Debunking the myth that we need to suffer to succeed

Photo by Maksym Kaharlytskyi on Unsplash

Does life need to be hard for us to be successful? Malcolm Gladwell famously wrote that a big chunk of high-achievers in business went through childhood pain or trauma. It is usually related to the loss or absence of a parent. These people tend to “conform” less, as they have already been through a traumatic experience, and end up developing a stronger resistance to pain and rejection.

For example, Steve Jobs was an adopted child and was made aware of it from a very young age. His biography brings several passages suggesting that being abandoned was always a driving force…

Why the concept of merit might be the thing holding us back

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What defines merit?

Is it hard work? How do we effectively measure who works more than the others? If you are breaking bricks in Kigali, you suffer more than someone sitting in an air-conditioned room in Amsterdam. Yet we all know that the latter is rewarded by society more than the former. Hard-work is a construct created by us to infuse the illusion of merit into our endeavors and not the other way around. If I got there, it indeed was because I worked hard. Even if we did not, we do unconsciously fool ourselves into belief.

Who did not…

Building your organization’s memory palace.

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How much time did you waste by trying to figure out the processes left by a person who left your company abruptly? How many indecipherable spreadsheets did you have to work on daily? How many pages of useless and confusing process documentation did you have to go through in your career?

According to the Work Institute Retention Report, in 2018, 41.4 million U.S. workers voluntarily left their jobs. Employee voluntary turnover exceeded 27%. As people become less loyal to their companies and seek more significant opportunities elsewhere, employers are left with a big issue, managing the lost knowledge.

Companies spend countless money and time due to faulty knowledge management

Business gurus…

The importance of building pillars in times of crisis

Photo by: Author / Credit: Spitfire Pizzaria

Rarely in our lives do we take the time to think about the path we have been on so far. For many people, COVID-19 was a time of mourning, financial, and personal distress. Understandably, for many people, 2020 is a year to forget. But while many struggled, some success stories have emerged. Stories of people driven by necessity or will, luck or skill — but still ended up using a time of affliction to build the foundation for their future success.

Recently I reached out to a friend who owns a pizzeria in a beach town in Brazil. I sheepishly…

How Ronaldo elevated the Brazilian football league exposure and revenue forever

Image by: Agência Brasil. License: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Brazil License/

It was the end of 2008. The traditional Brazilian football club Corinthians came from a painful relegation in 2007. After a one-year stint at the Brazilian league second division, it prepared to return to the country’s football elite. Meanwhile, the club organized a masterful deal. In secret, it was negotiating the return of football legend Ronaldo to Brazil. The goal was to make him a symbol of the club’s new times inside and outside the field. The news of the conversations eventually leaked to the press.

The Brazilian newspaper Placar dedicated a whole page to mock the fact. It seemed…

If the past can be used as a prediction, the 2009 Financial Crisis already showed the way.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

It is hard to think about a positive effect on the Coronavirus crisis that astonished the world in 2020. The unexpected positive impact will be a lot of opportunities for talented and hard-working people. And an improvement in businesses and services like never seen before. Well, since 2009, at least.

Did you ever go to a restaurant and was astonished on how bad the quality of food and service was? Were you impressed on how this business might have stood with its doors open in sometimes very prime real estate? …

It is time to say goodbye

Photo by Nastuh Abootalebi on Unsplash

We had such a great run.

I still remember getting to know you. I came riding my bike in what was, so far, sunny weather. Suddenly, things turned for the worse. The weather went to crap, and it started to pour for thirty minutes — the exact thirty minutes I was riding my bike to meet you. It was not a good start. Even though I looked like crap and cursing queen Beatrix, Victoria, and Margrethe II, you still welcomed me with open arms. You were warm and comforting, had hot chocolate, offered me some toilet tissues so I could…

How the biggest opportunity might not be the one right in front of you

Cullen328 photo by Jim Heaphy / CC BY-SA (

In 1849, one of the biggest influx of people in the history of the United States started. More than 300,000 people migrated to the state of California in less than a year. These people came from all around the world, half arrived by sea and half came overland. Most of the newly arrived were Americans. Yet the gold rush attracted thousands from Latin America, Europe, Australia, and China. Their goal was simple. They wanted to capitalize on the biggest opportunity in the world at the time. Finding and mining gold in America.

The precious metal was first discovered in the…

How industries create complexity in order to sell simplicity

Image by: Diego Delso. Copyright: CC-BY-SA 3.0 (

I come from a country known for its bureaucracy. Brazil is a country where opening a company takes on average 11 procedures and around 90 days of work. It ranks 124th in ease of doing business (sandwiched between Senegal and Paraguay). Companies willing to pay correctly their taxes employ 100-people tax departments just to be sure that it is filed correctly. It is a country that has a whole industry dedicated to paper-pushing (called “cartórios”). And another to speed up document issuing (called “despachantes”). It wasn’t long ago that the families running it were the richest ones in town. Nothing…

Bruno GM

Participates in modern corporate life and rediscovered himself in sport. Suffers daily in both, taking the occasional pleasure in writing while traveling.

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