Self-discipline is as important as intelligence.

Intelligence is important, but the self-discipline and workflow that you bring to a task also make a difference to a successful outcome.

A study by American Psychologist Martin Seligman found that in adolescents, self-discipline was a stronger predictor of their future academic success than IQ, leading them to conclude that self-discipline may be the “royal road” to building academic achievement.

This is important in modelling. Excel gives you ultimate flexibility. In the end, it's just a big table with thousands of rows and columns. You can do anything you want with that.

If your model is going to have a structure, you have to impose it. That requires you to be consistent and disciplined. And these are hard things to be.

It also requires you to have a plan ahead of time. If you are constantly changing the structure as you work, you're going to end up in chaos.

To be a good modeller, you need to be numerate, commercially aware and have a strong grip on accounting. But self-discipline is what will give you an edge.

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