Average student. Not much of an athlete. Quasi popular. State college.

1. Manners. I was polite. I was raised to treat people, especially elders, with respect. Holding doors. Standing up when people came into a room. Mr. and Mrs. Please and thank you. I think that was Sales 101. 

2. Work Ethic. I'm a worker. I was pushed out of the house to always have a job, and I hated most of them until mowing lawns with my brother finally kicked in. I wanted to buy things since my parents wouldn't, and the only way to get money was to work, get shit done, and to do it right.  

3. Read and Think. I've always read a lot. I wanted to know what the hell was, and is, going on. I wanted to know how other people saw things and try to find how it's relevant to what I do.  

4. Make an Impression. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Speak better than your peers. Follow up.  

5. Comparisons. I always asked what better people were doing. From clients and bosses to vendors and employees. How do I compare?  

6. Being Direct. As I've gotten older, I've realized time really is money. I remember where I/we have gotten burned by clients, vendors, employees and candidates in the past, and I ask the questions upfront to prevent it from happening again.

7. Associations. I chose and still choose to associate with people who are smarter than me. As a result, my friend group has evolved over time. While I can create, everything doesn't just come to me like a Silicon Valley genius. I need to be a lifelong learner, and to do that, I need to be around people who are smarter than me. I need to learn how they think, execute and view things. That's how I've continued to grow. 

There are many more but these tend to be the basics when I think about who I fundamentally am. When I started LaSalle, I knew culture would be king. I would treat people the right way.

I didn't know what EQ was back then, but I did know that I could read people better than most...that I had the ability to see when someone was hurt, sad, confused, disappointed, and get them back on track. I believe that is more of an innate skill, which is why I didn't mention it in my earlier points. It's truly about the fundamentals. How you treat people and how you challenge yourself.

I once heard a coach say, success is where hard work meets opportunity. I agree.