obsessing that makes us successful, and it’s the obsessing that makes us miserable

Pessimism is like a bad neighbourhood we need to escape from, but keeps sucking us back in

To gain status, be the critic. To gain wealth, be the criticized

Success is like drinking sea water. The more you drink, the thirstier you become

Every few summers it’s good to be thrashed by some rough seas and have your friend describe the annual costs to discourage the buying of a boat

The downside of losing weight is it’s very cold

Stock market

It’s 100X harder to build a real company than to pump and dump a good story

He who seeks a perfect company shall pay a premium, but he who seeks a problem solver shall find great value in his venture

The most persuasive label for stock promotion is “analysis”

The same asset in different hands can have dramatically different values. The key is to find capable hands the market doesn’t know or believe in yet

The way investors in public markets value companies changes. Shrewd speculators get in front of it. And the rest of us who stick around long enough get lucky from time to time

The exhausted mind is most vulnerable to the whispers of fear

Attaining more is easier than wanting less


All new ventures bring fortune, some in gold, others in wisdom

There's a special place in hell for “friends” who only call when they need something, and I'll see you there

A new venture either quickly gains momentum or it struggles to get off the ground, like trying to start a fire with wet wood. It cannot be forced to happen

Cursed is the businessperson who only talks about their deals, and never asks about yours

The most important skill for wealth creation is not hard work.  The most important skill for wealth creation is pattern recognition. Work harder if this does not come easily to you

All new business owners must pass through the trials of tax troubles and hardship before learning to never repeat the same mistakes

Coming of age in business you will see people you resent outperform you. That’s none of your business! Compete with yourself only. Maintain optimism and carry on

Be the partner you would want to have

Hard to beat a focused, capable team who enjoy each other 

Fun deals are profitable. Seek out management teams finding joy in their work and teams.

You're either moving away from or towards your next success. Go where the wealth is to be found, make connections, acquire understanding and intuition through study, add value and strive for ownership

He who helps the rich shall gain wealth, but he who helps the poor shall find true riches

Expect a profit, earn a lesson. Expect a lesson, earn a profit

An original idea is an oxymoron. Action is everything

Real estate

Better to ride the bus to the beach and enjoy it, than suffer the operating costs of a waterfront home

Never commence a renovation on a demo permit. Get the full permit before you demo anything

Home renovation is like a wild night out - it starts off great but ends in regret. And just like a hangover, you'll forget the pain and want to do it all over again the next day

The greatest source of mental illness among rich people is overpriced home audio video equipment that never works as well as what the plebs get 


Communicate early, clearly, decisively and respectfully

The most tedious and overused word in the English language is “I”

Storytelling is overvalued. Consumers only care about what’s in it for them

Conference organizers should provide mints as an essential service


You can’t be a great founder and a great parent at the same time, one will always be neglected. Fortunately greatness is rarely necessary in both cases, simply showing up is enough

Weekends before 8pm and weekdays 5-8pm: Unreachable for parents of toddlers. After 8pm: Too tired to call back. Save yourself the trouble and stop calling


Why do we put others down other than to build ourselves up? 

A grudge you hold, holds power over you

Everyone deserves to have aspirational values, especially those who have made grave mistakes in the past

It is very hard to make a positive difference to humanity on a global scale. It is very easy to make a difference on a local scale. Don’t let grandiosity stop you from giving back

Life isn't always a hole-in-one. Sometimes you'll have a rough round on the golf course. To appreciate the special moments, you have to accept that they are rare. It's okay to just be okay most of the time

Every day is not a mountain to climb, as long as no harm is done to oneself and others, it's enough

Wisdom trumps enthusiasm. Wisdom AND enthusiasm is as good as it gets

Optimists get lucky, pessimists waive that right

The secret to life is a low burn rate

And so, let us take heed to these words. Fare thee well, and may wisdom be ever at thy side.


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