Do the unselfish thing

Dwight D. Eisenhower had a deal with his brother. They would take turns paying for each other’s university. Dwight would work the first year whilst his brother studied. The following year Dwight would study whilst his brother worked. After the first year Dwight’s brother asked if he could study another year. This was a big decision….

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Under promise, over deliver

If you want to get the deal, promise more than the customer expects. If you want to build trust, deliver more than you promised. It’s that simple. Find the midway point between customer expectations and what you know you can deliver. Promise that. You’ll get the deal, and you’ll over-deliver

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Walk away from bad ideas

You will have ideas. Some good. Most bad. The hard part is not chasing the good ideas. The hard part is abandoning the bad ideas. Especially when you’ve invested a lot. Your brain tells you that you couldn’t possibly have wasted so much of time, effort and money on a bad idea. You can’t be…

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High expectations for yourself, no expectations of the world

When it comes to your own actions, don’t settle for second-best. When it comes to the rest of the world, have no expectations. This way you’ll always give yourself the greatest odds of success, whilst minimizing reliance on factors outside your control. Expect nothing from the world. Expect nothing less than the best from yourself.

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If you meet the Buddha, kill him

This is the title of a book by Sheldon Kopp. The gist is, “No one is going to save you. Only you can save you.” Every time you think someone is the answer to your entrepreneurial prayers, kill that idea. Maybe its an investor. Maybe its a operations person. Maybe its a customer. Whatever. Don’t sit back and…

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Wait for the ladybugs

In the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun, the leading actress breaks down in tears when she tells her friend she’ll never find love again. Her friend looks at her and explains that the way to find ladybugs is not to search for them in the grass. Rather, you should lie down for a nap on the grass….

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Look after yourself before looking after others

You can’t help others unless you’ve helped yourself first. Before trying to save the world, save yourself. Educate yourself. Build respect for yourself. Make money for yourself. Especially money. Make sure you’re not a financial drain on anyone else. When you’re there, then start reaching back and pulling people up. Help yourself before helping others.

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Be quiet

When you don’t know what’s going on, be quiet. That way there’s a 50% chance people will think you’re a fool. If you talk, there’s 100% chance people will think you’re a fool. If you do know what’s going on, be quiet. That way you can draw out the fools. Plus, you can disproportionately impress the crowd…

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Steer clear of shame, pity and guilt

Shame. Pity. Guilt. These are bad motivators. Nothing good can come of actions driven by shame, pity or guilt. Stick to the good stuff: pride, empathy, gratitude. Instead of helping homeless people because you feel guilty you have a home, help them because you feel grateful you’re not homeless. It’s the same result, but a…

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Don’t act desperate

No one likes the smell of “desperate”. You may have a great product, but acting desperate will repel people. If you repel people, you can’t win. Rather fake it. Show interest, be humble, but be cool as a cucumber. Never show desperation, especially when you are.

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Pick one thing, do it.

Too many choices? Don’t know which direction to go? Which job to pick? Which idea to chase? The worst choice you can make is no choice. So don’t procrastinate. Pick one thing, and go for it. Pick the thing you love doing the most. The love will get you through the hard times. Without the…

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Just because he’s not your friend, doesn’t mean he’s your enemy.

It’s so easy to say, “If you’re not with me, you’re against me.” What does this achieve? Best case, it states the obvious. Worst case, it makes an enemy of someone who would have been a neutral. Just because someone disagrees with your view, doesn’t make them an enemy. Instead of launching a war, just accept it…

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