14 May Wisdom: A Conversation With An Experienced Investor And Venture Capitalist
Yesterday I had the pleasure of having an hour long chat with one of the downtown Las Vegas community’s leaders and he shared some of his uniquely “zen” philosophies with me. After years on Wall Street doing business the traditional way, private equity investor Henry Kang decided to shift the way he does business. His wisdom stuck with me, so I had to share it with you.
“Do business in a very different way. My business became about who you do it with rather than the what you were doing. Today, I do things on a handshake and on trust rather than on contracts. I try to invest in people. The greatest litmus test is the people. People is my focus. My fund has been fully invested for the past couple of years, so a large part of my job now is portfolio management and coaching the founders we invest in. Wall Street doesn’t care how you part ways with people, but I do. When things don’t go right, we make sure there is transparency and we focus on that. I find it much more fulfilling and enjoyable to do business this way.”
“You have to make a decision in life as to what is most important to you. Is it the transactions and the size of your wallet or is it about the people around you and the relationships? It’s not easy. While I may be there, not everyone is there and they want to see it, but the ultimate realization is that everyone wants to be in this place. Not everyone is actually there.”
“The real trick of this game is being a good judge of character. All good CEOs are just great judges of character. If you can figure those things out, deciding who to invest in and who to work with becomes easy.”
“The ultimate luxury in life is being able to choose who you work with.” -Henry Kang