Acorn Levels

If you accidentally landed here – oops – you probably want to start with MBA options. This is for invited students and former students only.

If you landed here by invitation, welcome!

If you’ve been invited to the Acorn program you might want to do some more digging before (or after) our chat. This page is intended to answer your high level questions. Let me know if you think there’s something missing.

The Acorn program was always there in the background, but the events of 2016 really spurred some of my family clients to action. I see the Acorn program as helping you become the complete adult. You know stuff about stuff that most people will never know much less have access to. Your family either is a family with understanding of opaque markets – real estate and art being my personal favs – but even Bond markets are not transparent, or you’ve spent time around those folks. You may not be fully aware of just how unbalanced access to opaque markets is.

And you’re already in . . . or at least close.

Let’s capitalize on that window of opportunity without throwing out your want-to-build-a-better-world spirit. You can’t do it their way (whoever the they is in your life), you really have to do it your way. But that means getting the hard and soft skills to prepare you properly. This isn’t about feeling what’s right or what you feel like doing. This is about finding something that matters enough for you to spring out of bed each day, ready to build. Think of me as your personal strategy coach with an emphasis on increasing your intellectual depth and breadth. #MathMatters

Let’s get your Give a Shit in high gear and focused productively.

It’s like joining … “A positive, productive slightly secret society.”

Ultimately that’s what our work has always been about. That’s why my alum spent more time on Number Properties than any other GMAT or GRE curriculum. Yes, the basics of numbers (the beauty??), but also the building blocks for everything else in quant. No skrimping. Why do less when you can do more?

You want to be smarter, faster, more flexible and stronger. Mental agility where it counts. Better quantitative and qualitative problem solving.

Acorns are often tasked with handling family investments and business(es) or have aspirations to make big moves in industry. All of you are directly or indirectly involved with finance, real estate, and politics/diplomacy. You need a place to have private conversations particularly concerning your life objectives: personal and professional. You know I’m not always peaches to deal with. I can be pushy. #SorryNotSorry

You also know I have your best interests – yours specifically – at heart. While I may have worked with several family members for test prep, it is very rare to accept multiple family members into the Acorn program. I only accept multiple folks from the same family if I can prevent conflict of interest.

Everyone must demonstrate at least a baseline of competence across our disciplines: funding things, running things, and adulting. The first year of our work is often the most intense. If you have finished the MBA, you may have a leg up, but the material you cover as an Acorn is not limited to MBA program material. (and to be fair, you can bet I’ll push you a bit harder *smirk*)

In your teens you get points just for not breaking things. In your twenties you get points for showing up. Then it gets more complicated. Your thirties are where you make or break your next 20 years. You can still get points for looking active, but then you transition into the phase of points for making others look good. By the time you reach your 50s, there are no more easy points.

Do you want to be chasing points or do you want to make impact?

We’re preparing you for something the MBA is not. You’re going to Build Better.

The 10,000′ Level

Long term objective: Identify and systematically build toward long term personal and professional fulfillment

Short term objectives: tactics for you

This is a difficult process and I will ask you to reach beyond your comfort zone – many times – always with an eye toward your authentic long term objectives. It is such a privilege for me to work with bright, future captains of industry. My personal objective is to help you uncover your actual long term calling and “your truth” whatever that may mean to you. Tactically speaking we cover at least the following major areas:

Finance (Funding Things):

  • Banking
  • Accounting
  • Opaque Asset classes (Real Estate, Art, etc.)

Operations (Running Things):

  • Industry
  • Consumer
  • Services versus Products

Personal Development (Integrating Life and Work):

  • Skills vs Interests
  • Goals vs Objectives
  • Paths forward
  • Graduate school options
  • Tactics

Your Best Life

Less obviously we stress test your hypothesis about what your best life looks like.

You will use the personal insights clarified in 1-1 work to create adaptable action plans. The Acorn program allows me to give you private support to make big jumps. This is particularly important if you are expected to take over a family business or portfolio. Either way, this is the environment to work through your hypotheses productively, efficiently. We work on what you need to do to move forward while strengthening your foundation for future-proofing your execution ability. Many of my Acorn grads have gone on to build their own businesses, take control of the family assets, fund fellow acorns, employ fellow acorns and even marry fellow acorns! It’s a closely held group that spans 6 continents and is gaining momentum. The first acorns are finally taking over for the families and this is on the rise. The next 10 years the Acorns will collectively see a massive shift of wealth and are preparing to capitalize on it. The work you do today determines how well you can capitalize on this shift.

Happy is for moments. Fulfilled is for a lifetime. 

Flavors:

Making a Move: Acorn (1st year*)

The regular Acorn program is a minimum 1 year commitment. We have a lot to cover. Unless there’s a “situation”, we start with independently, scientifically validated assessments of your current path and skills. We focus on the skills and interests that drive quantitative and qualitative methods for problem identification and solving. Addition, subtraction – yes, sure, but also your risk aversion, diction, presentation, and socialization skills. I track the things we need to cover and adjust your tactical plan based on where you really are. If there’s a “situation” – we handle that first then do the assessments. It’s a juggling process.

You will get to know a lot about yourself, the real way *sh*t* works in the adult world, how to be pragmatic without losing heart, and how to adapt without giving up hopes and dreams or compromising your real values.

Our interaction is 1-1 driven so we can be mindful of challenges in your day-to-day. As things ramp up at work, we can peel back without losing momentum. As time frees up, we double down. This is the time we hash through as many iterations as we need to align your long term personal and professional goals with your personal values. You do the work I ask, I’ll handle the juggling.

Acorn SIGN UP 

Bare Bones – aka Acorns Lite

For those on the fence or who aren’t ready this year, there is a “lite” version of the acorn program. You get access to all the material, all the courses on the site in addition to material created specifically for you, quarterly 1-1 appointments to help you make meaningful progress, and my monthly Office Hours. You drive your process. I’m here to support you in your process. If you’re super busy or not ready for a big jump yet, start here.

Acorn SIGN UP 

Acorn Alum

You are rocking and rolling already. We’ve worked together significantly. I’m here to keep you moving. I’m here when you have questions or concerns about next steps that your other sounding boards just can’t handle.

Whether you are taking over a family business, managing your family’s portfolio, working on your MBA, or advancing your career, this is not something to do on your own. You need a well-educated mentor who understands the ins and outs of your world who can steer you in the right direction for you.

Plus, now that I’m formalizing the Alum group, we will – soonish – have a more formal way to connect you guys. 2019 is the first year for this and I’m listening to what you really want and need. It’s a work in process and I am eternally grateful you are joining the journey.

Let’s do this.