An acquaintance once described me like this: "Most people who are cynical are also pessimistic. And conversely, most people who are optimistic are also naive. But you have the rare combination of being deeply cynical yet deeply optimistic." Love it.
I'm not that smart; I am the luckiest person I've ever met. I've been profoundly lucky in business, in the companies I've started and run; with genetics; with women; with my family; in school and grades; I've lived and have experienced human nature (warts and all) on four continents; I've been profoundly lucky in almost every way my limited imagination can conceive of. Fortune has the cornucopia in one hand and the rudder in the other: it hasn't been easy and I'll tell you about the scars over alcohol.
I have okay ideas--but great implementation. I've started many web sites, and obsessed over a few - which have then seriously taken off. I've written a few books, which have been best sellers. I've made millions of people laugh. I've run the online part of a presidential campaign. I've built up markets (such as in modern wedding art) where no one thought they existed: both for my own companies and my clients'. My ideas may not be that amazing; but I'm great at turning them into action.
When I was a kid, I played piano obsessively, but I haven't played for years. Above all: since elementary school (when I memorized the dictionary while waiting for the bus to come pick me up) I've been obsessing over words, where they come from, what they mean and what they imply -- and this obsession utterly dominates me and hasn't let up for a moment.
My life philosophy: Half-ass-ery is the root of all evil.