1. Develop your mind He was born to two parents with PhDs, who were school teachers. 2.
Trust yourself He grew up in a mostly African American, middle class neighborhood in Denver, and attended a newly-integrated school. 3.
Know your self worth He trained as an engineer at Cornell University, earning his B.S. in Chemical Engineering. 4.
Act on your intentions After working at Kraft General Foods, where he earned two United States and two European patents, he attended Columbia Business School. 5.
Dream big From 1994-2000, he joined Goldman Sachs in tech investment banking, first in New York and then in Silicon Valley. 6.
Be committed to your career As Co-Head of Enterprise Systems and Storage, he executed and advised on over $50B in merger and acquisition activity. 7.
Find your drive He was the first person at Goldman Sachs to focus solely on Tech M&A and foreign countries. 8.
Enjoy figuring things out In 2000, Smith founded Vista Equity Partners, of which he is the Founder, Chairman and CEO. 9.
Perfect your craft In January 2015, based on its performance over the last 10 years, Vista Equity Partners was named the world’s #1 performing private equity firm. 10.
Develop grit He was named the Board Chairman of the 125-year-old Carnegie Hall; the first African American to hold that position. Bonus: Be persistent.