Mike Malatesta

Entrepreneur | Author | Coach

Mike Malatesta

Entrepreneur | Author | Coach

Dave Liu – Make Yourself a Unique Set of 1 (302)

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Dave Liu

Dave Liu is a 30-year veteran of Wall Street and Silicon Valley. He is a business consultant, author, investor, and philanthropist. He began his Wall Street career at Goldman Sachs before moving on to Jefferies, where he worked his way up from analyst to managing director and co-head of the investment banking division for digital media and the internet. He worked on more than $15 billion in transactions for numerous businesses, including Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and Yelp.

After retiring from Wall Street, he created four businesses in the fields of technology, merchant banking, asset management, and media. He recently co-founded Reel8, an NFT marketplace for exclusive moments for films created by Asian filmmakers. Dave serves as the CEO advisor and investor for a number of businesses, including Internet Brands WebMD, MobilityWare, FIGS, and Vobile, some of which have grown to multi-billion dollar “unicorn” status. He also has assets in the entertainment sector, including Stampede and TEG+, as well as in the consumer sector, including Philz Coffee and Francesca’s. One of the biggest media firms in Europe, ProSiebenSat.1 Media, employed him previously as CEO advisor.

Dave Liu currently serves on the Executive Board of the Management & Technology Program at the University of Pennsylvania and on the Trust Advisory Committee of Tau Beta Pi, the oldest national engineering honor society. He is also Chairman of the Philanthropic Advisory Council of Smile Train, the largest cleft-focused organization. Finally, he is Vice Chairman of AsAmNews, one of the top news sites for Asian America.

Dave Liu’s Creative Endeavors

Dave is a prolific writer and artist who enjoys creating humorous content. He holds numerous certificates in creative and satirical writing as well as screenwriting. He publishes a career advice column called Breaking Bamboo, and a cartoon series called The ABC Life.

Dave wrote a humorous career book called The Way of the Wall Street Warrior: Conquer the Corporate Game Using Tips, Tricks, and Smartcuts.” The book was cited by Bloomberg as one of the Best Books of 2021 and achieved Best Seller status with Porchlight Book Company and Amazon, a Top 10 Best Seller in business finance. It was ranked by Amazon as the Top #1 Hot New Release in two categories: business finance and economics. He wrote the book to support underrepresented communities in achieving their professional goals and promised to donate all of the book’s net earnings to charity.

And now here’s Dave Liu.

Full transcript below

Video With Dave Liu on “Make Yourself a Unique Set of 1”

Watch Dave Liu Introducing His Book

Visit Liucrative.co to Learn More About Dave Liu’s Business

Get Dave Liu’s Book – The Way of the Wall Street Warrior: Conquer the Corporate Game Using Tips, Tricks, and Smartcuts

Connect with Dave Liu on LinkedIn

Follow Dave Liu on Instagram

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Podcast with Dave Liu. Make Yourself a Unique Set of 1.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

people, book, life, dave, career, thinking, wall street, situations, called, years, part, defensive mechanisms, interviewed, frankly, early 30s, happened, clients, world, feel, experiences

SPEAKERS

Dave Liu, Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta  00:06

Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the How’d It Happen Podcast powered by WINJECT Studios. I’m so happy to have you here as I am every week, and I have an amazing success story to share with you today. I’ve got Dave Liu on the podcast. Dave, Welcome to the How’d It Happen podcast.

Dave Liu  00:27

Thanks, Mike. Thanks for having me.

Mike Malatesta  00:29

Well, I’ve been looking forward to this as I as I told Dave, I heard about Dave. Initially, I heard him on Mark Goulston’s podcasts, and I can’t remember the name of it, but it’s a good it’s a very good podcast, just look up his name. GOULSTON. And fun fact about Mark. If you remember the movie, Super Bad. Dave, do you remember the movie Super Bad? Yeah, I do. So Mark’s house was used in that movie, where they had the party. And that’s just a fun fact. And super disconnected to what we’re doing here today. But at least something that I thought was kind of interesting.

Dave Liu  01:12

Maybe we should have his podcast outside his house. Oh, that would be

Mike Malatesta  01:15

so funny. Or maybe we could get Jonah Hill on with us and have the podcast to talk about his experience. Yeah, that would be cool. So anyway, I heard Dave there. And he’s got such an interesting background story and perspective. That was one of the things that really got me was just sort of perspective on things. So I’m so happy to have him here today to share his story with you. So let me tell you a little bit about Dave. Before we get started, so Dave, is a 30-year veteran of Wall Street and Silicon Valley. He is an advisor, author, entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist, started his career on Wall Street at Goldman Sachs. And then join Jeffrey’s where he rose from the entry level, analyst position to the executive ranks of managing director and CO head of the digital media and internet Investment Banking Group. He’s worked on over $15 billion of transactions for hundreds of companies, including Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and Yelp, some you may have heard of, after retiring from Wall Street. Dave became an entrepreneur and started four companies in technology Merchant banking, asset management, and, and MIDI. Dave, when when was that retirement?

Dave Liu  02:29

So it was a little bit of a sliding scale. But essentially, I gave my retirement when I turned 40. And then it took about three more years for me to fully extract myself from the firm, because Wall Street is a little bit like the mafia. You know, you don’t leave the mafia. The mafia leaves you

Mike Malatesta  02:46

Yeah. Okay for years. Okay. All right. So. So his most recent company, is real eight, ar e l eight, and an NFT marketplace for exclusive moments for films created by Asian filmmakers. Dave is also aspiring artist. This is where you’ll get a little sense of his sense of humor, and writer who loves to draw and write funny. He has multiple certifications in creative and satirical writing, as well as screenwriting. And I definitely want to explore that. He publishes a career advice column called breaking bamboo, and a cartoon series called The ABC life. Dave wrote a humorous career book called The Way of the Wall Street Warrior. Subtitle is “Conquer the Corporate Game Using Tips, Tricks and Shortcuts.” And this is the book it’s definitely worth a read. You can see that I have many, many dog ears in this book because as I went through it, he’s got so many Dr. Cohn muncom. Dave is and you might call them lucrative, lucrative-isms. I’m not sure but it’s a really great book. You can pick it up on Amazon or on his website or or wherever. worth a read. He published that book in November of 2021. Which by the way, Dave, is when I published my book at the end of November in 2021. These book, excuse me, Facebook was cited by Bloomberg as one of the best books of 2021. Congratulations. And it’s so cheap bestseller status. Hang on just a second here. very unprofessional, but I had to clear my throat their best-selling status with foresight book company and Amazon where it was the best top 10 best seller in business finance. Again, congratulations on all of that Dave, that 100% of the proceeds from his book are going to charity. And finally, Dave, went to University of Pennsylvania UPenn for those of you who do Go there. I think that’s what they call it. Graduated with a BS in economics from the Wharton School, he got his MBA from Harvard Business School. So he’s definitely been in the higher echelons of the academic world as well as the corporate world. He currently serves on the executive board of the management and technology program at the University of Pennsylvania. And he is the chairman of the philanthropic Advisory Council of Smile Train, the largest cleff focused organization. Finally, Dave, is the vice chairman of ASCE am news, one of the top news sites for Asian Americans. You can reach Dave at his website, which is lucrative LIUCRA T i v.com. So it’s his name with turned into lucrative very nice. And you can pretty much find him anywhere on socials, either using lucrative or his name, Dave Liu, Li, you. So Dave, I start every podcast with the same simple question. And that is, how did it happen for you.

Dave Liu  06:06

So it depends on your definition of

Mike Malatesta  06:08

it. Okay,

Dave Liu  06:10

but if it is the journey that led to the soon to be 50 year old guy in front of you, achieving almost everything that I’ve desired in life, including, you know, a good career, flexibility to do whatever I want, you know, a wonderful family, I would say that, how it happened for me, for the first I say, 30 years of my life, it was primarily driven by fear, it was primarily driven by the potential that I would not realize my potential that I would end up in some office dungeon somewhere, cranking away on spreadsheets, and being completely irrelevant to humanity. And so I’d say that that certainly drove a lot of my initial drive my goals, my career. And then, you know, when I got into my 30s, and around 33, was when I achieved for many people, the pinnacle of Wall Street, you know, becoming a managing director and a co head of a major investment bank, in a group and you’re generating a lot of revenue for the firm and generating wealth for myself. It was at that point in my early 30s, where I think the fear started to dissipate, I think I realized that, you know, I think I’m going to be okay, you know, I think my family’s not gonna have to worry, I think I can support the people that I love. And I think that I will at least have a small.in you know, the the annals of history as someone that achieved a lot for what I was born with. And it was really at that point, wow, almost 20 years ago now, where I started to think about, okay, what’s my purpose? What is my legacy? What do I really want to give back? When all said and done. And as we’ll learn in this discussion, I think you’ll learn more about me. I’ve been very choosy about where I focus my brainpower, and particularly my reading power. You know, as you as you cited earlier, I had the opportunity to go to arguably two of the top schools in the world. And I will tell you that there’s so much goodness about going to schools like that, but there’s so much badness as well. And I will say this is just my own pet view. But you know, the badness side is that we spent so much of our lives reading lots and lots and lots of books and lots of things. And I’m not sure that a lot of it, at least for me was really that relevant. Particularly if we’re trying to answer that unanswerable question, which is, what’s the purpose of life? Why are we all here? And so I really try to spend my time thinking about that question, you know, when I have some free time, and one of the things that had a huge impact on me, as a young man, particularly kind of in the 30s, when I was trying to get over that hump, if you will, and starting to think about, you know, what’s my purpose is looking at the Grand study, which was a longitudinal study that was done at Harvard. And it was a study where they essentially tracked the lives of a cohort of Harvard graduates over many, many, many years. And, you know, there were quite a number of famous members of that cohort, including the X, the President of the United States, a JFK, editor of The Washington Post’s several Secretaries of State. And what was really interesting to me was that they interviewed these men, and they were primarily meant they’re all men actually, given the nature of the study. And the times when the study was launched. They interview them every year, up until for in many situations up until their death, in order to determine what ultimately determines a healthy life, healthy, happy life healthy aging, is, I think, the way they defined it. And the results of that study, were really illuminating to me, because let me start with a negative one of the things that they found was that one of the behaviors, if you will, that was highly correlated with unhealthy aging, with unhappiness towards the end of your life, was alcohol abuse. And, you know, you can argue, you know, that that may be correlation that may be causation, but it certainly was highly present in those situations where, towards the end of these men’s lives, they were not happy, they were living a life where, you know, it has started to affect their mental health in a negative way. But on the positive side, what was really telling to me was that what really mattered to the healthy aging of these gentlemen, were really two things. One is essentially, their ability to deal with adversity. And I forget the exact word that was used in the study, but essentially, it was your ability to bounce back and have these defensive mechanisms to fight against the trials and tribulations of life. And the resiliency, if you will, against that. And then second, was the, the nature of the strong relationships that these men have towards the end of their lives. So were they were they still close to their family, to their siblings? Do they have a small circle of friends that would show up at their, essentially their deathbed, or at their funeral. And notice what was missing? Right? So there was no mention of money, there was no mention of power. And in fact, there was really no mention of things like quantity of relationships, but really more quality of relationships. So it wasn’t the number of followers you had, or, you know, the the Rolodex that you could call at any moment and have 1000s of people at your beck and call, what really mattered the most was these strong relationships that you had with a relatively small group of people. And so I share that all with you, because a lot of that is what drives me and has driven me over the last 1015 years since I got over that hump, and I made it if you will happen. And now I’m really trying to think about how do I continue to contribute back to society, but also live a live a good life, live a life where, you know, hopefully, when I’m at my deathbed, I look back and I say, yeah, not only did I accomplish everything I wanted to but you know, I’m happy with the way things turned out. And so that’s kind of what drives me now and is a really the core of a lot of things that I do.

Mike Malatesta  13:44

Okay. Yeah, thank you for laying all that down for us. I, I got a couple of questions as you were, as you’re going along there. And the first one is about this. Well, first of all, becoming a management Managing Director at 33. And kohat is that’s, that’s pretty young, right? As these things go, so congratulations on that you must really have something. But, you know, as you were talking about these, this study, the grant is called the Grand study or the grand study, the grand study. I had a couple questions on the relationships, and maybe this isn’t germane. But when you said that, you know, they had a couple of close relationships. Did they also focus on making friends with people who were younger than they Dave so that as you age, you’re, you’re sort of not aging out of your good group of friends, because I think that’s what happens to a lot of people too, you get so lonely, because your friends are dying and are becoming less active or whatever. I’m just curious if that was part of it if you remember or not, because it’s

Dave Liu  14:55

Yeah, it wasn’t. I don’t remember that being highlighted in this study. Okay. I think this was really more around when they interviewed the gentleman who seemed to be in relatively good spirits, and were living a happy life, towards the, frankly, towards the end of their lives, they determined that one of the elements that that drove their happiness was that they still had, like a small group of very strong, endearing relationships. Right. And so they certainly didn’t go into the notion of, you know, all your friends are dead, and they’re dying. But yeah, I do believe that that definitely would have an impact, right? It’s kind of like when I least read anecdotally that, you know, a wife or a husband dies. And they’ve been married for a long, long time, and then the spouse passes away shortly after, yeah, right, in a relatively short amount of time. So I definitely think there’s a correlation, I will say that I’ve been part of various organizations, some of which are really social clubs and organizations where we get together with other people. And we would do retreats, and things of that nature. And I was part of one where I was, frankly, probably the youngest member of that of that club. And I do think that it didn’t make a difference, that some of the members of the club were twice my age, and they could still share their experiences, their memories, and there’s something kind of nice to know that, you know, unless unless they’ve got hit by a car, you know, the chances are quite high that day will be around when I somebody who’s maybe twice his age, you know, passes away. And so I’ll always have his companionship. So yeah, I definitely think that there are some social clubs, some of which I was part of where that is definitely core to the structure, it’s always about, hey, let’s keep recruiting younger members. So that we don’t have this situation where, you know, our members are dying off. And, you know, the social element of the club starts to dissipate, because frankly, people are passing away.

Mike Malatesta  17:25

And there’s something about the, there’s, there’s, there’s a way for each demographic to be meaningful to one another. So you know, like, you’re around these older folks, and you’re learning from them, and from their experiences, and they’re around you, and they’re learning from your experiences and your energy and your, you know, the way you’re approaching things differently than them. I think there’s real power in in that. And as you mentioned, you’re about about 50, I’m 56. Now and I, I talked to my wife about this all the time, like we have, we have great friends, but we need to start making friends with younger people. Because when, you know, 10 years from now, a lot of our friends will be thinking about winding down. And I don’t want to be thinking about winding down, I want to be thinking about winding up. So I have to surround myself with people who are going to be thinking that that same way so that we can get continue to generate energy, you know?

Dave Liu  18:22

Oh, absolutely. Because because I think that you ultimately we’re creatures of stimulation, right? And you always want to be stimulated mentally, you know, particularly mentally as you get older, maybe less physically as you get older. And I think that a lot of that mental stimulation comes from the new and new experiences, and new ways of looking at things. And let’s face it, I think this is partly a evolutionary thing. It’s partly a defensive mechanism. But I think as we get older, we have a tendency to calcify around like the way we look at things, because let’s face it, if we’ve gotten this far, right, if we’ve gotten to 50, or 56, and we haven’t been hit by a car, we haven’t been eaten by a leopard or an animal, right? There’s a whole series of defensive mechanisms that we’ve built that have kept us alive. Yeah. And so we’re generally less receptive to new ways of thinking, particularly if they’re radically different from our own. And I think that you can get that newness, if you will, from the younger generations. I certainly see that in my work, I make investments and I sit on boards, a variety of different companies, primarily in technology and entertainment. And I have exposure to a lot of people who are at that steep part of their career curve. So they’re in their early 30s to early 40s. And they’re really trying to make a name for themselves and actually enjoy mentoring a lot of those people because they way pro quo is, let me teach you what I know what I learned the hard way. And then you tell me, what’s the world like today? Like how, how are people operating and working in this pandemic? Right? How are they thinking about hybrid work? How are we thinking about, you know, this crazy social media world that we live in, which which I didn’t grow up in. But either a lot of people are growing up in and, and it has huge implications for the way society operates. So I definitely think that being exposed to industries and people that are younger than you, I think, contributes to the spice of life, I think it really does contribute to the mental stimulation that I think we all need. Because if if you don’t, then frankly, you might as well be dead.

Mike Malatesta  20:50

I wonder if I sort of, I mean, unlike most people, I think I like to be right, you know, it’s sort of validates my experiences and stuff. But I wonder how you feel about this at that scene, it feels to me like the older I get, and this goes to the thinking thing that you’re being open, the less sure, I become about anything that I believed for a long time. Because I feel like sometimes I’ve locked myself into something that came out of good experience. I mean, it was it was valid at the time. But now holding on to it may not be the thing I need to be doing, what I may need to be doing is really opening up again, because what I’m, what what was true may not be continued to be true, or what I used to think, based on what I was exposed to, could now be a little different because I could be exposed to other things. How do you feel? How do you feel about that?

Dave Liu  21:53

So I’m a huge student of history. And that’s probably the one area that I’m so passionate about, I read a lot of history, I watched a lot of documentaries, and you know, I would pay to do that I enjoy so much. Okay, and one of the things that I’ve always reflected upon is where people really that evil back in the day, like were people really that bad. Because when you when you go back in time, and not even that far long ago, there’s a lot of behaviors and things that humanity has done that we look at and go like, that’s so bad, right? Evil, I can’t understand how humanity would allow slavery, I can’t understand how people treated other people this way, you know, etc. And look, don’t get me wrong. I think that there. I do think in general, I and this is more of a wishful thinking. But I do think that this is the case. I do think in general humanity is tacking more towards good than bad. Over time, I think I think we are learning more about what, what does it mean to be good versus evil. But I do think that it’s a lesson in constantly challenging your own beliefs, and constantly rethinking the way we do things. Because when things might I’m almost sure of is that 100 years from now, if people are listening to this podcast, and they’re trying to evaluate what was life like in 2022, I guarantee you, they’re gonna find so many things that we’re doing completely barbaric. I don’t know what they are, honestly. But I think about just 100 years ago, how different the world was, and how we looked at, you know, what the world was like, in 1922. And I guarantee you, you and I could create an Encyclopedia Britannica on all the things that we are just shocked, those things are going on and still going on today. Right? Yeah. So I do think that if you’re a student of history and humanity, I think it is very telling and a good exercise to constantly rethink, like the way you believe things the way you do things. Because I think if you don’t constantly reevaluate that, then I do think that you you go more into the darkness than into light. And I think one of the most powerful forces in nature, and I say this in business all the time to people that work for me and people I mentor, one of the most powerful forces in business, which I think is stronger than gravity is inertia. And I think that people generally have a tendency to just go with the flow, people have a tendency to just go with the way things are, and it usually takes very courageous and some sometimes stupid people to challenge the status quo to go against what everybody else views as norm. And so that’s why I think you see a lot of behaviors, a lot of beliefs that don’t change Each for a long period of time, until, you know, some really courageous people kind of step up. And eventually it starts to snowball, because they haven’t seen the right side that points out. There are some ways that we do things, some ways that we believe things that are not correct. And you see this, and I see this, in every aspect of the human race. I don’t I don’t just see this in politics. I don’t just see this in belief systems, I see this in corporate America, it’s constantly happening. And that’s why that old refrain about, you know, I can’t believe that company missed that opportunity. Or I can’t believe that there’s a whole swath of society that believes this or that, right, I really do believe it’s because partly because in the moment, these individuals think they’re right. And they don’t do what we just described, they don’t constantly rethink their belief system and recognize that, you know, maybe you are part of a society that 100 years from now is going to be viewed as having really backward thinking. And I think the only way you do that is you, you kind of do the the inside out or outside in review of the world and what you’re doing, you kind of put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and you look at everything somewhat objectively. And I don’t think we do that enough. In society.

Mike Malatesta  26:24

I’m really glad you brought that up. Because I it made me think that the present is a really interesting space to fill. Because in the present, you can have a perspective on something that happened 100 200 300 years ago, and you your perspective on it is from a present perspective, which makes it probably ill informed. Right? But easy, it’s easy, but LM formed. And also in the present, it’s very difficult, or impossible to be sure about the future. So you’re always in this kind of space where you can be, you can, if you want to, you can sort of be like high and mighty, like, I’m going to look back at what happened in the past. And I’m going to apply my present thinking to it, as you said, and, and feel superior, feel like I’m the better human. Right. And, and you can also look forward into the future, and be like, I know what’s best, I know what’s going to happen. And of course, there are no consequences to that. Because you you’re, you know whether they happen or not have absolutely nothing to do with with you, for the most for the most part. So yeah, I thought, I don’t know if that resonates with you. But it

Dave Liu  27:38

always does. And you know, you you’ve obviously been gracious enough to read through some light book. And you know that I’m a huge fan students of cognitive bias and behavioral economics. And the Godfather in that category is Professor Danny Kahneman. And he won a Nobel Prize for his life’s work around this area. And one of his books, his seminal work, Thinking, Fast and slow, has a whole area dedicated to this idea that we really are kind of two systems, we really are two different individuals we are we are individuals that live in the present, that are somewhat instinctual, that are somewhat guttural in terms of the way we react. And then there’s the other system of ours, which is the person that is much more analytical. It’s the part of you that analyzes like, Well, why did I get in my car today and run that red light? You know, was was? Was it my system? One just kind of going through the motions? Or was there something else? Another reason why I did that. And I think if you appreciate this idea that we are essentially very complex animals, and that we have things that we do somewhat routinely things that we do that really don’t tap our reservoir of analytics. And then we have another part of us that does, I think you actually have a better appreciation for human behavior, like why do people do the things they do? And to put a finer point on this related to what we’ve been discussing so far? The part of us that is very analytical, the part of us that is very, you know, prescriptive and scientific. That’s the part of us that essentially is the historian of our lives. That’s the part of us that goes back in time, and tries to justify why we did what we did. And what’s really interesting in the research that Professor Kahneman has done is that rarely is the view of the system to or the the part of us that’s the historian consistent with the the present consistent with what we actually did write this Here’s why. One of the career hacks that I talked about in my book, which has worked really well, for me throughout my entire career, is actually to make sure that I become Dave Lou, I become the historian of that interaction with a client or with an investor or with a subordinate or with my boss, because one thing is that I know for sure is that human memory is flawed. And that as time passes on, multiple people will have a different recollection of the same event. And I think this goes partly to the heart of what Danny Kahneman revealed in his research, which is that we really aren’t like singular rational beings. In fact, we are multifaceted with various recollections and various views of why we did what we did. And so I think the same thing applies to the human race on an aggregate level, I think that will happen is that 1020 years from now, it won’t be that long, we will, we will review the state of the world affairs in 2022, or one of the one of the really easy ways to see how times change and how the person that we are today is not really the person we will be 10 or 20 years from now is to look at media. And I just give you a homework assignment, like, and I do this all the time, go back and look at some films or books that you read in, you know, 2002, right. So not too, not too long ago. Right? And you’d be surprised how much of that hasn’t held up? How much of it you look at and go, Wow, I didn’t realize that, you know, these films, or these books, kind of treated women this way, right? Like, how is that acceptable back then? And but I guarantee you at the time, when you were watching or reading it, that probably didn’t come to the forefront, right, maybe, you know, your your inner voice was saying something way back in the back of your head going like, you know, maybe this isn’t that kosher, right? Maybe there’s something not cool about this, but as society, obviously, we accepted it, right. But now, I think that as society progresses, and we do more reflection, and you know, obviously more people have a voice, albeit probably more on social media, I think we’re highlighting more of these things. So I just want to put a little bit of finer point on it, because it is an area that I think about deeply. And I think about with the with the day blue of today be proud of what he did, you know, 1020 years ago, and, you know, 1020 years from now, will will my book hold up? Will my advice hold up? I don’t know, probably probably some element of it won’t. But I’m not sure what, what won’t, because otherwise, I wouldn’t have written it. Right.

Mike Malatesta  32:55

And you when you were talking about the, you know, people’s, how people’s memory fades, you know, over time about things. It felt to me, like you were saying, and I don’t think you use this particularly, or specifically in the book, but you may but it sounds to me like you were saying, okay, Dave, is if you own the story, you own the recollection of the story. So when you were talking about, you know, conversations with clients, or bosses or whatever, is that’s what I heard. Is that what you were saying? Or were you saying something different?

Dave Liu  33:29

No, that’s essentially what I’m saying. Particularly if you committed to writing?

Mike Malatesta  33:33

Yeah, you do say in the book makes, right. Yeah,

Dave Liu  33:36

absolutely. I mean, I give examples in the book. And this was a, this is an old tactic of mine that has worked really well, in many facets of my life is that, you know, if you’re, if you’re in a high stakes situation with people, whether that be negotiating a billion dollar deal, or something that where failure is not really an option, and nothing is ever perfect. So you have a situation with a client or a partner, and some of the tension comes out and there’s some feelings that are hurt, or they’re not happy with you, etc. But the ultimate ending is fine. You know, the ultimate outcome is like, everybody got what they wanted, and everyone’s happy. Those would be situations where I would make sure that I was the historian, I would, I would write the email that kind of summarize how we got here, right? And I’m being very honest, particularly when I was rising in my career, like I leave all the nasty parts out. Like why what why do I need to revisit all the things that we fought about? Right? Because because the outcome still worked out. Great, right? And then what I found many years later, after the fact is that, that email or that letter essentially becomes the, the the the authority that becomes the document that people look at and go like, you know, I remember things were tough. Good day, but I’m looking at these old emails and like, I think everything worked out all right, you know. And so I give examples of situations where I had some very tough conversations with clients, I still got them the outcome they wanted, probably at the time, you know, I wouldn’t be on the Christmas card list, right. But many years later they rehired me. Because I remember they looked at the outcome. And then they looked at some of the way that, you know, I characterize our interaction as a, you know, yeah, maybe I was mad at him at the moment, right? Because I thought we should be worth 10 billion and say, we only got us 8 billion. But at the end of the day, he got me a billion dollars, right. So it’s okay.

Mike Malatesta  35:37

I love that advice, too, by the way to sort of be the historian or control. And control is too strong of a word, but write the story, right? Because you then you really, you know, once you own the story, if everyone buys into it, it’s your story, and everyone’s good with it. Right? It’s like, okay, yes, thank you. Thankfully, someone did that. Right. And we’re not. Yeah, do you?

Dave Liu  36:00

I mean, I go back to what I said earlier, we’re, I’m a huge student of history. And if you look at history, I guarantee you history is more fiction than nonfiction. There are lots of situations where they didn’t have phones, they weren’t recording, they didn’t write stuff down. Right, like, I mean, it’s some person’s view of what happened. And oftentimes, it’s the victor. Oftentimes, it’s a man, oftentimes, it’s a Caucasian guy, right? Like, I mean, that’s just kind of the way things are. And so I think that, recognizing that, and then thinking about particular, if you’re trying to advance your career, how do I then use that to help myself, I think, is part of what I preach, you know, in my in my book,

Mike Malatesta  36:46

and let me go back to the grand study and purpose here for a second. You. You before you started talking about that you were talking about your you know, how your purpose has developed. And I’m wondering, Dave, when came the point in your career? Where, because I’m sure you had a purpose, you know, at Jeffrey’s and doing your investment, banking and being? You know, good, great, good, great at that. When did that start to change for you? And do you know why?

Dave Liu  37:23

I think it started changing my early 30s, when I had effectively grabbed that brass ring. So I knew that I had reached at least the pinnacle of the client facing side of Wall Street, I certainly could continue to go much higher if I wanted to be in, you know, administration, and ultimately, one day join the executive committee running the bank. But I certainly had reached what for many people define as the pinnacle on the client side. And at that point, I was in my early 30s, I was married, and my wife and I didn’t have children. But I knew that children was a big part having children was going to be a big part of the future of my life. And so my purpose started to shift. And I also got to a point where I could I could have line of sight towards building my nest egg. One of the things that I did was when I was in my early 30s, and started to make, you know, really, really good money, frankly, I determined that I wanted to be able to walk out on my own terms when I turn 40. And I, and I still preach this to people that frankly asked me for investment advice. I calculated what was my cost of capital? So what would I need to be able to generate from my savings, my nest egg, in order to live the life that I want it. And I’m not a extravagant guy at all, like I don’t, you know, I’m not a fast car guy. I don’t, I’m not a private jet guy. You know, I certainly like certain things in life. But when I did the math, it didn’t actually take a whole lot for me to be able to walk away and essentially live on the beach for the rest of my life. And so in my early 30s, not only did I grab that brass ring, and I knew that, okay, I’m actually pretty good at this. And if all things being equal, I can continue doing this for the rest of my life. But I also had line of sight to you know, if I work this hard for the next six, seven years, and I generate this amount of revenue and this amount of compensation when I turn 40, which is, you know, frankly, probably the latest I could have children. That’s a really interesting point in time, because that could be when I could have children right or the last children I would have right? That could be the point where I could walk out the door and live on the beach. If I wanted to. So I really set my mind to it at that point, I really started to think about, Okay, the next the next six, seven years, keep my head down, to try to do the best I can for my clients try to be the best internet banker on the planet, you know, and just crank and crush it. And then when when I, when I turned 40 I remember the promise I made to myself, way back when which was like, Don’t get caught up. Like a lot of other people in this rat race. Like you got it, you got to determine and remind yourself, what is important to you, you know, you mean myself, right and having a family and not being an absentee dad and being able to explore other things that I’ve always wanted to do, you know, like, be an entrepreneur, or be a writer or be a cartoonist, you know, all these other things I’ve always wanted to do, like, you got to start doing that now. Because otherwise, one day, you’re gonna wake up like a lot of these other older guys that you see, and you’re gonna be 5060 years old. And you’ll you’ll be you’ll be richer, you’ll have a lot more money than you have now. But you’re gonna look back on your life and go like, Where the hell did my life go? Right? Like, you know, not not only got like, you know, 1020 more, really good years left, right? I might run into health issues

Mike Malatesta  41:25

in when that can’t wait. So congratulations on that. But But when that time came, if so you, you know, you’re approaching 40, you’re getting to the end of this sort of timeframe you set for yourself? And those are great reasons. By the way, thank you for sharing those, was it? It still probably wasn’t easy, right? Because that, that you said inertia is sometimes stronger than gravity. But you had both, you had the inertia of being there and the gravity of dude, there’s a lot more here for you, you know, if you stay and, you know, fear of losses is often more powerful than then you know, what you could potentially gain and you’d have a lot, theoretically, at least a lot to lose from from. So did you did you vacillate on that decision? Or did you tell me how you were thinking?

Dave Liu  42:16

So I did. I do vacillate. But it was a really tough decision. I was coming off of the best year I ever had, I was starting to really hit my stride. Investment Banking is a tough business, because the stakes are so high, the fees are so high. And there’s really only about like, 10 or 12 banks in the world that really matter. And then everybody else, frankly, doesn’t matter. And we we had just kind of cracked into that, that that that exclusive club right after toiling away for 20 plus years. And so it was hard. It was hard. I mean, it was I liken it to Michael Jordan leaving the bowls, right. And I didn’t want to be Michael Jordan coming back and playing for the wizards. Like, I didn’t want to be that guy. Right. So so it was really, really hard. And I’ll tell you, when I started to tell my other partners that I was going to leave. I think most people thought I was crazy. Most people thought I was like, You’re insane. Or you’re going through an early midlife crisis. And my firm actually even offered to just have me take a sabbatical. So hey, you know what, get it out of your system, go go go do a walkabout and do what you need to do. And I’m sure you’ll be back because everybody comes back. And I think, I’m not sure on the exact timeframe. But I think that they had originally proposed that I take six months off, which is a lot. A lot happens in six months, particularly on Wall Street. And I think after about a month, I just felt bad. And I came back and I said, You know what, guys, like, I don’t want to take any more of your time and free money. Like, I’m leaving, like, I can’t do this. I want I want to there’s so many other things I want to do. I want to spend time with that point. I have a second son, my first son was three years old. He rarely saw me because I was always flying around the world pitching IPOs and big m&a deals. So after about a month, I came back and said no, no, guys, I really am going to leave. But I had grown up with the firm. I joined the firm, when I was essentially, you know, 20 years old. And I’ve been there my whole career. And that’s frankly a little rare for people in our generation to work for just one employer their whole career. And so I told them, Look, I’m not going to leave you guys in the lurch. Let’s figure out something where I can help you recruit somebody replace me. I can continue to work with the clients that are working with us because of me, but I’m not going to I’m not going to go after new clients and not going after new clients frees up a lot of time because investment banking is like a sales job, right? If you’re not out there, grabbing new clients, then you’re then you’re dying. So I was able to structure something with the firm where I stayed on in a special advisor role for another two to three years, I transitioned clients from me to my replacement. And I was also allowed to pursue some entrepreneurial things. So I started my own asset management firm, I started doing other things. So at the end of the day, it all worked out. But it did take quite a while like, I think formally, I finally resigned and left the firm at the age of 43. And that was a full three years after I told them I wanted to leave.

Mike Malatesta  45:52

Okay, so as you’re saying that I was wondering, you know, you’re saying that they probably thought you’re crazy, but I bet you there was a fair number who thought, Man, I wish I could do what he’s doing. Right. But I just can’t, I can’t not now. Not now.

Dave Liu  46:07

There were there were but you know, it’s so much. And this was probably a little aggressive of me to say this. But I think so much of what happens to us in life is self inflicted. I mean, there’s certainly things that are out of our control. But I don’t believe that when you look at people that work on Wall Street, I mean, Wall Street is still even to this day, one of the highest, if not among the highest compensated industries in America. And people routinely complain about not making enough money, when the entry level compensation on Wall Street is now six beggars. Like you, you can graduate from college and get a job on Wall Street for over $100,000. And there are so many people in America that never even get close to that are still live happy lives. But what happens is that the vast majority of people get caught up in keeping up with the Joneses. Lifestyle creep, wanting the big house and the second home and the sports cars and the fancy handbags, and all that kind of stuff that you do get trapped in the business, you do get trapped, you know, in that job, but, and it takes a huge amount of constitution and sacrifice to downsize, particularly when all your other friends are driving fast cars and wearing expensive watches. Right. So I think a lot of it is self inflicted. And I do know that there were at least one or two of my partners who wish they could do what I did. But then in the same refrain, they would say, Yeah, but I got this. I got that, you know, and I can’t afford it. And I would just tell them, you can afford it. You just don’t want to.

Mike Malatesta  47:54

Yeah. I think he started at Goldman Sachs, if I’m not mistaken. And one of the things I remember from the book that was really funny was when you went to interview with Jeffrey’s because they’re based in LA, I think, and you said something like they they knew the difference between a cheesesteak and a pile of crap or something like that. I thought that was so funny. For course, you know, went to University of Pennsylvania, so you have exposure to you know, the Philadelphia cheesesteak and stuff. I’m from Philadelphia area originally, as well. And that fits. So that struck me as a very funny line in your book. You dedicated the book to your mother, and I’m wondering, why why you did that. And what what was the what’s been your mother’s impact on you and your thinking?

Dave Liu  48:43

Yeah, so I think that mothers are the most underrated role in human history. If you think about it, right. It’s almost always unpaid or completely appreciated. And yet, the most important thing to help humanity is to raise good human beings. Right? Stop and think about it, like in the grand scheme of things, building a social network, having a good video streaming service. You know, inventing electricity, right? Fundamentally, a mother was the first caregiver mentor that led to that. Right. And so I definitely think in general, mothers are definitely underrated and underappreciated. And I think society should think about a way to value that more right. Now in my in my situation. I was born with a really severe birth difference. I was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. And what that means is essentially, I was born with four big places in my skull that were not fused. And so when I when I when I was born, I came out with this huge hole in the center of my face. And it’s a very challenging, I was able to overcome, you know, all the medical issues, the, you know, tubes and the the ears, the hearing problems, the smell problems and speech problems, you know, have 11 surgeries, I basically had treatment all the way up until the age of 18. So, actually, my, my treatment finally ended when I started that Goldman Sachs internship. So you can imagine, like I was, I was pretty much, you know, a hospital kid, you know, there’s maybe brats, I was a hospital brat, you know, up until when I started on Wall Street. And I think that, when I compare my experience to others that have some kind of birth difference, that can really affect your psyche, you know, particularly this visual can can make you feel less than human, or, you know, not confidence, or, you know, have all kinds of mental health issues. I think, the solution as corny as it sounds, is love. And when you’re a young man, and this obviously applies to young women as well. But when you’re a young man growing up with a very prominent scarring on your face, for a long time, you think the only woman in the world that would love you is your mother. And, you know, frankly, that was the way I felt for a long time. So any way that I can pay homage to her, or to thank her for what she has done for me? I tried to do. And I think that the underlying thanks, I think goes to all mothers. But I think a big part of it is that when you feel alone, whether that be because you’re born with what I was born with, or you know something about you that you feel an outsider to society, I think that the way that you get through it, frankly, is if you have a good mother and a father, but in my in my situation, my father kind of abandoned us after I went to college. So, you know, he’s kind of been persona non grata for a long time. So still, yes, still his day, I haven’t seen or heard from him and, you know, 20 years. And so, for us, for me, for my brothers, my mother has really been the rock of our family and has really made sure that, you know, we then end up in some jail somewhere.

Mike Malatesta  52:46

Do you hope that you hope to see him? Do you hope to get back get that relationship back at some point, are you? I do

Dave Liu  52:53

but for for maybe not the reasons you would think I, I would like him to meet his grandchildren. I would like him to see the man that I’ve become, but not the career stuff at all. I want him to see the data I’ve turned into. And look, maybe maybe this isn’t a good way to think about it. But I want to be able to show him that. Even though he wasn’t a great dad, his son turned out to be an okay dad. And that was, you know, in a maybe in a little bit of a screwy way. That would make me so happy. Yeah, to show him that, despite everything like I became, I think, and my wife would echo this, I think I became a pretty good dad and my brothers. I have two brothers. And I think they’re great dads. I really do. And I think it’s, it’s interesting. I think most people would think, well, you know, fathers learn, or sons learn from their fathers. Right. And sometimes the cycle repeats itself. Sure. And if your father was bad, then you’re gonna be a bad father. I think whatever cliche that came from didn’t apply to me and my brothers, and maybe it actually helped that we saw what a bad dad is. So we didn’t want to be that.

Mike Malatesta  54:12

Yeah, I’m gonna go I’m gonna do everything I can not to be that right. Yeah. Well, well, I hope he gets the I hope you all get the opportunity to to reconnect at some point. So he does see that and does see his grandchildren and, and realize that he he probably did some things right that he thinks were wrong, that are probably keeping him from doing that, you know, and connecting with, not that I know anything, I just, it’s just so it would be nice because, like, I’ve had buddies who their fathers passed away, and they were, you know, they were distant. They were not connected anymore. And there’s something just missing about having an ending like that. I think. Just as a as a human, you know, but um,

Dave Liu  54:59

I think so pretty Given what we talked about earlier about the grand study, yeah, like, right, hey, those those lifetime relationships with your family, with your parents, with your siblings, with your close group of friends, those things matter. And I’d be lying to you, if I didn’t tell you that, you know, if if I’m on my deathbed, and I, you know, he never reached out to me, I never reached out to him, like, there’ll be a small part of me, that would probably be really sad. That would think, well, you know, I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted in life, because I left this one thing unsettled. So

Mike Malatesta  55:36

the way of the Wall Street warrior, you wrote that book, or you wrote the book, too, you know, it’s really like a career advice. Right? That’s sort of what it is. But you know, what I found reading it, I found that it was sort of very interesting. First of all, you started early in the book, he said, I’m not here to, like, tell you what to do, or something along those lines. I said the same thing in my book, because I can’t stand books that say, Do it, do this, and you’ll be whatever, because I don’t live your life, I don’t know your experiences. But here are mine. And this in your book, it’s sort of a very nice blend between you not telling people what to do, you showing them by example, sort of a memoir ish kind of feel, feel to it, walking them through your own, to all these different situations, and, and you reflecting on how you it might be beneficial for them to think about those, those those situations. And then sprinkled in, you know, there’s the humor, the cartoons that you that you draw, and it just kind of all brings us really unique pneus to the book, so I just wanted to, even if it wasn’t about career advice, because it’s a lot about a lot of other stuff, too. I think it’s like a real exploration. With great with great career advice, particularly for people who are, you know, wanting to go into, you know, the same type of life that that you have, from a career standpoint, one of the things you start with, and I know we only have a couple minutes left, but I this, this whole notion, you describe the visual difference. And how challenging that can be. And you talk about right near the beginning of the book, The rhino skin and not not not giving a hoot about what other people think. And I’d like you to talk about those a little bit. Because the, the not giving a hoot about what other people think, is it is like an easy thing to say you hear people say that all the time, no doubt, I don’t care about what other people think. But as a human being, it’s not always easy to not care what other people think. So I didn’t really enjoy, I’d really enjoyed learning your perspective on that.

Dave Liu  57:56

Yeah, so I would say that I didn’t plan to develop Rhino skin, it was just something that happened because of the way I was born. Yeah, when I give speeches to clef, affected people, people with disabilities, anybody that feels that they got a raw deal, I always tell them think about what’s happened to you as a blessing and not a curse. Because not caring what other people think of you is something that everyone strives for. Everybody knows, that is a superpower. Everybody knows that. And yet, in my life, the 50 years or so, I’ve been on this planet. I’ve met very few people that really don’t care what other people think of them. I say the vast majority of people I know, are really concerned about the way people think of them really concerned about it, even though they know that it’s not good for them. And so, if you’re born, the way you’re born, and you grow up, the way you grow up like I did, you don’t have a choice in the matter. You know, like, you either figure out a way to deal with it, or you die, right? You figure out how to survive, or you you go down a really dark path that could lead to suicide or something else. Right. So I do think that for me, it wasn’t a choice, but it was really a means of survival. And the thing I that got me through it is that you don’t you don’t have to be this really cold, uncaring person that really doesn’t care what everyone thinks of you. What you want to do is you want to focus on the people that love you that really matter. And make sure that you are making them proud that they care about you, and they’re proud of what you do. And so for me, largely because for a lot of my childhood years, you know, I was I felt alone, you know, not only did I have the visual differences, but I was obese. I was not athletic. It really the only thing that was really good at was taking tests. I was really good at taking tests, right. But I didn’t have any other talents. You know, I mean, I could draw, but I’m not a great cartoonist, like I mean, nowadays, there’s a lot of technology as a software, right. But even when I was a kid, I had an artistic I love to do cartooning. But like, I wasn’t, I wasn’t talented, per se, right. So there was a lot of things that I wasn’t really good at. But I was good at one thing was just taking test, which ends up being kind of a superpower in at least in our society in schools. So I was really, really alone. But at least I had my mother at least have my brothers right, I had one or two really close friends. Right. And those are the people that I really cared about how they cared about how they viewed me, right. So I would always try to make them proud. Right, and I always, they were, they were my my Jones’s if you will, right there the Joneses that I really cared about. And I think that’s okay. That’s fine. But, um, but it’s really, really tough. Mike, you know, I’ve been there. I’ve seen people say it all the time, like, oh, yeah, I don’t care about what that guy thinks, or that gal thinks, but they’re not being honest with themselves. You know, they, you know, when I think about the people, they get caught up in the rat race, and don’t leave their careers, and they’re making millions of dollars, and they have millions of dollars in the bank, and they can’t walk away. You know, you just got to be honest with yourself, it’s because you do care what your other buddies at the country club are going to think about you. Right? What about all the dads who don’t don’t want to be the stay at home dad? And, you know, take the kids to school, cook them lunch and pick them up? Right? Why? Because a lot of those guys are worried about how their other buddies are gonna think about though, like, What do you mean, you’re just hanging out at home and you take care of the kids? Like, are you a man, are you not right? We just kind of got to get over this kind of stuff. But I think it’s really, really hard. But for me, I was born with it, it kind of happened. And in many ways, it became the superpower that propelled me throughout my career. Because I guarantee you, the people that I’ve worked with in my career, and I’ve worked with lots of successful people, many of whom have gone on to, you know, hundreds of millions, if not billionaire status, these people are pretty good at not caring what other people think of them. Now, they still they still have their small circles, I guarantee you. But generally, I have not. And this might be a bold statement. But I certainly haven’t seen too many really successful people who are really sensitive and have thin skin and care a lot about what everybody says about them. There are certainly exceptions, but I have not had that many of those people. My career that I’ve run into is almost always the other side’s these rhinos skin, thick skin, people that tough through it thick and thin, and battled through adversity and come out on the other end successfully.

Mike Malatesta  1:03:19

I think I’m kind of a hybrid there. So I feel like, you know, if someone says something to me, or I hear someone say something about me, that I don’t like it stings, but But it only stings for a little bit, just like a mosquito bite or something. And then it goes away. And I’m, I’m, I’m okay. You know,

Dave Liu  1:03:42

well, you’re human. Right? Yeah. I mean, we’re all human. We’re all susceptible to that we all ultimately we all want to be loved, right? I mean, if we step back, that’s what we all want. And when someone says something bad about us or critical of us, then we take that personally because it’s about us. So I think it’s very normal.

Mike Malatesta  1:04:01

Yeah, I think good advice is don’t make it easy for someone to trespass on your story. Which is really all people are doing when you’re when they’re saying they’re trespassing on your story. Now you you either give them the right to do that or you don’t there’s still make it easy. That’s kind of how I like to think about that. Do you guys do you have time for one more question? Oh, yeah, sure. Sure. So the the great part in the book and I don’t have it exactly right. But you referenced the movie to graduate and the advice that that that the the older guy gives to Dustin Hoffman’s characters plastics and and you you you sort of riff off of that and come up with this word called unis U U N U S, which is the root of unique and I just want to I want I’d like to hear more from you on like why that uniqueness? Do you feel like that’s so important?

Dave Liu  1:05:03

Because I think that when I stepped back in my career, and I think about how did I differentiate myself in a sea of other Harvard graduates, how did I differentiate myself? Against 12 other investment banks? Who all could do your deal? How did I react as someone that interviewed 1000s of people my career for jobs, I’ve always felt that people tend to not think about themselves as a scarce good, they, they tend to actually do the opposite, they tend to lump themselves in with everybody else, because they think that’s what the audience wants to hear. And if you are truly unique, you’re Stephen King, you’re Tom Cruise. Great. Yeah, your your name speaks for this for you, or your work speaks for you. But the vast majority of us are not Tom Cruise or not, Steven Spielberg, or not these people that are unique entities in and of themselves. And so the best way to advance your career or advanced whatever your projects or ideas is to think of yourself as a durable, good and create scarcity, create, create a sample set of one. And I think that the way you do that is you think about what are the unique attributes that you have that no one or very few people can claim. And that’s how I coined that term blueness, because, to me, that’s really the heart of how you win the deal. That’s how you win the job. That’s how you win the project. That’s frankly, how you win the partner, your life partner that you’re looking for. Right? I mean, my wife probably had a conga line of other guys, she could have chosen from right, but maybe not with, you know, the same humor and the same, you know, upbringing, you know, that I had, right. And so you don’t, you don’t go in and talk to a prospective spouse or partner and accentuate those things that, you know, other people have, like, if you’re, if you’re dating someone at UCLA, and you’re both at UCLA, you don’t talk about, you know, the time you had at UCLA, right, you, you go further back in your, in your, your history, and you talk about things that you know, other people can talk about. So, I think that, particularly young people, I don’t think they spend a lot of time thinking about that. And for those of you that sometimes say, well, there’s nothing about me that’s unique. That’s not true. Everybody has a unique experience. But when you got the art of it is to think about what is it about your experience that is helpful to your audience? What is it about you that that employer, that prospective client, that prospective spouse like that really appeals to them, and that’s where it takes work and research. And so for me, I tell the story, in my book about how I actually didn’t highlight one of the elements of my background, that turned out to be quite helpful, which was, I was being interviewed by Wall Street firms, and they were all going to the same schools, university, Pennsylvania, Harvard, all the same places. And so I knew that at some level, there were lots of other people that all had the same pedigree. And one of the things that I didn’t put on my resume was that I knew how to program in COBOL, which is a 1960s programming language, because I didn’t think anybody cared. But in the course of one of my interviews, the vice president who was interviewing me, I think, just as a passing, you know, a one last question kind of thing, said, Hey, what programming language do you know? And, you know, I went through the list, you know, basic C plus, plus, you know, and COBOL. And he looked at me like, COBOL, you know, COBOL, right, you know, yeah, I know, COBOL. You I learned how to do that. Blah, blah, right? It’s not on my resume. But I know how to do that. Right. And I remember his eyes lit up. And then he said, Hey, wait, wait here a minute. And he brought in an associate and said, Hey, wants you to interview this guy? Right? And this is associated with interviewing me. And I could tell like, he was going through like a checklist of like, general questions, but then he wanted to make sure that what the VP heard was correct. He says, So you program in COBOL. Right. And go Yeah, I program. COBOL is okay, good. And then, ultimately, I got the job. And this was my first job at Jeffrey’s. And I found out later, they didn’t tell me this at the time. I found out later that there’s a whole department at Jeffrey’s that was doing securitizations. And this was 1993. So securitization market was nothing like it is today. But Drexel Burnham, where a lot of Jeffrey’s bankruptcy come from was kind of a pioneer in securitizing high yield loans, junk bonds, if you will. And what happened was when Drexel Burnham collapsed and went into receivership. The Jeffrey’s guys had actually taken a piece of code that had come from Drexel Burnham, and use that to model the cash flows of junk bonds. And you know, nowadays is much easier. But back then, you know, you had to do these real time simulations to figure out, would this portfolio default? And if it defaulted? How badly would it get right in order to securitize it. And what happened was because they took this code from Drexel Burnham, and they didn’t write it themselves, there was no one in the firm who actually knew how to program in COBOL. And so, by hiring me, they got all the table six, they got a young guy who could be a great Junior banker, but the extra bonus was, I could also programming COBOL. So I could also do this additional work. So I’m not sure ultimately, if that was the the one thing that got me hired, but he certainly didn’t hurt. And ultimately, the first few jobs I had was doing securitizations. And so I use that as an example, early in my career of how being Kunis and highlighting those things that you know, nobody else has maybe the difference in this game of interest. And I’ve always used that philosophy throughout my career, when I’m fighting against the Goldman Sachs or the Morgan Stanley’s of the world, you know, foreign investment banking role. In a really hot company. I always think about what can I say that the Goldman guy or the Morgan Stanley guy can’t say, because if I say the same thing as them, we’ve already lost, because they’ll just choose them over us. So think about what makes you unique and accentuate that. Got it.

Mike Malatesta  1:11:39

Nice. I like it. I like it. This has been fascinating conversation. Dave, thank you so much for for coming on. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you a little bit. I know we barely scratched the surface on the book. And there’s a ton there. But I leave that for people to grab and read because it’s definitely worth it. As I said earlier, the it’s just a really unique combination of a book and you’ll you’ll get even a lot more of Dave than he gave on this podcast because he’s his sense of humor and, and just grab a toss maybe a little bit comes out really, really well. Really well in the book and and I’d like you to pick that up and take a look at it, Dave. Besides um, so another funny thing that you know that the the, where some damn socks is one of your one of your things in there. Besides that, jewel of a of a tip, what else would you like to leave with us before we end today?

Dave Liu  1:12:41

Well, I think one things I would like to say about the book is the book was really a love letter that I wrote for my two boys. And as I’ve gotten older, I started off my life with pretty good photographic memory. And now I can’t even remember what I ate for breakfast. So I started to write down all the things that helped me my career, so that one day I could give it to them, and say, here’s all the stuff that I didn’t learn in business school, I didn’t learn from anybody. And hopefully this will make your life a little easier. So I wrote the book for them. But I also wrote a book that I wished I had gotten in business school. And we’ve all been in that scenario, or that situation where we’ve been assigned, either voluntarily or involuntarily, a 300, or 400 page book, we invest 567 hours of our life into it. And then we sit back and we reflect on that reading, and we go like, Okay, I think I picked up two or three things in that whole book. And, gosh, I wish someone had just told me that, then I could have saved five or six hours of my life. So you’ll see that the book is actually designed in a way to save you a ton of time. And it was a book that I stylized after the way I like to process information. So the book, even though it’s about 300 pages is 30 chapters, most of which are quite short. And as you know, every chapter begins with a cartoon and ends with key bullet points, key takeaways, you takeaways. And so what I tell people when they pick up the book is don’t read the whole book, what I would do is I would, at the beginning of every chapter, I would look at the cartoon, and I skipped to the back to the key takeaways of every chapter that that will take you maximum 1520 seconds. And if you see enough there between the humor and the key bullet points, and you say like, Oh, I wonder what he’s talking about there, then read the chapter. Otherwise, just move on. And so I’ve had friends that have read the book in 30 minutes, the whole thing and this is this is amazing. I love it right. And I’ve had people who poured over it kind of like you and dog eared stuff and highlighted stuff and you know, taking all my you know, lucrative a4 resumes and like Dave isms, right and posting them online. That’s totally fine, but like I just want to make sure that that comes across because it would be a tragedy for me, if a people read the book and then they said, you know, after five or six hours, I only got one or two things out of this, he said I would have failed, right? And that’s not what I want.

Mike Malatesta  1:15:16

The other thing you have is a glossary to with with, which is really kind of nice, right? Because it’s, you know, if you if you go through the glossary, you’ll find all these devas in there, like, like the Cleveland airport text or the red pill or, or laziness as a virtue, you know, you then you’ll be like, oh, yeah, I want to find out more about what that what that is. So glossary is very helpful as well. Yeah. So Dave, thanks so much for being on the show. lucrative.com is where you find out about Dave Liu. C r a t i v. e.com. Yeah. Dave Lou. Thank you.

Dave Liu  1:15:57

Thanks, Mike. Thanks so much for having me on your show.

Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta

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