Forget about being the best. Just do better.

What is your mission? To be the best? Or to be better? If it’s to “be the best”, you’re on the wrong path. “Best” is by definition an absolute term. It means there is a point at which you stop improving. You can never stop improving. If you do, you’ll fail. Rather than chasing “be…

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Sit outside your client’s office

Forget phone calls and emails. Forget appointments. If you really want something, go to your client’s office. Politely and firmly tell the receptionist that you will not be leaving until you’re seen the boss. Sit in reception for as long as it takes to see the boss. Hours, days, weeks, it doesn’t matter. She can’t ignore…

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Don’t justify yourself

Never justify yourself. If you’ve delivered the goods, there’s nothing to justify. You’re a success. If you haven’t delivered the goods, there’s nothing to justify. You’re a failure. Spend no time or energy justifying yourself. Spend all your time and energy delivering the goods.

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Don’t fall for the delusion of reprieve

In psychology, there is the condition of The Delusion of Reprieve. Example: The man on deathrow that  believes he will be pardoned up until the very last minute before he is hanged. Another example: The entrepreneur that believes his business will succeed up until the very last minute before it fails. We all look for signs confirming things will…

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Plans follow deadlines, not the other way round

Startups are about speed. That’s why deadlines come before plans. If you start with a plan, the timeline (and deadline) will drag on for infinity. If you start with a plan, you’ll slow down. If you start with a plan, you’ll fail. Start with a deadline. Plans follow.

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Keep the ball moving

Don’t be the bottleneck. If an email lands in your inbox, respond. If someone’s waiting for your call, call. If you are the final signature for a resolution, sign. Never be the guy that holds up the process. Never be the guy that slows things down. Don’t be the bottleneck.

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Sometimes you have to trade values

What are your values? Loyalty? Honesty? Respect? Most times you can tick all your values when making decisions But sometimes you have to choose. Sometimes a decision is not compliant with all your values. You have to choose loyalty over honesty, or respect over loyalty. That’s when you need to be clear on the rankings. What is…

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When times are good, keep a warm heart

When times are tough, you need to keep a cool mind. Stay rational, don’t panic. When times are good, the hard part is not a cool mind. The hard part is keeping a warm heart. Don’t get arrogant. Don’t forget how lucky you got. Don’t ignore the folks behind you. When times are good, keep a warm…

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There is nothing wrong with saying “I don’t know”

If you don’t know the answer to the question, say so. The alternative is of no help to anyone except your ego. Pretending to know the answer makes you lose the respect of those in the room that know you’re faking it. Pretending to know the answer prevents you from finding out the true answer….

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Learning to be an entrepreneur is like learning how to swim

Reading a book doesn’t work. The only way to learn how to swim is to get in the pool and swim. Preferably with someone by your side to stop from drowning. Reading about swimming might help your technique, but it won’t stop you drowning. Only experience can teach you to swim properly. Same for being…

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Jargon is for fakers

“Own the stack.” “Find synergy.” “Put it in the cloud.” Beware. When you hear someone using jargon , steer clear. He is most likely a faker. He is trying to impress you into thinking he knows what he’s talking about. He doesn’t. People who know what they’re talking about can explain in plain English. Jargon is for fakers.

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Don’t be subtle

If you’re selling hotdogs, don’t say you’re selling a “roll with a sausage in it.”Say you’re selling hotdogs.Don’t beat around the bush. People are too busy to interpret and translate your subtle messages.Say what you’re selling.

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