The line of least expectation is the line of least resistance

You want to avoid direct frontal assaults. Steer clear of competition . Stay away from fights. Take the path of least resistance. That path is usually the path of least expectation. Do the thing that your competition is least likely to expect, and you’ll find the route with the least resistance. Not only will you have no…

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Sometimes you just have to wait it out

During the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln sent a letter to one of his generals, William Sherman, expressing his conviction that he was about to lose the election and that all that remained was for him to hand-over matters to the next president as smoothly as possible. The reason Abe was so pessimistic was that…

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Kill your darlings, publicly

Every business has some favourite employee. Someone that is the darling of the boss, can do no wrong, walks on water. Beware. These people will cause resentment in your company, fostering politics, slowing you down. Don’t play favourites. If you do have a darling, fire him. Publicly. It will send a message that there are no…

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Keep your team humble

Arrogance leads to blindspots, complacency, politics. It will slow you down your team. It will kill your business. Stay humble. Its not only you, the founder, that needs to remain humble. Your team needs to be humble. No matter how big your stars are, their feet must stay on the ground. Make self-effacing jokes, use unpretentious titles,…

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How to be courageous

Its not useful to have the courage of a lion: Genetically inbred and taken for granted. Rather have the courage of a coward. A learnt skill, therefore more powerful. Being a natural coward is useful for business. It forces you to acquire the habit of avoiding the thoughts that lead to fear. It forces you to teach your mind to think in…

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Skin in the game

If you want your partners to be committed, they need skin in the game. If you want useful advice, speak to people with skin in the game. If you want upside, you must have skin in the game. Skin in the game is the important thing. It makes you focus. It separates the boys from…

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Fortune favours the brave

“Fortune favours the brave,” is a hoary old nut. It means that the more risks you take, the more likely you are to get lucky. It also means that whatever you fear is where your fortune lies. To be brave means to overcome fears. The best form of defence is attack. When in doubt, move forwards….

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Beware the Green Lumber fallacy

The Green Lumber fallacy refers to the disconnect between academic knowledge and real world results. Between theory and practice. Between talking and doing. The “Green Lumber” descriptor comes from a story of a commodities trader who traded “green lumber”, also known as freshly cut wood. This trader was the top trader for green lumber, globally. One day his…

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Go with the flow

Most of the time you will not know what the next step is. No one will. No one has walked your journey before. No one knows what is coming around the corner. Think of it as if you’re floating down a river. There is jungle alongside you with tigers and snakes and other things that want…

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Business is a game

Business is just a game. Don’t take it too seriously. The point is to have fun. If you’re not having fun then you’re doing something wrong. Having fun doesn’t mean everything goes according to plan, or that you have no setbacks, or that you get rich. Having fun means enjoying the ride. Being grateful for the opportunity…

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Stop telling people you need a holiday

Why do you need a holiday? Working hard? Don’t like what you do? Lazy? Stop whining. There’s always someone out there that’s working longer hours and not complaining. If you don’t like what you do, you’re wasting your life. If you’re lazy, that’s nobody else’s business. If you want to win you must stop asking for…

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Business is not a race

Its tempting to compare everything to a race: Life. Kids. Business. The very meaning of “race” is to compare: Are you faster than the other guy? But some things are not comparable. They’re not relative. Some things are absolute. For example, your children. It doesn’t matter how they stack up to other kids, it only matters that…

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