Bill Perkins is a hedge fund manager, film producer, and high stakes poker player from Houston, Texas. He focuses on venture capital and energy markets. He founded Small Ventures USA, L.P in 1997 and later joined Centaurus Energy in 2002. He currently manages Houston-based energy hedge fund, Skylar Capital. Bill is the author of Die with Zero: Getting All You Can from Your Money and Your Life. He grew up in Jersey City, New Jersey the son of football player and politician Bill Perkins and graduated from St. Peter’s Preparatory School in 1986. In 2016, he contributed $1.5 million towards the construction of the William O. Perkins III ’86 Athletic Center at his alma mater.

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The Learning Leader Show

  • Your life is the sum of your experiences… “The business of life is the acquisition of memories. In the end, that’s all there is.” – The butler from Downtown Abbey…
  • Excellence:
    • Integrity with your word and yourself — Don’t lie to yourself and others. You can’t be flippant with yourself.
      • Don’t say it unless you mean it (to yourself and others)
  • How to maximize your lifetime memorable moments with “memory dividends”
  • How to get the most experiences in the optimal time with “experience bucketing”
    • In each season, experiences will forever go away. Map out the experiences you want and what you are saving for. There are some experiences that you can only do when you’re young and healthy. There is a deterioration of health. You won’t always be able to climb a mountain or wake board. Do those now.
  • Follow your “net worth curve” – “Consume money and convert it into experiences.”
  • How to navigate whether to invest in or delay a meaningful adventure based on your “personal interest rate” — “Should I take one trip today or two trips in 10 years?”
  • Bill shares the life changing conversation he had with his boss, Joe Farrell, a partner at the company where he worked —  Bill was making $18,000/year and had saved $1,000. Joe questioned him… “Go spend that money! Why deprive yourself? You don’t think you’re going to make more money as you get older?!”
  • Jason Ruffo — Backpacked Europe when he was young and able even though he didn’t have any more. He did it while he could instead of waiting to have enough money. He now has an experience dividend for life that Bill doesn’t.
  • What are we saving for?
    • Survival
    • Experiences we want – The memory dividend – “This is the stuff of life.” It’s a compounding dividend
      • “Who am I? The summation of my experiences.”
      • “Money is a tool to have the experience.”
  • Die With Zero is about choices – What do you choose to do now? What later?
  • Bill and I have the same literary agent, Jim Levine – Bill liked Jim because he told him that his proposal wasn’t good enough to share with publishers when it was first written… Bill appreciated that honest feedback and desire to make it better.
  • “It’s hypocritical and stupid to leave inheritance to your kids.” (Give them money when they’re young and can use it for cool experiences).
  • Behaviors for hiring:
    • Integrity
    • Intrinsic motivation
    • Problem solvers
  • “Aiming to die with zero is the most thoughtful thing you can do.”
  • Here is WHY joining a Learning Leader Circle is a good idea…


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Episode #300: AJ & Keith Hawk – How To Instill Work Ethic & Curiosity In Your Children

Episode #303General Stanley McChrystal – The New Definition Of Leadership