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Ari Emanuel’s Lessons to Live By: Stay Close to Intellectual Superiors, Fail

Ari Emanuel's Lessons to Live By: Stay Close to Intellectual Superiors, Fail

Hard-driving agent and WME co-CEO and new MOCA board member Ari Emanuel (who inspired Jeremy Piven’s Ari Gold in “Entourage”) has posted a list of “Six Lessons I Live By” on LinkedIn. Bullet-point existential guides from the uber-successful tend to be littered with Hallmark platitudes, and Emanuel’s is no exception. He does, however, focus on humility, which cuts through the hackneyed life-plan catnip a bit: Included in his advice are the imperative to “surround yourself with people smarter than you” and the warning that “[your daily] schedule makes you dumber.”

Check out Charlie Rose’s must-see interview with the Emanuel brothers. Ari clearly looks up to his formidable siblings, then Congressman on the rise, now mayor of Chicago Rahm, and physician/author Ezekiel, who grew up arguing around the dinner table and were sent to Israel every summer.

Highlights from the list below:

1. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and move out of their way.

If you feel like you know everything, you’re wrong. I know what I don’t know and then I find partners who can teach me.

3. Fail often, fail quickly.

Nobody fucks up like I do, but you’ll never succeed unless you take risks. Big ones. In 2009, we took Endeavor, a company that was doing incredibly well, and merged it with the oldest talent agency in the world. From a cultural and organizational standpoint, it was a big risk… It’s a better company – period. You have to lead by example if you want to promote a culture where risk-taking is rewarded.

4. Your schedule makes you dumber.

Force yourself outside of your daily schedule… At the very least, you’ll be more interesting. At the most, you’ll take your business in new and bigger directions.

5. You only get one shot – make it count.

I learned this the painful way. After being hit by a car and lying face-down in the middle of Wilshire Boulevard, I was confronted with a whole lot more than my mortality… You’ve heard it before, but life is not a dress rehearsal. Don’t waste your time (or mine).

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