Leave your ego at home

In business, ego doesn’t get you ahead. It alienates some people. It closes your ears. It attracts parasites. It creates enemies. It slows you down. At best it holds you back. At worst it kills leave. If you have to have an ego, leave it at. When you get to work, no ego.

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Be a soldier

When you go to the army, the first thing they teach you is to make your own bed. Before you do anything, you make your own bed. Why? It teaches you to take responsibility for your life. No one else will make your bed for you. It inculcates the habit of doing the small jobs properly. That habit…

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Only the Godless run

King Solomon said, “Only the Godless run.” What he meant was that only those who don’t believe in themselves are in a rush. Why don’t you believe in yourself? Because you’re not prepared. Why are you speeding? Because you didn’t bargain on traffic. Why are you running to your next meeting? Because you didn’t give yourself…

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You don’t try, you don’t get

Maybe you’re used to being given everything you want. Maybe you’re used to waiting until people offer to help you. Maybe you’re used to having your prayers answered. Definitely you will fail as an entrepreneur. No one will give you want you want. No one will take responsibility for your sales, your funding, your product,…

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Your dangerous competitors are rarely the big guys

The big incumbents in your market will rarely reach quickly to your startup. They have too much to lose by fumbling the ball, so they sit back and watch. See how GM and Ford watched whilst Tesla ate their electric car lunch? Your competition is the little guys. Fellow startups that are nimble with nothing…

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Why don’t you have energy?

Energy is your most valuable resource. You need it to get out of bed. You need it to find love. You need it to make money. As an entrepreneur, you need maximum energy. You feeling low?Maybe your diet is wrong. Maybe you’re sick. Maybe you don’t have passion for what you’re doing. Whatever it is, fix…

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Build a culture that repels people

Of course you want to attract stars to your company. But you also want to repel the wrong kinds of folk. You want to keep the mosquitos away. You want anti-bodies in your culture. Have a company rule that everyone must be at work 7am. Or public humiliation for sexual harassment. Or kids allowed in meetings. These rules will…

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Reject A-players if they don’t fit your culture

Culture is more important than competence. Culture is what attracts the right kind of people, rejects the wrong kind of people, motivates staff, and gives you a chance of success. Even an A-player is not worth damaging your culture.

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Hire “we” people, not “I” people

Startups need team players. There’s no time for selfishness, or corporate psychopaths. When interviewing new candidates, listen for the words “we” and “I”. Keep the “we’s”, reject the “I’s”.

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Beware winning conventional races

Were you top of your class? Fastest kid in school? Head girl? Be careful. Winning conventional races is the path to being trapped in a career prison. Doctor. Lawyer. Accountant. Actuary. Whatever. You’re a star, so surely you must follow one of these paths? Maybe. Maybe not. Not everyone’s destiny is to sit in an…

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You need to reach escape velocity

Peter Thiel always talks about staying away from competition. Competition eats profit. Monopolies are where the profit is. Sometimes you can find a completely new game, but most times the way to escape competition is to out-run it. You need to grow much faster. You need to reach “escape velocity”. The speed that will take…

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Cut your losses early

Bought a company you shouldn’t have? Chosen a product you shouldn’t have? Hired a person you shouldn’t have? Admit your mistake. Stop, turn around, go back. Don’t pour good money after bad. Sometimes facts and circumstances change. You make mistakes. Don’t compound the mistake by refusing to admit it was one. Cut your losses early.

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