17 Start-Up Founders on How to Become Insanely Successful

Flickr/@abrunvoll
16 of 18

Hassan Baig, founder of White Rabbit Studios

"Invest time in a 'scalable' career." -- Nassim Nicholas Taleb

This isn't advice I received first-hand, but nevertheless I think it qualifies as an answer to this question.

A "scalable" career is one where growth is not dependent on the number of hours of work put in. For instance, imagine you're a tax consultant. You probably charge an hourly rate for your consultative services. This of course implies that every marginal hour of work you put in generates value at that very margin. In other words, you're selling your time--which unfortunately you have only 24 hours of per day. Such a career would be naturally tough to scale up.

So what's the alternative? It is picking a career for yourself where growth is dependent on the quality of your decisions. This philosophy ensures you're monetizing your intellect/foresight/pattern recognition skills instead of your time, and can thus generate really high pay-offs (provided you can get it right).