5. It pays to finish that challenging project, whatever it takes . While researching the 2008 biography I wrote about energy tycoon and Thomas Edison’s right hand man, Sam Insull, The Merchant of Power , I found a letter in the archives from the great inventor Nikola Tesla. So after finishing Merchant , I started writing a book on Tesla’s work and legacy. In the intervening decade, however, I lost my mother and three friends to cancer; my wife was diagnosed and treated; my agent left the business and had to reboot my career more than once.