Every now and then we come across people who are very thoughtful about every aspect of their lives. A few of them are articulate enough to share their clarity of thought with us. One of them is Graham Weaver, a private equity investor as the subject says. A couple of months ago, we did feature a speech he gave to the graduating class at Stanford Business School about How to live an Asymmetric Life. Here’s another interview where he shares his thoughts about aspects ranging from marketing to health and parenting. We reproduce a couple of them here:

About having a defence deck in our marketing presentations:

“The ‘offense deck’ says, ‘Here are the three or four reasons why you have to buy this company. This is why you have to own it.’ And you can be a little aspirational — not untruthful, but aspirational — in selling the dream and the vision.

The ‘defense deck’ is what’s probably more interesting, which is, ‘What are all the reasons they’re not going to want to invest or not going to want to buy?’ So when we fundraise, we have a defense of, ‘Here are all the objections.’ By the way, if you sat down for 10 minutes and just listed out all the objections, you’re almost never going to have someone come up with one you didn’t come up with.

The objections aren’t that complicated. They’re going to be things you generally already know. And then, here’s the counterintuitive part: you actually want to bring all of the defense into the meeting. So for example, if someone says, ‘You have no track record,’ what I what to say is, ‘You’re probably thinking, I have no track record.’ And then they’re like, ‘Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m thinking.’ So you’re gaining credibility, and then you have the opportunity to move them from there.

A lot of people get out of that meeting, and they say, ‘Oh, thank God, my lack of track record didn’t come up at the meeting.’ But then it comes up behind closed doors, and you never actually have an ability to dissuade someone of that objection.

So the counterintuitive part is to make the ‘defense deck’ and talk about it in the meeting. If they don’t invest, fine, but you got to go down swinging and giving your best pitch on those on those objections.”

About parenting:

“I think the biggest obstacle to enjoying kids and the biggest misconception is that you’re going somewhere.

So you’ve got to teach your kid to walk, then they’re in kindergarten, now you’ve got to get them ready for first grade, and then you gotta get them to go to this, and it’s almost like, there’s somewhere to go.

The best thing I could say is that the point of your kid playing Little League when they’re seven is to play Little League when they’re seven. It’s not to play in the majors. It’s not to play in high school, college, whatever. Maybe they do that, maybe they don’t.

But if you can have each thing you do with your kids be the whole thing. Like, it’s just about this. Because I mean, getting there is they’re gone, right? So that’s not a great goal.

It took me a while to figure that out. I had this mentor of mine give me this big talk about how, ‘Hey, your, your kid’s not going to play baseball in college. It’s about now.’ It sounds a little cliché, but if you can approach each experience with your kids that the whole point is just that one experience they’re having. It’s not that they need to go to this and get there and do something. I think that’s probably the best advice I could give.”

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