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The most important thing to understand about finance is that it’s not the most important thing…Finance is something you need to understand because if you don’t understand it, it will take over…You have to understand the game you’re playing so that you can make the right choices…you have to put the service bit before the profit bit…you have to genuinely be of service.

Steven Wilkinson

This conversation blew my mind.

Today I’m joined by Steven Wilkinson (@goodandprosper), founder and managing director of investment company Good and Prosper. In this episode Steven teaches me how to understand finance, how capitalism becomes corrupt (and whether capitalism even exists), inflation, value, trading, pricing, poetry, long walks in nature, and everything in between.

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Good and Prosper

In this episode we cover…

  • The origin of arrogance; Red setters (4:00)
  • Steven Wilkinson often goes on weeks long walks through the backcountry with his dog, and blogs about it. What lessons does he learn from being in nature? (10:00)
  • Steven Wilkinson has studied finance his entire life. What are the most fundamental principles of money and capitalism that everyone should know? (25:00)
  • Peter Drucker once said that profit is an arbitrary construct. What does that mean? (38:00)
  • Steven Wilkinson argues that we ‘don’t really have capitalism.’ Why? (41:00)
  • And if it’s true that we don’t have capitalism, then how does Steven Wilkinson consider competition? (49:00)
  • Steven Wilkinson says that “demand is predicated by problems.” How should entrepreneurs and creators think about solving problems for people? (53:00)
  • “You need energy producing interests” (1:03:00)
  • What does an entrepreneur do, exactly? And how can business be used as a force for good? (1:10:00)
  • Businesses must always be seen as dynamic bio-entities, not as machines (1:17:00)
  • The point of profit (1:22:00)
  • Steven Wilkinson’s book recommendation for understanding entrepreneurship and finance (1:27:00)
  • The unsustainability of scaling your business too large and too fast (1:31:00)
  • “Writing isn’t difficult. Thinking is difficult.” (1:36:00)
  • The link between finance and poetry (1:40:00)
  • Parting words (1:50:00)

Mentions

Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

Bruce Lee

Peter Drucker

Profit First by Mike Michalowicz

The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz

The Trouble with Poetry by Billy Collins

Robert Frost

Friedrich Shiller

John Milton

Ogden Nash

Please enjoy!

Cheers to your good health,

Paul

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