Anna Bernasek’s writing about finance and the economy has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, Fortune, TIME, The Huffington Post, Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald newspaper and the Australian Financial Review. Her first book, The Economics of Integrity, was published in February 2010 by Harper Collins. Bernasek helps companies build, protect and profit from their integrity through The Integrity Partnership, a consulting firm she co-founded in 2010 with Dan Mongan. She writes an economics and business blog, continues to write magazine and newspaper articles, and is working on her second book.
My Definition Of Success | Success has two components: self-esteem and earning the esteem of others. I believe you need both to be truly successful. Interestingly, success has a social or shared quality. It depends on working together with others. For instance, you typically hear a business tycoon boast that he made his fortune all on his own, a self-made success story. But that’s simply not true. He relied on his employees, bankers, lawyers, family, friends etc. Or think of an athlete who was helped by coaches, sponsors, family and friends. We are successful thanks to the efforts and encouragement of others in conjunction with our unique abilities and talents.
I Am Driven By | Wanting to make the world a better place. Whether it’s in my day to day interactions with people—a smile, a kind word, a helping hand. Or in my writing, as I try to expose problems and injustices embedded in our economic relations and help people understand what’s really happening in the economy so they can make good decisions.
My Highlights | In terms of career, writing my first book, The Economics of Integrity, because it is about the good we do in the economy and how we can create more wealth for everyone by doing more of it. I think it’s inspiring to recognize that our market economy creates wealth by building relationships of integrity and trust and we all play a part in that. The economy isn’t some dirty game where we’re all out for ourselves. It’s a noble project and eac
h one of us has a meaningful role to play. What each one of us does really does matter.
In terms of my life, developing strong relationships within my family, in the broader community and around the world.
My Strengths | I keep trying! Even when I face rejection, particularly in my writing, I dig deep and try again. You only fail when you give up. Fear of failure is a big handicap for me, so I tell myself I have nothing to lose. If I keep trying,
I’ll get somewhere, I just don’t know where. If I give up, I know for sure I have failed.
Principles And Values I Live By | Do good, positive things and be a good person. Give rather than take. My father
brought me up to give back to society.
Critical Skills | Patience. Professionalism. Not taking things personally and learning from everything and everyone.
How I Use My Mind | Some people need to put pressure on themselves to succeed. Others need to take pressure off. I need to take pressure off and be as relaxed as possible to perform well. So I need to talk to myself and tell myself that I have nothing to lose, expectations are low etc. One thing that has helped me with my writing is to approach it in a professional way. I have experienced writers block because I am afraid of not writing something great. But if I tell myself, just do a professional job, I find I get it done and have time to revise to make it even better.
Lessons I’ve Learned | To run my own race.