If I Knew Then Advice on careers, finance, and life from Harvard Business School's Class of 1963

Wilko Börner

Marriage & Family

Even though I am satisfied with — and worked hard for — my professional career, family demands on my time always had priority. This may have restricted my business success, but I have no regrets.

I have seen many people proudly create products, organizations, buildings, and fortunes. Most of these works have not outlasted the people who created them. I am fairly confident my family will continue as a healthy and confident structure for much longer.

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Life's Lessons

If I could live my life again, I would perhaps put more emphasis on making friends, in addition to being successful and doing something well. In the final analysis, you can only succeed if others allow you to. So you not only have to excel in the basics of your profession, you also need to be liked and accepted by your peers.

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Growing Older

Start early to plan your life for the time beyond the peak of your strength and physical power, and to find an honorable and fulfilling transition into the many years remaining. A good handling of this change will also be good for your health.

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