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Friday, September 30, 2016

PERSONAL SPECIAL ...5 Tricks the Most Resilient People Use to Deal With Tough Situations

5 Tricks the Most Resilient People Use to Deal With Tough Situations

Got unjustly hammered by your boss? People falsely accusing you of something? Here's how to keep your sanity.

If someone just read you the riot act or you had your you-know-what handed to you by a boss or a peer, it's human to lick your wounds and process your thoughts. Just don't dwell there too long or you may venture into victim mentality.
Recovering emotionally from a challenging work episode doesn't happen with a flip of the switch. But you must move on at some point to keep your sanity.
Here are five game-changing ways resilient people manage their emotions and bounce back to true form.
1. They first assess their situation.
Resilient people use their emotional intelligence to do an honest self-appraisal of the situation(s) that may still be making them feel threatened. They process their thoughts carefully and drill down until they get to the root of the matter. Question for you: What is it about your situation that makes you feel the way you do? If something unresolved still lingers, nip that problem in the bud right away. If you don't, you'll feel perpetually frustrated and angry.
2. They stop the drama playing in their head.
While healthy egos may take a hit in crisis, resilient minds recover quickly by reframing. What is that, you ask? Think of it as a technique to "tell yourself a different story" and come up with a different interpretation. This helps snuff out the drama that you may be scripting in your head. So deal in the factual (what's really true) and the here and now. Leave the ghosts of your past in the past.
3. They have remarkably healthy boundaries.
Perhaps what hit you so hard was due to your lack of setting limits on others. Maybe you were falsely accused of something that could've been avoided. The most resilient people recover from bad situations by saying "no" to anyone who interferes with their goals, schedules, and especially their values and beliefs. So remind yourself you don't have to be a yes-person for anyone; it takes too much effort and leaves you frustrated. Offer resistance when your beliefs are threatened. Push back firmly but not harshly, and draw clear lines in the sand.
4. They don't let guilt control them.
Once they clear their side of the fence with honesty and integrity, resilient people don't allow themselves to feel guilty about things that have nothing to do with them. They know they are not responsible for the actions and drama of others, and they never beat themselves up for something someone else did.
5. They reevaluate their professional relationships.
Resilient people are smart enough to reconsider the risks and rewards of their networks, so that it keeps them safe and serves them well. Your best bet to avoid future finger-pointing is to seek out an inner circle of supportive and encouraging colleagues and weed out controlling or needy takers who care only about themselves.

FINANCE SPECIAL ....The Factors That Create Outperforming Stars

The Factors That Create Outperforming Stars

A small number of people account for the vast majority of value creation in private equity.

What do basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, actress Cloris Leachman and Microsoft founder Bill Gates have in common? Research conducted over the past 15 years or so has found that, across industries, jobs and fields of human endeavour, a small number of people are responsible for the vast majority of value creation. Whether we call it the 80/20 rule, the “1%” of the world’s wealthiest people, or use the formal statistical term “power curve”, whenever we measure the outcomes of human behaviour some version of this phenomenon seems to apply.
In the case of the people listed above, Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,000+ career points make him the all-time NBA points leader, Leachman’s eight U.S. Emmy Awards make her history’s most awarded TV actor, and Bill Gates’s US$75 billion makes him the world’s richest person. Each of these individuals has performed so far above average that they have made the concept of “average” meaningless in their fields. In other words, they and people like them account for a far greater portion of success than a bell curve would predict.
I have spent most of my career working in private equity, and statistics on the returns of PE investments make it clear that the industry works the same way. Intrigued by this fact, I recently completed an in-depth study of one of the world’s leading private equity firms to find out why. Since it is relatively easy to attribute value within PE to individual investment professionals, the industry turned out to be a very good laboratory for this type of work, and the findings apply across industries.  

Reinforcement of competencies
In my paper, “Competencies, Clusters, and Star Performance at a Leading PE Firm, published in the Journal of Private Equity, I found that the more “competencies” a person has, the more these competencies reinforce each other. For example, exceptional strategic thinkers may be very valuable to their organisations. However, if they lack the energy to drive change, their impact will be limited. Now, if you take the strong strategic thinker and add high energy to the mix, you achieve “multiplicative reinforcement”, that is the two competencies build upon each other such that each one makes the other more powerful. If you then take the same person and give them strong influencing skills, they benefit from multiplicative reinforcement again, moving closer to the outperforming tail of the power curve, and closer to becoming “stars”.
Statisticians have known for a long time that multiplicatively reinforcing factors lead to right-tailed distributions, with a small number of exceptional actors accounting for the lion’s share of value. Researchers have also found that competencies can reinforce each other in this way, and Richard Boyatzis of Case Western Reserve University has claimed that human behaviour as well as almost all change in his Intentional Change Theory (the concept that sparked my interest in this subject) is power-law distributed.
Not all value levers are created equal
INSEAD recently published a look at private equity’s value creation levers, called Value Creation 2.0. These levers are the different ways that private equity firms create value for the companies that they own, and include sales growth, margin growth, multiple expansion, debt pay-down and the leverage effect. My study indicates that not all value levers are created equal. Specifically, at least within this private equity firm, extreme outperforming companies differentiate from the pack primarily on the basis of sales growth.
Then, similar to the phenomenon of competencies, sales growth helps to pull the other levers and to reinforce them, creating an “interdependent-multiplicative” effect. Interdependency means that the better you are at one value lever, the better you will be at the others. For example, rapid sales growth can lead to higher margins, and higher sales growth can also lead to a higher valuation multiple if the company is sold. Multiplicativeness has the same effect on value levers as is described above for competencies.
Underperformers abound
The flip side of the tremendous value created by a small number of extreme outperformers is that a surprisingly large number of people within any environment seem to create little-to-no value. Warren Buffett recently observed that in corporate America, it seems that “lots of employees aren’t doing anything”. Organisational behaviour researchers have proposed that within a typical organisation, the top decile of workers creates 30 percent of value, and the top quartile creates 50 percent. My study indicates that this idea holds within private equity, and the percentages are perhaps even more skewed than these researchers have proposed.
To make matters worse, some employees may be so lacking in competencies that they are caught in a negative reinforcement trap, with the interdependent multiplicative reinforcement phenomenon working against them. If someone is a poor strategic thinker, has low energy and is poor at influencing others, it is unlikely that fixing any one of these will lead to an exceptional or even acceptable performance.
Developing and training team members
If a small number of people create the vast majority of value, a large number create little value, and the “average” is far less common than we would think,  then how can companies best train and develop their people? Designing programmes to focus on the average employee or average situation does not seem adequate. Rather, this study indicates that companies should focus on opportunities to use multiplicative reinforcement to their advantage. For example, they could examine what differentiates their extreme outperformers from the rest, and use these learnings to train people who don’t quite measure up but have the opportunity to get there. Similarly, if companies have employees who have a strong suite of skills but are lacking in a core area (such as the great strategic thinker who is poor at influencing people), then training that person in additional core skills could have a powerful multiplicative effect. Importantly, researchers have shown that competencies can be learned.
Thoughtful value creation
Just like in private equity, it seems clear that across industries, different ways of creating value are more powerful than others (e.g. sales growth is more important than cost cutting in PE) and that the interactions between the levers are important too. When investing in new projects, companies can take advantage of this phenomenon by looking for opportunities that can create value through multiple levers (e.g. a project that will both grow sales and increase margins). On the flip side, companies should, perhaps, be suspicious of projects that can only pull one lever.

Avi Turetsky, Alumni Board Member, INSEAD Global Private Equity Initiative


ECONOMY SPECIAL..... How digital finance could boost growth in emerging economies

How digital finance could boost growth in emerging economies

Delivering financial services by mobile phone could benefit billions of people by spurring inclusive growth that adds $3.7 trillion to the GDP of emerging economies within a decade.
Two billion individuals and 200 million micro, small, and midsize businesses in emerging economies today lack access to savings and credit. Even those with access must often pay high fees for a limited range of products. Economic growth suffers. But a solution is right in people’s hands: a mobile phone. Digital finance—payments and financial services delivered via mobile phones and the Internet—could transform the lives and economic prospects of individuals, businesses, and governments across the developing world, boosting GDP and making the aspiration of financial inclusiona reality.
A new report from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), Digital finance for all: Powering inclusive growth in emerging economies, is the first attempt to quantify the full impact of digital finance. In addition to extensive economic modeling, the report draws on the findings of field visits to seven countries—Brazil, China, Ethiopia, India, Mexico, Nigeria, and Pakistan—and more than 150 expert interviews. It also lays out the key conditions that will need to be met to capture the benefits.
The research finds that widespread adoption and use of digital finance could increase the GDPs of all emerging economies by 6 percent, or a total of $3.7 trillion, by 2025. This is the equivalent of adding to the world an economy the size of Germany, or one that’s larger than all the economies of Africa. This additional GDP could create up to 95 million new jobs across all sectors of the economy.
Many stakeholders would benefit. Digital finance could provide access to 1.6 billion unbanked people, more than half of them women. An additional $2.1 trillion of loans to individuals and small businesses could be made sustainably, as providers gain newfound ability to assess credit risk for a wider pool of borrowers. Governments could gain $110 billion per year by reducing leakage in public spending and tax collection. Providers of financial services would benefit, too. They stand to save $400 billion annually in direct costs by shifting from traditional to digital accounts, which can be 80 to 90 percent less expensive to service. By expanding their customer base, providers increase revenue opportunities and could sustainably increase their balance sheets by as much as $4.2 trillion.
The economic potential varies significantly, depending on a country’s starting position. Lower-income countries such as Ethiopia, India, and Nigeria have the largest potential, with the opportunity to add 10 to 12 percent to their GDP, given low levels of financial inclusion and digital payments today. Pakistan has a somewhat lower GDP potential, at 7 percent. Middle-income countries such as Brazil, China, and Mexico could add 4 to 5 percent to GDP—still a substantial boost.
Digital payments and financial services are part of the vital infrastructure of a modern economy, enabling individuals, businesses, and governments to transact cheaply and efficiently. For a range of companies, including banks, telecommunications companies, payments providers, financial-technology start-ups, retailers, and others, the potential business opportunity is large. In most countries, which players will dominate is still up for grabs.
The opportunity to accelerate inclusive growth could be addressed rapidly and without the need for major investment in costly additional infrastructure. Mobile phones are the game changer that make this all possible. In 2014, nearly 80 percent of adults in emerging economies had a mobile phone, while only 55 percent had financial accounts. Almost 90 percent of people in emerging economies have access to a network, and the share of those with 3G or 4G coverage is growing.
To capture the opportunity, businesses and government leaders will need to make a concerted and coordinated effort. Three building blocks are required: widespread mobile and digital infrastructure, a dynamic business environment for financial services, and digital finance products that meet the needs of individuals and small businesses in ways that are superior to the informal financial tools they use today.
Widely used digital finance has the power to transform the economic prospects of billions of people and inject new dynamism into small businesses that today are held back for lack of credit. Rather than waiting a generation for incomes to rise and traditional banks to extend their reach, emerging economies have an opportunity to use mobile technologies to provide digital financial services for all, rapidly unlocking economic opportunity and accelerating social development.
By James Manyika, Susan Lund, Marc Singer, Olivia White, and Chris Berry

ENTREPRENEUR SPECIAL..... FOUNDER who failed, learned, and got back up on feet 4. BHART KUMAR MOHAN

FOUNDER who failed, learned, and got back up on  feet

'A spouse gets the worst of an entrepreneur's life'

Bharath Kumar Mohan, who ran Insieve as co-founder for four years, now has another startup Sensara, a smart remote for TVs. Insieve offered a product for content discovery, which suggested content based on what one shared. Insieve was founded in 2010 and had a team of 10. Mohan, now 39, had raised $750,000 from Blume and Ojas Ventures, but had to shut down in late 2014.

"The biggest mistake we made was to do direct consumer distribution instead of looking for partners. Consumer distribution is expensive. They need our software, but they do not want it. We were ahead of the curve, and launched a year ahead of Google Now. We had four offers to get acquired, but none suited us so we were happier to shut down. When a startup is not doing well and you still see the entrepreneur around, it is sure that her/his spouse is the biggest strength. They get the worst of your life both economically and emotionally. As a founder, you keep the spirits high at work and by the time your reach home, you are dead tired. The timelines of your friends are all about foreign vacations but ours are all about work."
Shalina PillaiAnand J Ranjani Ayyar  |  TNN  | 

HR SPECIAL .......Want to Hire the Perfect Job Candidate? 5 Ways to Find the Best Employees for Your Company

Want to Hire the Perfect Job Candidate? 5 Ways to Find the Best Employees for Your Company

Is your hiring process designed to ensure you get not just the skills but the attitudes and values your company needs?

 Hiring decisions are arguably the most important decisions you make -- not only because you need to find people with the right skills but also with the right fit for your culture.
So how do you make sure a prospective candidate's values and philosophies align with those of your company?
The following is from Deborah Rippol, a Culture Scout at Buffer, a a social media management tool that lets you schedule, automate, and analyze social media updates.
Here's Deborah:
We've shared a bit in the past about what we believe creates a great fit at Buffer, but the hiring process is so much more than these factors alone. How do you create a positive experience for all candidates, regardless of the outcome? How do you avoid bias and view all candidates through a lens of equality?
We don't know all the answers to these questions, but we're always experimenting and learning. As a result, we've developed five core philosophies that guide our efforts. I'd love to share them with you here!
What Hiring at Buffer Looks Like in 2016
First, a bit of background. In less than 2 years, our team has grown from 17 to 79 people. In the past year, we've revised our hiring process to suit our needs as a scaleup company.
I joined as Buffer's first Culture Scout in October 2015, when we went from growing the team by 1 to 2 people per month to being on the lookout for 30 to 40 team members between September 2015 and April 2016.
Some of my first responsibilities included shaping a newer framework for hiring, selecting, and interviewing; along with creating a great candidate experience and getting to know people in a consistent and unbiased way.
In April 2016, we expanded the People team further when Jenny joined and helped us further define the hiring process.
With a team of about 80 right now, we're deliberately growing slower and only hiring for a few more roles in the coming months. We are looking more carefully at the needs of each area, digging into the 'why' in each role, and applying a more disciplined financial lens that allows us to grow more in-line with our revenue rate.
Rather than trying to set up a strict set of rules that might not stretch with our growth over time, we've made the decision to rely on our Culture Scouting philosophies instead.
We believe these philosophies and best practices may stick around for longer than a 'process' (the same way we believe defining your culture's values can help with many other decisions.)

Our 5 Hiring Philosophies
Here are five 'philosophies' we try to live by (and have sometimes failed at) and some of the lessons that might be of interest to others growing a team:
1. Define what we need before we start looking.
We've found the best time to find a consensus on a role and what skills it might require is before we hire, not while we're reviewing candidates.
We brainstorm with our teams on what their needs are and collectively write the listings. One of the ways we've found works well is to ask ourselves the questions like:
What goals need to be achieved a year from now for us to consider this a successful hire?
What would an amazing candidate accomplish in a year?
For an amazing candidate to accomplish that, what do they need to do during the 45-day bootcamp?
What are the traits, skills and qualifications this person will need to be successful?
One unique aspect of defining a role for us is having the team agree on whether a craftsperson (deeper knowledge/expertise in a specific area) or generalist (with T-shape skills) is needed. Making sure we have a training plan in place and getting everyone on the same page about the sequence of interviews enables consistent candidate evaluation and reduces total interview time.
We try to be honest about the skills needed while also keeping the door open for as many candidates as we can.
As a result, we work extensively on the job description, training plan, interview planning, interview question tailoring, etc. before we even post the listing.
2. Transparently share as much as we can.
Our Journey page aims to reflect who we are as clearly as possible.
When we put all our cards on the table with full transparency, we've found it encourages candidates to be honest and do the same.
Some key elements of our jobs page include:
·         Some info on how we work together remotely
·         A list of all our culture perks
·         Pictures of the team (in all sorts of settings!)
·         Our commitment to diversity and equal opportunity employment
·         Listings that set clear expectations for the role and measures of success
Our COO Leo gave a talk recently about how company culture isn't something you can really shape, but rather how you have to sit, observe and write down what you see. The first step for us in looking to scale our hiring was to be clear on what our values were and articulate them honestly on our hiring page.
Once we had those values defined, it helped our interactions with candidates to make an objective decision about how closely they aligned with us.
3. Know what we're evaluating with every interview question.
It might seem a bit unusual, but we don't ask for resumes during any part of our process. For our purposes, resumes don't often give us the depth of information we're looking for.
Instead, more weight goes into the messages that applicants share with us, both in writing and in chats. So it's important that we have an unbiased way to know what we're looking for.
We recently went through team training on managing bias that was enlightening from that standpoint, and our Inclusivity Catalyst, Courtney, is a great champion for keeping that top of mind.
We try to craft application and interview questions that will help us evaluate attributes we've predefined through our role needs and values. These sorts of questions can be a mix of verification questions, behavioral questions, situational questions, and skills tests.
We avoid any question that doesn't provide useful information and might allow bias to creep in. 

Then we take it one step further: Before we ever speak to anyone, we already have an idea of a good answer, an OK answer, and a "pause answer" for any question we ask.
Say we're asking a candidate to share a moment where they made a mistake. Depending on what they share, we might get insights on their transparency, empathy, vulnerability, and ability to "do the right thing" (which is one of our values!).
A potential good answer could include them admitting the mistake early on and owning up to it. Another good answer could be in their ability to reflect on the lesson they learned from the mistake.
Answers that might give us some pause could include hints of blaming others or circumstances, or sharing a mistake that puts them in the 'savior' position and misses the opportunity to show vulnerability.
Here are some other areas we craft questions to dig into. It's important for our teammates to:
·         Have a growth mindset (Do they like to learn and how?)
·         Show a good bit of empathy (How do they react to technical glitches or misunderstandings.)
·         Be okay with vulnerability (How open are they in the conversation?)
·         Have a knack for working remotely (Do they have a track record of having shown drive in their professional or personal projects?)
·         Have worked independently in the past. (Have they had to manage their own schedule to get something done?)
Then, we define questions that will give us a benchmark, knowing that there is no wrong or right. Everyone is different, but these benchmarks can indicate how well the candidate might do on our team.
As we scale our hiring and as the team grows, our interview questions have changed based on how our values have changed. We challenge these questions from time to time to ensure we know, "Why do we ask this?"
4. The 'interview' continues during bootcamp.
While it might seem helpful to avoid overloading a candidate with information before they even start working, we believe that sharing expectations early on is one of the biggest favors we can do for both our new teammate and the whole team. (This is still something we're striving for and haven't quite nailed down!)
To set people up for success, we default to providing more context and sharing expectations early on.
For instance, if we bring on a full-stack developer who we later learn will spend 80% of their time working on backend development, we'll tell that person as soon as we can in order to prevent any surprises.
Interviews and pre-hiring chats play a big role in new team members' training and making sure they will truly feel at home at Buffer.
A candidate recently shared with me his feelings about our new-employee bootcamp at Buffer: "I love the idea of the 45-day bootcamp. Playing competitive sports my whole life growing up, no coach would bring players onto their team without seeing them in action first."
Bootcamp not only gives everyone on the team the opportunity to get to know the bootcamper and explore some of the areas that interviews might not have shed the light on, but also allows the bootcamper to experience what working at Buffer really is like and compare it with their expectations before moving forward with their journey.
Our bootcamp generally lasts for 45 days, though sometimes it can be shorter or longer depending on the communication within teams and what challenges might arise. We are continually fine-tuning the bootcamp process to set everyone up for the most success possible.
So far in 2016, we've invited 36 people--24 people in Q1, 10 people in Q2 and two people in Q3--to join us for our 45-day bootcamp. About 90% of our team members continue with us past those 45 days (up from 70% last year).
5. Continuously work to improve the candidate experience.
The group of people who check out the jobs page and step forward are very special to us.
It's a very vulnerable experience to reach out, and we're committed to making the application process at Buffer a positive one, no matter the outcome. Here are some key metrics that we aim for, regardless of the number of hires we are working on:
Get back to all applicants in 10 days or less. Historically, we've been a bit all over the map here, with everything from nine days to an average of 25-27 days. Overall, it has most commonly been around 15 days.
We've tried a few things to get replies out more quickly to candidates: blocking out more time, sharing the task between several teammates, keeping each other accountable for a result of under 10 days first response time. We've had encouraging results, and today we're at about 7-8 days for first response.
Never leave more than three days between each step in the process. We think of this as "in the dark" time and try to minimize it. Two key things that have worked well for us here:
1.         Be upfront with the candidate about the expected time they'll hear from you
2. Use as many reminders and due dates as possible to keep yourself accountable (We use Trello, which is super handy!)
Continually test and adjust the process. We tend to operate lean and scale as processes and theories are validated. We've gone through many iterations of our process and had a few bumps along the way, with response times being a bit too long and many different people juggling the role of hiring across many different teams.
As we've recognized and defined our philosophies, the processes have been better ironed out and overall we're able to provide a better service to our amazing applicants and our internal teams.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

STEVE JOBS SPECIAL... 7 Things Steve Jobs Said That You Should Say Every Single Day

7 Things Steve Jobs Said That You Should Say Every Single Day

He came, he saw, he conquered...and he left behind some words to live by:

1.         "Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower."

Ideas without action aren't ideas. They're regrets.
Every day, most people let hesitation and uncertainty stop them from acting on an idea. (Fear of the unknown and fear of failure are often what stop me, and they may be what stop you, too.)
Think about a few of the ideas you've had, whether for a new business, a new career, or even just a part-time job.
In retrospect, how many of your ideas could have turned out well, especially if you had given it your absolute best? Would a decent percentage have turned out well?
My guess is, probably so -- so start trusting your analysis, your judgment, and even your instincts a little more.
You certainly won't get it right all the time, but if you do nothing and allow your ideas to become regrets... you will always get it wrong.
2. "I'm convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance."

Everyone says they go the extra mile. Almost no one actually does. Most people who do go there think, " one else is here...why am I doing this?" And they leave, never to return.
That's why the extra mile is such a lonely place.
That's also why the extra mile is a place filled with opportunities.
Be early. Stay late. Make the extra phone call. Send the extra email. Do the extra research. Help a customer unload or unpack a shipment.
Don't wait to be asked -- offer. Don't just tell employees what to do -- show them what to do, and work beside them.
Every time you do something, think of one extra thing you can do...especially if other people aren't doing that extra thing.
Sure, it's hard. But that's what will make you different.
And over time, that's what will make you successful.
3. “My model for business is The Beatles.
They were four guys who kept each other's kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other, and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That's how I see business: Great things in business are never done by one person, they're done by a team of people."

Some of your employees drive you nuts. Some of your customers are obnoxious. Some of your friends are selfish, all-about-me jerks.
Stop whining. You chose them.
If the people around you make you unhappy, it's not their fault. It's your fault. They're in your professional or personal life because you drew them to you -- and you let them remain.
Think about the type of people you want to work with. Think about the types of customers you would enjoy serving. Think about the friends you want to have.
Then change what you do so you can start attracting those people. Hardworking people want to work with hardworking people. Kind people like to associate with kind people.
Exceptional employees want to work for exceptional bosses.
Be the best you can be, and work to surround yourself with people who are even better.
4. "My favorite things in life don't cost any money. It's really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time."

Deadlines and time frames establish parameters, but usually not in a good way. Most people given two weeks to complete a task will instinctively adjust their effort so it actually takes two weeks -- even if it shouldn't.
So forget deadlines, at least as a way to manage your activity. Tasks should only take as long as they need to take. Do everything as quickly and effectively as you can. Then, use your "free" time to get other things done just as quickly and effectively.
Average people allow time to impose its will on them; exceptional people impose their will on their time.
5. "Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations."

Ask most people why they have been successful. Their answers will be filled with personal pronouns like "I" and "me." Only occasionally will you hear "we."
Then ask them why they failed. Most will revert to childhood and instinctively distance themselves, like a kid who says, "My toy got broken..." instead of, "I broke my toy." They'll say the economy tanked. They'll say the market wasn't ready. They'll say their suppliers couldn't keep up.
They'll say it was someone or something else.
And by distancing themselves, they don't learn from their failures.
Occasionally, something completely outside our control will cause us to fail. Most of the time, though, it's us. And that's okay. Every successful person has failed, numerous times. Most of them have failed a lot more often than we have. That's why they're successful now.
Embrace every failure. Own it, learn from it, and take full responsibility for making sure that next time, things will turn out differently.
6. "I didn't return to Apple to make a fortune. I've been very lucky in my life and already have one. When I was 25, my net worth was $100 million or so. I decided then that I wasn't going to let it ruin my life. There's no way you could ever spend it all, and I don't view wealth as something that validates my intelligence."

Money is important. Money does a lot of things. (One of the most important is to create choices.)
But after a certain point, money doesn't make people happier. After about $75,000 a year, money doesn't buy more (or less) happiness. "Beyond $75,000...higher income is neither the road to experience happiness nor the road to relief of unhappiness or stress," says a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

And if you don't buy that, here's another take: "The materialistic drive and satisfaction with life are negatively related." (Or in non-research speak, "Chasing possessions tends to make you less happy.")

Think of it as the bigger house syndrome. You want a bigger house. You need a bigger house. (Not really, but it sure feels like you do.) So you buy it. Life is good...until a couple months later, when your bigger house is now just your house.
New always becomes the new normal.
That's because "things" only provide momentary bursts of happiness. To be happier, don't chase as many things. Chase experiences.
Someday you won't remember what you had...but you'll never forget what you did.
7. "Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it."

Don't know what you're passionate about? No problem. Pick something interesting. Pick something financially viable -- something people will pay you to do or provide.
Then work hard. Improve your skills, whether at managing, selling, creating, implementing...whatever expertise your business requires. The satisfaction and fulfillment of small victories will give you the motivation to keep working hard. Small victories will motivate you to further develop your skills.
The satisfaction of achieving one level of success will spur you on to gain the skills to reach the next level, and the next, and the next.
And one day, you will wake up feeling incredibly fulfilled -- because you're doing great work, work you've grown to love.