Todd Harrison, founder and CEO of Minyanville Media, has 23 years of experience on Wall Street. He served as vice president on the global equity derivatives trading desk at Morgan Stanley, as managing director of derivatives at The Galleon Group, and as president of the $400 million hedge fund Cramer Berkowitz. He has appeared on FOX, CNBC, CNN, and Bloomberg TV, and in The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, The New York Times, Worth, Fortune, Barron’s, Dow Jones & Company’s MarketWatch, New York Magazine, and Canada’s National Post.
Todd has lectured at numerous academic institutions including Harvard University, Syracuse University, New York University, and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also been active in research of financial market learning tendencies among college students, and was a contributing author to “Threat, Intimidation, and Student Financial Market Knowledge: An Empirical Study,” published in the Journal of Education for Business. Todd was featured in the 20th anniversary documentary of Oliver Stone’s movie Wall Street (1987), and in 2008, he received an Emmy Award from The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for his role as Executive Producer of “Minyanville’s World in Review,” the first and only animated business news show.
1. How do you define success?
Being able to look yourself in the eye each day as you brush your teeth and like the person you see staring back at you. Profitability begins within.
2. What is the key to success?
Humility, resolve, surrounding yourself with people you trust and perhaps most importantly, the realization that your failures, of which there will be many, are an integral part of future success.
3. Did you always know you would be successful?
I don’t measure success by the size of my bank account or the title on my business card; I measure it by the husband and father I am to my wife and kids. It’s a process, not a point. By the time you get to where you want to be, it will be over.
4. When faced with adversity, what pushes you to keep moving forward?
If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward, and I’ve been there already.
5. What is the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned?
All you have is your name and your word, courtesy of my grandfather Ruby.
6. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Playing with the kids, watching football, and exercising.
7. What makes a great leader?
Truth and trust.
8. What advice would you give to college students about entering the workforce?
Do what you love and the money will come, and find someone you trust to take you under their wing and show you the ropes.
This interview is an excerpt from Success: 30 Interviews with Entrepreneurs & Executives by Jason Navallo.