Throughout the month of October as most New Yorkers were asleep, a mysterious artist has been using the city as his personal canvas. The British street artist known only by the pseudonym "Banksy" has been spray painting the sides of buildings, constructing sculptures in vacant lots, and creating galleries in alleyways. His work is subversive and full of anti-establishment themes, but his life and technique are full of valuable lessons.
Brian Sozzi, CEO of Belus Capital Advisors and Yahoo Finance guest contributor not only hit the streets of New York to get the public's reaction to Banksy, but came up with 18 lessons the elusive artist can teach you about life and finance.
1. You must always have that one big hit in your career, that one presentation to the boss or stock call that cements you as a go-to rockstar. In the case of Banksy, his early underground work was basically a collection of hits!
2. “What we do in life echoes in eternity” stenciled Banksy. Realize that you have the opportunity to shape the future (for yourself, for others) each and every day, so don’t mail it in at work.
3. Take risks, be creative, and standout if you want to get ahead in your career. A mobile garden by Banksy on the back of a delivery truck, who thinks of that? Along these lines, taking a big risk on a stock can have huge immediate and longer term payoffs.
4. Sometimes it’s wise to go against the crowd with your financial decisions. Banksy is anti-war, anti-capitalism, and anti-establishment!
5. “Banksy Effect”: How interest in other street artists is growing on the back of Banksy’s success. The same thing will occur with “cult stocks” such as Tesla; as more bankers praise the company as a star of the future, more investors will become aware and send the stock higher.
6. Clearly, Banksy’s new works are rising in value as he gains international notoriety. It would have been wise to buy his earlier stuff on the cheap! Same goes for investing, you must try and see the potential for future greatness in a company before anyone else…and buy! Same goes if you are a small business owner in charge of hiring, you have to be able to see a person’s potential in one interview.
7. Banksy does NOT do all of these stencils himself, rather he has begun to bring others into his network. You must have a team of people, whether it’s outside advisors or family members, helping you to make financial decisions…doing so will lead to better, more powerful outcomes.
8. “Efficiency is the key” stated Banksy. Want to standout in work and have a higher quality life, then prioritize your time and drive efficiency. Also, the most efficient companies will earn the highest profits, and have sky high stock prices!
9. Banksy is said to have an “uncertain technique.” You better make sure you know precisely the techniques your advisor is using to earn you money on your investment, no black boxes and Bernie Madoffs please!
10. Banksy’s “Exit Through the Gift Shop” is said to have been made by a very small team. In business, keep your friends close and your enemies closer, and keep both small.
11. Watch financial statement trends at a company to predict a future stock disaster! For example, Banksy’s Facebook likes have been moderating on each new post, showing he may be losing a touch of cool factor. Would you buy one if his works at what looks like a top?
12. The last known face-to-face narrative with Banksy is said to have happened in 2003. Make sure you are meeting or talking with your financial advisor every quarter. Or, it’s okay to hold stocks for the long-term, provided the company continues to produce awesome financial results.
13.Banksy advocates a direct connection between an artist and his constituency? Umm, when the last time you had a chat with an executive at a company you are part owner, or even someone remotely tied to the company? Probably never, so either have one or find a trusted team that does talk to companies.
14. Banksy is said to have “marathon painting sessions,” you should have “marathon analyzing sessions” with earnings calls during earnings season to learn as much as possible, quickly! Strike while others are asleep!
15. Clearly Banksy has a blast at what he does. Do you have fun at work? If not, it may be time to analyze why and see if it could be changed for next year.
16. Banksy has not yet become satisfied with his success, he is all out trying to achieve more. Keep your head down, never believe your own hype because as soon as you do you lose your edge, and that’s no good.
17. If Banksy could stay anonymous, why not you? Have a winning trade? Don’t go talking smack on Twitter and Facebook, it’s lame and you look like a jerk.
18. People “ignore the things right in front of us” was the message from Banksy’s painted pink elephant stunt. Hmm, you have been drinking Starbucks forever, did you buy the stock 10 years ago?