Entrepreneurs focus on form AND substance

The over-arching principle of South African law is, “Substance over form.” This means the law is based upon intent, not words.“The contract doesn’t say that,” is not a defence in itself. Especially if there is evidence that the spirit of the agreement was different to the contract.The judge will rule in favour of the spirit, or…

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Entrepreneurs choose to have lots of customers

  It’s easier to build a business with one big customer. Cash flow is easier. Only one invoice to send each month. Customer service is easier. Only one complaining customer. Strategy is easier. You only need to get into the head of one customer. But its dangerous to have only one customer. If the procurement…

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Entrepreneurs understand how businesses make money

In business you must imprint the following on your brain: Business is about making money Businesses do not make money The first point is key for understanding where your priorities lie. Politics is about serving the people, journalism is about the truth, NGOs are about helping the less fortunate.Business is about making money.The second point…

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Entrepreneurs are dealmakers

There are three kinds of people. Dealmakers, dealbreakers and the crowd.The crowd is arb. The crowd follows. It won’t lead, it won’t block.Dealmakers make things happen. A combination of intelligence, creativity and perseverance allows these people to find a path when the crowd says it’s impossible. Once they’ve found the path the crowd is happy…

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Entrepreneur letter to corporate employee

Dear Jane,I understand why you’re choosing to start your own business.The corporate beast is killing your soul, I get it.But is that enough to take the path less travelled?Perhaps it is because you know you can be great. I’m sure many people have complimented you over the years, and whilst some of it was smoke being…

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Entrepreneurs make a living and live at the same time

Some people think that work and life are separate worlds, never to be mixed.You go to work to make money so that you can spend that money to live.Entrepreneurs can’t afford to do that. An entrepreneur is always working, so he must ensure his work is living, otherwise he will never have a chance to…

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Entrepreneurs make memories

You have a choice: Join a company and pursue a low-risk career, pay the bills, retire when you’re 65.Or, start your own business, have highs, have lows, flirt with disaster, hopefully make a lot of money, never retire.The former is a life where the days are hard to distinguish from another.The latter is a life where you…

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Entrepreneurs choose the incoming tide

Sometimes it’s easier if you’re not a genius. You don’t get technical, you don’t overthink. You don’t fool yourself that you can predict the future.Being an entrepreneur is not about seeing the future. Its about seeing the tides.Not even the smartest entrepreneur in the world can make money on an outgoing tide, like textiles in…

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Entrepreneurs don’t try to save the world

Are you trying to make money? Or are you trying to save the world?If the former, you’re an entrepreneur. If the latter, you’re a social entrepreneur.There’s a difference. An entrepreneur’s first priority is making a profit, and then making a difference.A social entrepreneur’s first priority is making a difference, and then making a profit.Make sure…

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Entrepreneurs work weekends

A friend recently interviewed a guy who’d been working in a big corporate all his life.Friend, “Are you a hard worker?”Guy, “I haven’t taken a day off in two years.”Friend, “Did you work weekends?”Guy, “No…”Friend, “Do you know that weekends are days?”The concept of hard work is different for those working in a big corporation…

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Entrepreneurs hate competition

Some people like competition. Maybe they were star athletes or top academics at school, and so they are used to winning competitions, and so they don’t mind competing, and so they actually seek it out knowing they will probably win.These people are not entrepreneurs. Just because you think you will win doesn’t mean you should…

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Entrepreneurs negotiate

Mark McCormack, the founder of IMG, has a great story. One day an executive of his was despatched to negotiate TV rights for a major sporting event. The entire company was anticipating a three week grueling marathon, but to everyone’s surprise the exec returned after one day with the exact deal that IMG was aiming…

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