Iconic writer, speaker and management guru Tom Peters tells this story in his wonderful new book, The Excellence Dividend:

A man approached J. P. Morgan, held up an envelope, and said, “Sir, in my hand I hold a guaranteed formula for success, which I will gladly sell you for $25,000.”

“Sir,” J. P. Morgan replied, “I do not know what is in the envelope; however, if you show me, and I like it, I give you my word as a gentleman that I will pay you what you ask.”

The man agreed to the terms and handed over the envelope. J. P. Morgan opened it and extracted a single sheet of paper. He gave it one look, a mere glance, then handed the piece of paper back to the gent. And paid him the agreed-upon $25,000.

On the paper it simply said,

“Every morning, write a list of the things that need to be done that day.

Do them.”

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