The Struggle

All early stage entrepreneurs share the following experience: It is demoralizing coming out of a big organisation with a big brand and finding it hard to get meetings It is demoralizing not being able to sell stuff It is demoralizing not having a funnel of opportunity waiting in your inbox every day It is demoralizing…

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Don’t let your competitor choose the battle field

Letting you competitor define the rules is the way to lose.If your competitor’s strength is her balance sheet, then use non-capital-intensive strategies.If your competitor’s strength is hardware, then differentiate using software.If your competitor’s strength is channel sales, employ a direct sales strategy.Do not fight on the battle field of your competitor’s choice.Choose your own field.

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Stay in the moment

Some things may seem a waste of time. Maybe it’s a conference. Or a trade fair. Or a random meeting. Or a lunch. You’re busy, you’re in the fire, you have other things to do. It’s easy to switch off, disengage, mentally grind through your work issues whilst waiting for this distraction to pass. Don’t….

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Marry young

Marriage helps you focus. No more chasing the opposite sex. Fewer hangovers. More sleep. You only know what you’ve married once you’re married. Take the plunge early, just in case you make a mistake. You can then divorce early. Fail fast. Keep moving until you find the right life partner for you. Find someone that…

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Find people that can say “no” to you

It’s easy to find “yes” men and women. There are lots of B players out there that are looking for a monthly paycheck. Hire them, they’ll do everything you tell them to do, they won’t argue. They’ll make it easy for you to fail. Very few entrepreneurs have all the answers to all the questions….

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Look after the people that have looked after you

When you find success in your business, it’s easy to forget the folks that helped you at the start. It’s easy to not consult them. To not heed their input. To go over their heads. Beware. The wheel goes round. You’ll one day be in the doldrums and people will remember how you behaved when you…

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Do things that make you uncomfortable

Do the Iron Man. Sing in front of people. Make a public speech about something you don’t know about. Do whatever is outside your comfort zone. You will learn a new skill, you will meet new people, you will find new intersections that can help your business. You will build confidence. You will reduce fear…

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Be magnanimous

Forgive your enemies. Be bigger than the other person or the moment. Don’t hold grudges. Don’t dwell on the wrongs committed against you. Keep growing. Your success comes from moving forward. Your grudges hold you back. Be magnanimous.

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Be grateful

When times get tough it’s easy to get depressed. Depression is a dangerous spiral which leads to self-fulfilling prophecies. Snap out of it. The easiest remedy is gratitude. Think of everything you have to be grateful for. Your health. Your spouse. Your kids. Your electricity. Your clothes. Think of how lucky you are compared to…

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Sweep your own stoep

Just because you’re the chief doesn’t mean you’re excused from sweeping the stoep. Or welcoming people at the door. Or taking the rubbish out. Or making coffee. Get your hands dirty. Don’t expect anyone to do something you’re not willing to do. Not only does this keep you real & grounded, but it sets a…

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You can’t be everything to everyone

Whether you’re looking for an investor, or a partner, or a customer, remember this:You can’t be everything to everyone.You can only be yourself. And “yourself” can only attract a specific type of person.Being “yourself” can also mean repelling some kinds of people.Don’t stress about that. You’re not looking to be liked.You’re looking to be loved.Find investors…

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You can’t help anyone if you can’t help yourself

Never do anything that’s not good for you.That doesn’t mean being greedy and selfish.It just means understanding how your actions further your self-interest.Anything that doesn’t further your self-interest will make you weaker.If you become weak you can’t help anyone.Not only that, but you become a burden on others.The best thing you can do for the world…

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