The other evening, I had a chance to sit down with one of my best investing colleagues and review some transactions in which we had been involved over the past year. It brought to mind something I wanted to share with you as 2018 draws to a close.
I highly recommend that you spend some time evaluating your business, your investing, or whatever it was that you did this year and plan to do in 2019. Ask yourself what worked and what didn’t. For the things that worked, what was it that made them successful? Then spend even more time looking at the things that didn’t work. Deconstruct them and figure out why.
Back when I was frequently trying cases in front of juries, I was on a pretty ugly losing streak for a couple of years until a wise, older lawyer said to me, “Why don’t you take time to thoroughly analyze everything about the cases you’ve tried and lost.” I took his advice and looked at the cases to find the similarities. In a week or two, I had my answer. After analyzing the types and personalities of the plaintiffs, the quality of the evidence, the nature of the issues, how good my expert witnesses were, and my methodology in jury deselection, I came up with several strong takeaways of things never to do again in a jury trial. Since then, the results have been dramatically different, such that now, in the most recent cases that I have wanted to take to trial, opposing counsel has made offers of settlement that were too good to refuse.
Bringing that analysis into my current investing business, I have found success in doing repeat deals with the same high-quality investing colleagues. For example, 10+ deals with my friend Ron, and 8+ deals with my friend John. I much prefer doing that than having these one-off deals for which I have to market aggressively, chase, vet and evaluate, and then engage in the deal.
In my next post, I will continue with this idea as I share with you what is probably the most important word that I really discovered the meaning of in 2018.