Running a business has its ups and downs. The successes are heightened because they are your own, but the corollary is that the low points feel particularly personal. This week I had disappointing news on two projects within about half an hour of each other—a blow even if I concluded after some reflection that I wouldn’t have done anything differently on either.

Investor Josh Brown explains the difference between the stock market and the economy using a metaphor originated by fund manager Ralph Wagner, which came to mind as I processed the news:

There’s an excitable dog on a very long leash in New York City, darting randomly in every direction. The dog’s owner is walking from Columbus Circle, through Central Park, to the Metropolitan Museum. At any one moment, there is no predicting which way the pooch will lurch. But in the long run, you know he’s heading northeast at an average speed of three miles per hour. What is astonishing is that almost all of the dog watchers, big and small, seem to have their eye on the dog, and not the owner.

Josh Brown, How I Explain the Stock Market vs the Economy

My mood at the end of the week was definitely like the dog at one extremity of the leash, and I’ve been trying to focus instead on the owner’s perspective and the overall direction of travel.


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