Dean Owen

5 years ago · 4 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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Gert Scholtz & Dean Owen Presents - 20/20 Hindsight

Gert Scholtz & Dean Owen Presents - 20/20 Hindsight


Twenty things I wish I knew when I was Twenty


This is a historic moment in International relationships. Two bees collaborating across a whopping stretch of South Asia and the vast expanse that is the Indian Ocean – ultimately publishing on beBee in Spain – a roundtrip of more than 20,000 km.


While neither of us have reached an “advanced age”, we both have seen and experienced some ups, and many downs. Were we 20 again, here are the 20 things we would tell our younger selves. Some are from Gert, some from Dean – you decide which.


1. Scream! – If you want something - a job, a promotion, brand visibility, investors, recognition, help, a girlfriend - scream as loud as you can and make sure they hear you. I see too many job seekers waiting for a job to fall in their lap. Well who is going to offer you a job if they don’t know you are looking? Want that girl? Well tell her! I just sent off an email to a startup accelerator who had been ignoring my emails for weeks.

“Hi ______,

We scream but nobody hears. I know recruitment is not sexy, but we are tech. We have built a graduate supermarket and we just need help filling the shelves. If you could point us in the right direction, any direction, sushi on me next time you are in town.” Ten minutes later, I got an email inviting us in for a pitch. If they don’t respond, bang on their door!


2. The Internet and communication technology is the way to go. At 20, the fax-machine was an incredibly futuristic device and rumblings of the Internet and cellular technology just started. Little did we know this would be the economic sphere where most new wealth would be created in the next twenty years. It still is.


3. If you are better at your job than your boss then open a channel of communication with his/her boss. Do not circumvent your boss. Instead, draft your bloody good email to them and cc their boss. Get the recognition you deserve, from the top.


4. Don’t take work problems too seriously. Most problems you fret about beforehand never even arise and instead other crises happen, all which eventually get solved and blow over. Nothing is as permanent as you may think and all events at work, good and bad, up and down, are soon irrelevant.


5. If you are not indispensable you will end up redundant. Business conditions will turn, they always do. Make yourself invaluable. In a company merger, don’t be the “restructure”, be the “restructurer”.


6. Compound interest is a certain way of building wealth. It is never too early to start putting something away every month and then not spend it on the new car or overseas holiday; just forget about it. The interest on interest, and the cumulative effect of dividends capitalized and share price increases are exponential, and become enormous after another twenty years. Just ask Warren Buffett.


7. If you are not happy with your life, change it – sell everything, hop on a plane, and find a job, any job. And work your way up.


8. Be less goal driven. While setting goals and chasing after them is widely proclaimed as the way to go, it detracts from enjoying the moment and the unforeseen. Enjoy the ride life throws at you and take the unexpected not as a distraction, but as a potential spark of a new adventure and exploration.


9. Email not working for you? Pick up the damn phone! Or better still – go and see the person. Old-fashioned meetings are still the most effective way to get things done, and they are more pleasant than staring at a screen.


10. Study drama. Life is a stage and that means sometimes immersing yourself in the role or place you are. You know your authentic self and there is no need to try and be it. The call to be your authentic self seems like a paradox anyway. You will find yourself in many roles; acting the part often becomes being the part. Ronald Reagan a case in point.


11. Have a million dollar smile and use it!  When you meet someone, smile. When you see the postman, smile. When you see your boss, smile. When you look in the mirror, smile.


12. Networking is important. Breaks in life, a new job, a new venture – all benefit from and more often originate from a good work and social network. Work the network and socialize the work.


13. Learn a unique skill and practice it – whether it brings you money or not. Ultimately work satisfaction is applying yourself to that which you like and which you are proficient in. Most skills have a market value and can be applied to earn money. It’s not always easy to stick to what you like when the market demand is for other skills, but in the end, doing what you love means you have succeeded.


14. Don’t study accounting, sociology, or law. You can always hire an accountant. Instead learn Chinese and Hindi. That will make you unique and grant you access to over 2 billion people.


15. If a life as a career professional does not appeal to you, join a startup. You will learn more in one year in a startup than you will in 5 years as an accountant.


16. Lead by example even if you are not the leader: be the first in the office in the morning and the last one out. Be the one to tackle the tough problems even if you don’t initially succeed. Don’t be like…whatever…


17. Put yourself in their shoes – Whomever you interact with, take a moment to understand their perspective, their motives. A good chess player will always be anticipating their opponent’s strategy.


18. Be open and transparent about your failures. Be accountable. Hold a meeting and tell your staff your failure. Then tell them why you failed, what you learnt, and how next time, you will do things differently.


19. Mathematics is beautiful. Concentrate in math class and stop playing with the pigtail of the girl in front of you – it is not a paintbrush.


20. Don’t choose the pretty girl, choose your best friend.



Gert Scholtz works at a merchant bank and researches behavioural economics as applied to business. He also lectures part-time at business schools and is a published author.

Dean Owen, is a two-decade veteran of the Global Capital Markets having served major roles at Credit Lyonnais, Credit Agricole Indosuez, and more recently as China Country Head of Newedge, the brokerage arm of Societe Generale. He recently quit banking to do something real and meaningful and has since founded Quimojo, a revolutionary new concept in Global Campus Recruitment.



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Comments
Dean Owen

Dean Owen

5 years ago #30

I like #17 too Franci :) (hint to Louise!)

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

These are great tips Gert Scholtz. I especially like #17. Thanks for sharing.

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

5 years ago #28

#38
That's 50% of yours right Dean Owen? Might roll again !

Gert Scholtz

Gert Scholtz

5 years ago #27

#35
Mamen Delgado Thank you Mamen. A brilliant smile from Madrid!

Dean Owen

Dean Owen

5 years ago #26

So I am collaborating with Gerald now am I? :) I think on your answers Louise, you got about 5/10 correct which I guess is not worse than rolling the dice! :)

Dean Owen

Dean Owen

5 years ago #25

#36
Thanks Mamen. Love your smile!

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

5 years ago #24

My Best Guess - comes unstuck if you went turn about though ! Dean Owen : 1 ; 5 ; 6 ; 8 ; 10 ; 11 ; 12 ; 14 ; 15 ; 19; 20 Gerald Hecht: 2 ; 3 ; 4 ; 7 ; 9 ; 13 ; 16 ; 17 ; 18 N.B. 20 could be joint collaboration ? VERY NICE BUZZ !!! Hindsight is the History Writer's VICE - hope you don't make it yours ! ~ adapted from Hilary Mantel

Mamen 🐝 Delgado

Mamen 🐝 Delgado

5 years ago #23

LOVE THIS BUZZ!!! Thanks so much for the tips Gert Scholtz! Big one million dollars smile from Madrid... 😄

Gert Scholtz

Gert Scholtz

5 years ago #22

#33
Javier C\u00e1mara Rica Thank you Javier. You knew long before any of us that communication technology is the way to go and you often mention how much you enjoy your work. Thanks to you we have beBee!

Javier 🐝 CR

Javier 🐝 CR

5 years ago #21

A great buzz Dean Owen There are excellent tips in here

Dean Owen

Dean Owen

5 years ago #20

#29
Thank you @Sara Jacobovici (I think :) ), I don't think any of them were mine. I am a quiet soul living a quiet life with very little to say! :)

Sara Jacobovici

Sara Jacobovici

5 years ago #19

#30
"Quieter" Gert Scholtz. I didn't want to say that Dean was "loud";)

Gert Scholtz

Gert Scholtz

5 years ago #18

#29
Sara Jacobovici Thank you Sara! I guess I am the "silent-partner" then :)

Sara Jacobovici

Sara Jacobovici

5 years ago #17

Love it!! Congratulations to you both Dean Owen. Dean, it's not too hard to guess which are yours; it's the tone of voice.

Gert Scholtz

Gert Scholtz

5 years ago #16

#26
Maja Vujovic Thank you Maja. As long as I don't need to learn to count in Spanish. Maths was never my strong point :)

Gert Scholtz

Gert Scholtz

5 years ago #15

#21
Lisa Gallagher I used to think - naivelyat age 20- that English will get you anywhere. Now it is clear that Hindi, Mandarin and Spanish are becoming the new world languages. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Gert Scholtz

Gert Scholtz

5 years ago #14

#9
Ken Boddie The telex! Does go back some time. Very true what you say about asking Ken - if you ask it might be maybe, and maybe might become yes - you never know unless you take the first step. Thanks for the comments.

Lisa Gallagher

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #13

#22
I wish I was in my 20's at times Dean Owen. They do say it's much easier to learn a new language when your younger.

Dean Owen

Dean Owen

5 years ago #12

#21
Thanks Lisa Gallagher. I think picking up Chinese or Hindi is pretty easy for a 20 yr old. I see American students here picking up Chinese in 2 yrs. I picked up Japanese in 2. At my age now, 9 yrs in China and I am hopeless. My brain only has capacity for 2 languages it seems.

Lisa Gallagher

Lisa Gallagher

5 years ago #11

This was great Dean Owen! Very wise men. I tried to learn spanish and had a very tough time, isn't Hindi and Chinese even tougher to learn? I would love to learn new languages but I need to know, how do people do it that have never used any language except English? Any suggestions? Loved this- "Email not working for you? Pick up the damn phone! " Right?! It seems too many people prefer email or texting to real conversations anymore. I still prefer the phone unless it's a short message and doesn't turn into a conversation via a keyboard. I still have a landline, and always will. My cell is used only when I'm on the road or for quick texts that don't require a call.

Gert Scholtz

Gert Scholtz

5 years ago #10

#19
James McElearney Thanks for the share James!

Gert Scholtz

Gert Scholtz

5 years ago #9

#7
Thanks Dean Owen but you know I only added no 19 thinking that I had contributed half. Great to work with your worldly wisdom.

Gert Scholtz

Gert Scholtz

5 years ago #8

#7
Dean Owen Thanks Dean but as you

Kevin Pashuk

Kevin Pashuk

5 years ago #7

All great points Dean Owen, I think my list to my 20-year-old self would be much longer, and probably end up sounding like a lecture - which as a 20 year old I wouldn't have listened to.

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #6

I failed miserably on # 19 having said that 2 + 2 = 5 right :-)

Gert Scholtz

Gert Scholtz

5 years ago #5

#8
Irene Hackett. A "rocking" thank you to you Irene!

Gert Scholtz

Gert Scholtz

5 years ago #4

#5
Catalina \. Thank you Catalina. There is indeed more to come from D&G!

Dean Owen

Dean Owen

5 years ago #3

#9
Me too Ken Boddie, not a big fan of listicles at all. But Gert (blame Gert) Scholtz liked my Entrepreneur list from last month and suggested we do one, so here it is (my 2nd and last ever, I promise!). Telex - now there is a word long lost buried! I remember trading Japanese Government Bonds, and we had to wait for the Telex for confirmation the order was executed. Meanwhile these monstrous contracts could move either way and there was nothing you could do but twiddle your thumbs.

Ken Boddie

Ken Boddie

5 years ago #2

Hey, guys, Dean Owen. I usually shy away from list posts, but you guys are veterans and so I'm glad I broke one of my few rules and had a peek. If I may add my tuppence worth, I would tell my twenty something self that you don't get what you don't ask for. The worst that anyone can say is "NO" and very often you'll be pleasantly surprised. As for changing technology and the internet, I remember when my first serious girlfriend was a telex operator, working at the cutting edge of technology in a room surrounded by rolls of punched paper tape. Then that facsimile thingamy became the best thing since sliced loaf. I also remember when Adam was a lad and Eve brought home a pet snake. 😉

Dean Owen

Dean Owen

5 years ago #1

#1
#4 #5 #6 #2 #3 Thanks all - Just to note that all the good ones were the amazing Gert Scholtz who I believe is hard at work on the next instalment, a light hearted sports flick coming to a screen near you.

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