Warren Buffett’s protégé was employed after sending him a letter

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Ditch the pursuit of work-life balance, says this senior finance executive

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Read any story about Tracy Britt Cool, and you’re most likely to come throughout the exact same anecdote. After finishing from Harvard Business School in 2009, she sent by mail a letter to Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett requesting a task at the famous company. After conference with the Oracle of Omaha, she got one working as Buffett’s monetary assistant.

Once she got her foot in the door, her star increased rapidly. She ended up being the president of Berkshire holding Pampered Chef, and developed a track record for rapidly fixing issues at having a hard time business, triggering Buffett to label her “the fireman,” in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

In 2020, Britt Cool cofounded her own personal equity company, Kanbrick, whose investing approaches echo Berkshire’s, however that is developed around Britt Cool’s special values of executive mentorship, hands-on management and structure organizations “brick-by-brick” (for this reason part of the company’s name).

The letter, and the incredible success that it’s resulted in, is the things MBAs and striving business owners fantasize about. It might look like a one in a million shot. And perhaps it was– however Britt Cool wanted to take a million shots.

“The risk is pretty low — it’s that someone is going to say ‘no,'” she informs CNBC MakeIt “So why not try?”

When perseverance and a ‘thick skin’ settles

Britt Cool invested much of her youth operating at her household’s farm stand in Manhattan, Kansas (the other half of “Kanbrick”) where she heard the word “no” a lot.

“It was such a great training ground, because you have to sell your produce, and you have to talk to people. You have to ask, and you get rejected a lot because people aren’t interested in something,” she states. “I grew a thick skin. I didn’t have any issue with people telling me ‘no.'”

As a high school trainee, Britt Cool started composing letters to various companies she wished to find out about. “I wanted them to send me brochures and pamphlets. A lot of them didn’t respond,” she states.

In college, she composed to executives at business she appreciated. “I found that when I productively and proactively reached out to people — and respectfully — that the vast majority would not respond or say, ‘no,’ but a small group would say, ‘yes.'”

The latter group consisted of the CEOs of Morgan Stanley and BearStearns When Britt Cool consulted with them, she came prepared with well-researched concerns.

“I wasn’t doing it because I wanted a job. That’s not why I reached out to people,” she states. “I was doing it since I wished to end up being more thoughtful. In [Berkshire’s] case, it progressed to that.”

Britt Cool compares the experience to her procedure of using to college, which she needed to spend for on her own. Before the days of web search, “I went through two 400-page books and checked every scholarship I qualified for, and then applied for those scholarships,” she states.

Many stated, “no.” But some stated, “yes.”

For Britt Cool, finding those yeses has to do with having the perseverance to sustain a great deal of nos.

“It requires the discipline and the time and the energy to do it. And to invest in that.”

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