Stick To What You Know

Hey now, young person, I want to give you some advice on your life.

I want to save you a lot of money and a lot of misery.

Whatever you choose to do in this world, stick to one career.

One career is enough.

A man can’t often wear two hats in life. If he tries to wear two hats, he wears no hat at all.

I understand; it’s difficult to stick to one career.

After a while the career becomes somewhat routine. Excitement tends to wear off. You feel the urge to move into something else.

My response: It’s even more difficult to balance two careers, or, worse, to shift careers.

Try to resist the urge to move on to something else.

Try to not be influenced too heavily by stories like Charif Souki that you read about in the New York Times today.

This Lebanese entrepreneur owned the restaurant Mezzaluna in Los Angeles.

This was the restaurant in which Nicole Brown Simpson ate her last meal.

According to the story, the owner, Charif Souki, lost interest in the restaurant business and decided to venture into something else: Liquefied Natural Gas.

The article states that he didn’t know anything about natural gas before going into it.

So he started a company called Chenier which he then grew into a leviathan as far revenues are concerned.

Do you feel the pull? Why can’t I do something like that, you ask yourself.

Try to resist these stories.

Many a people have lost all their money venturing into things of which they know nothing.

Remember that the media generally tends to simplify success. In these stories they don’t always tell you the full story.

Or they bury the truth in a throwaway sentence that you might skim over – such as Mr. Souki being an investment banker prior to being a restaurant owner.

I don’t know the full story of Mr. Charif Souki, but I can guarantee you there’s more to this story of success than we know.

Yes, I suppose it’s possible that Charif Souki is a super talented genius who can master new fields very quickly, but I doubt it.

I suspect that he had skills already in place through a lifetime of learning that made him a natural for that field.

This is why the stories of success in the media are often very dangerous.

These stories incite people into moving into something in which they know nothing, and what often transpires is catastrophe.

If he can do it, I can do it is what people start thinking.

This is encouraged by the media’s promotion of possibility thinking. All things are possible according to famous media personalities.

Don’t limit yourself, they implore.

I’ve got a better idea.

Stick to what you know.

All things are possible, but all things are not possible to people who have not prepared and who know nothing about a particular field.

It takes years to develop contacts and to learn the tricks of the trade that will make you successful in a field of endeavor.

It’s often easier to learn those tricks when you are young. It’s not so easy to learn those tricks when you are older.

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. There is a lot of truth in that old adage.

One of the keys in life is to figure out what you are good at and what you are not good at, then take those strengths and parlay your existing career into something more expansive.

Switching careers and venturing into something completely different than what you are suited for is not what I would recommend.

Don’t live someone else’s life.

Again, stick to what you know.

I understand your drive to change the world, and to be the center of attention.

Perhaps you are feeling as if you are missing out in life because you are not Elon Musk or Bill Gates.

Stick to your own game; be who you are.

Do what you have been trained to do.

That’s enough.


Archer Crosley

Copyright 2022 Archer Crosley All Rights Reserved

The Office Elects the Man

You are a talented person.

How can you know which field to enter in life?

How can you know what your career path should be?

Are you young? Are you searching?

Generally speaking, the field that is best for you is one that best takes advantage of the skills that you have learned before you even knew you were learning those skills.

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to be objective about yourself and see this clearly.

My dentist, who is a great dentist, was good at building models when he was a boy. He told me that he built every model under the sun.

He was developing skills, dexterity and patience, before he even knew that he was doing what he was doing.

It was only natural that he become a dentist.

When I was a kid I asked a lot of questions, but beyond that I had a way with other kids.

Children liked me.

And still do.

I had an accommodating personality.

When I was a little boy, my mother babysat an infant for another family. I would sit there all day and play with this nine-month-old infant.

When I was thirteen my father died, and I was left without a guide. I had to read a lot of books in order to figure things out in life.

I wanted to know why things worked and why people were successful at things.

I didn’t know I was going to be a pediatrician.

I didn’t know that I was going to be able to give advice based upon all the wide-ranging stuff I had read in my life.

My skills found me.

We become who we are before we know who we are.

It is the skills that we learn when we are young that make us a natural for the field that eventually finds us.

And it will find you, just like it found me.

I didn’t plan to become a pediatrician.

Not at all.

In fact I ran away from it as much as I possibly could.

While in medical school, I wanted to be an emergency room doctor.

But guess what?

The emergency room didn’t like me.

Nor did a lot of other occupations that I tried to master.

While I was becoming a pediatrician, I was wasting my time trying to be everything else.

You name, I tried it.

I tried writing plays. I tried writing computer programs. I tried novels. I even tried cartooning.

I tried being a YouTube star. I tried becoming a businessman.

So what?

It doesn’t matter what I wanted to become.

It didn’t matter that I liked doing those things.

Those things didn’t like me back.

Ultimately, you have to stick with that which likes you back.

And that which likes you back is a field that requires the skills that match best the skills that you possess.

It will find you.

Don’t fret about life.

Put one step in front of the other and work diligently at what is before you.

All the anguishing in the world isn’t going to get you one step further.

As Ulysses Grant once said, and I will paraphrase: The office elects the man.

Forget about what you want.

Go to the dance with the boy or girl that likes you.


Archer Crosley

Copyright 2022 Archer Crosley All Rights Reserved

Choosing the Right Path

How do you choose the right path for you?

Often in your life you find yourself at a crossroads.  Life may not be working out, or you are are not getting to that better place that you desire.

You’d like to make a change, but you’re not sure how to do it.

Sometimes you’re not quite at the fork in the road.

You want it so bad, you imagine it. 

What do you do?

The choice can be heartbreaking.

Risk is uncomfortable; consequently, you’d like to find some sure way to know what will happen if you jump.

For sure, you don’t want to jump and burn.  You want to land on your feet.

How do you evaluate the risk?

Maxim:  No one can predict the future.  

I’d like to say more about that, but to say more is to say less.

What you’d like to ask yourself is what you expect to gain by going down a particular path in terms of concrete change.

After all, you are contemplating a change because you want change in something – be it money, prestige, social good or personal awareness.  If you are choosing to scale a mountain, what do you gain out of this?  Endorsements?  Prestige?  A nice write-up in the paper?  Money raised for a charity?  Self-satisfaction?

Write that down so you can at least have a goal to reach.

Next, ask yourself if you have the skills or tools to go down that path.  If you don’t have the skills, can you attain them in the time-frame you have chosen?  Can you make the time?  It would be no different than choosing which path to take when scaling a mountain.  Without the right skills and tools, we are more likely to crash and burn.

For example, you’d like to communicate your message to the public.  How will you do this? There are many roads up the mountain.  A book in which a person can communicate through the power of words?  Or visual media where a person communicates by virtue of personality?  One has to know one’s self.  How do you react on camera?  Are you shy and reserved?  Can you compete with others in the arena of screaming and yelling?  Where do you excel?  Because you do want to excel.

God gives us all gifts.  Embrace those gifts.

It is a fallacy to believe that you can have all gifts or develop all gifts.  Now, the human potential movement wants you to believe that this is so, but it is not so.  Some people are ahead of you in a particular game.  In which game are you ahead of the pack?

Preparation is everything for success.  Jumping in just because you read about someone else jumping in is a mistake.  Ask yourself if you have the skills to succeed.  Remember, the media simplifies a person’s success.  They don’t always tell you the backstory to that person’s rise to fame and glory; they often fail to relate that the person in question worked many, many years in a related profession which gave them the skills to succeed.

Finally, what do you want on your tombstone?  This is an expression from the 60s.  A more modern way of saying this is:  What do you want your Wikipedia page to say?  In fact, it may be helpful for you to write out your own Wikipedia page today on your digital device.

So, in summary, ask yourself what you want, whether you have the skills and what you want on your Wikipedia page.

Now, with that stated, and the path chosen, everything in your life must inexorably drive to that end point.  There can be no turning back, no regrets, no wailing over spilt milk. 

Commitment and resolve are key.