My parents were high school teachers, and we were told to focus on education. Dad was the first graduate in his family EVER – got 2 bachelor’s and a master’s degree. Mom was the first woman to finish high school in my Dad’s family. She got 2 bachelor’s and a master’s degrees when 76! Between my 2 sisters & our spouses, we have 14 master’s degrees. We value education.

I graduated from MIT but did not achieve the sustained success I thought I deserved.

I was the first in the family to travel overseas for higher education, and the only one to graduate from an elite school. To my father, family and friends, I could do no wrong. I knew I needed help & guidance but had nobody to turn to. I was surrounded by people who thought I needed no help! So, I looked outside the family for  role models, coaches and mentors – and for answers to ‘what was holding me back’.

Are you surrounded by people who think you need no help?

Would you rather fail than let anybody else know you need help?

Would you like to find somebody who’s been in your shoes who can guide you?

Yes on all three counts? I’ve been in your shoes.

I became a voracious reader, watched videos, attending conferences and personal development classes,… I made some progress. I found many of ‘gurus’ teaching the theory of success, but few helped me implement the theory. Many ‘smart’ people have blind spots – we tend to see what we want to see; and  surround ourselves with people who constantly remind us of how smart we are (we ignore/avoid any ‘truth tellers’) – they were not the ‘truth tellers’. Pretty soon, we descend into a negative spiral of mediocrity – in ‘THE SMART BUBBLE’.

At the suggestion of my friend and mentor Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, I introspected and interviewed over a hundred achievers and non-achievers – recent graduates, Nobel Prize winners to CEOs. I also interviewed people making lots of money and wealthy people. Here’s what I found:

  1. There are stark differences between achievers & non-achievers
  2. Achievers were highly self-aware of their enablers & disablers
  3. Achievers lead intentional lives
  4. Achievers have a support group – people on a similar quest AND truth-tellers they listened to

I’ve spoken about my learnings at several elite institutions and to alumni groups. My talk, WHY MANY SMART PEOPLE ARE NOT VERY SUCCESSFUL to one Top 5 school’s alumni group drew OVER 5 TIMES the expected number of attendees. I knew then… that many smart people want to learn HOW to become more successful.

I hired 2 psychologists who boiled a long list of classic ‘inhibitors’ that impede smart people down to 15 psychological factors – and then developed solutions and worksheets. I can help you.

You can take the ‘Smart but not successful? Find out why?’ assessment at:

Details of my Master Class on how smart people can become more successful are at:

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