Billionaires Have Quick Reaction Times to Both Opportunity and Crisis.
Here’s a great story from Martin Fridson about the importance of quick reaction time to crisis. Future billionaire Phillip Anschutz was contract drilling for Chevron in 1968, when a spark from a truck set his entire field ablaze.
The young Anschutz found himself facing total ruin as he had borrowed heavily to secure the lease for the field. Imagine yourself in his shoes. The average person watching his capital go up in smoke might have been forgiven for curling up into a fetal position on the floor. Not Anschutz.
What he did was quickly buy up the lease of his panicked neighbor by assuming his liabilities and then raising $100,000 by selling Universal Studios the rights to film his burning oil rigs for their film Hellfighters, which had John Wayne playing the famous oil field fire-fighter Red Adair. This money allowed him to then hire the real Adair to put out the fire.
In the end, Anschutz realized a “healthy profit,” according to Fridson.
How would you have reacted if that had been your oil field? Would you have been frozen with panic or would you have focused on finding the opportunity? Would you have even considered the possibility of an opportunity existing in the situation?