Beginnings

By: Tommy Gander Ostrom

“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of an end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” – Winston Churchill

Beginnings have been valued dating back to, well, the beginning of time. Even Moses started the book of Genesis with, “In the beginning…” My latest beginning has been no exception; launching my business career at MMX Management has been the best of beginnings.

The lessons I have learned since starting at MMX are not attainable in a classroom setting. Yes, I have credits on my transcript in economics, accounting, and management, but what good are those credits without context, perspective, and direction? Since the Spring, the MMX team has helped me lay the groundwork I need to further my career in business. My newly formed foundation can be broken down into three components: communication, persistence, and integrity.

Communication:

Communication is necessary for any business to function at its highest level; it serves as the link between decision makers and their ideas.

“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw

In business, partners often take communication for granted. Effective communication frequently goes unnoticed. Problems, however, quickly arise when idea flowing slows and communication becomes stagnant. To avoid misunderstanding and to continue building business, I know communication must be held at the forefront of decision making.

Persistence:

Persistence is essential in today’s competitive business environment. One of my favorite insights on persistence comes from a book about the mentality of super marathon runners:

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.” – Christopher McDougall

Persistence determines the winners on the high plains and in business, too. In business, persistence is not based on raw speed or stunning agility but rather, on the ability to see how the environment is changing and on the willingness to adapt to that change more quickly than your competitors. As the environment has changed, I have seen MMX use their industry knowledge and prior experiences to put client’s goals in the best position for success.

Integrity:

It is evident in Mark Marxer’s recent blog, that integrity is a vital component to the MMX business model. Not long ago, my grandfather shared with me his favorite quote on integrity:

“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” – C.S. Lewis

Integrity is timeless, imperative, and the foundation of trust. Integrity remains important even when everything else is failing. Integrity drives business and is necessary in order to maintain long term partnerships and sustain business development. Like communication and persistence, at MMX I have learned integrity to be at the core of any successful business.

I have seen how communication, persistence, and integrity is used to help businesses reach their goals and implement growth. Much like MMX Management is for so many alternative investment managers, MMX has proven to be an invaluable beginning for me. I have been given the context, perspective, and direction I need to take toward the next step in my business career.

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