Dont take anything personally

(This is an extract from The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz)Taking things personally is the maximum expression of selfishness because we make the  assumption that everything is about “me”. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind and their own world.A world created by the agreements they have made with themselves.Whatever…

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The importance of not panicking

I recently had a minor travel disaster. Flying back from Colombia, I had been booked via New York to Joburg. As I was checking in at Bogota airport the attendant asked me for my USA visa.Me: “I don’t have one, but not to worry, I’m not leaving JFK, I’m connecting to SA.”She looked at me…

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The 3 kinds of risk

There are three kinds of risk, in order from least to most importance:1. FinancialThe risk of losing money is a biggie. It’s a serious motivator. Especially when you have a family. Taking financial risk separates the entrepreneurs from the “business owners.” But, in spite of the unpleasantness of losing money, you can make it back…

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Hold tight, the shaking is almost finished

From 2001 to 2007, times were good. Plenty of monkeys climbed into the tree.For the past 4 years, since early 2008, someone has been shaking the tree. And the monkeys have been falling out.If you, like me, happen to be one of the monkeys miraculously still in the tree, take heart! The tree can’t shake…

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If a tree falls in a forest but no one witnesses it, does it make a sound?

I’ve always struggled with this question. My rational brain is unequivocal, “Of course it makes a sound.” Substance over form.But I have a nagging doubt in the back of my mind that the question wouldn’t exist if the answer was so obvious.I’ve recently opened my eyes to the truth. The answer is, “No.”No witness, no…

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What motivates people to perform?

Tricky question. I’ve tried a few tactics, all of which play to emotions.Fear. Very effective for speed, not so effective for innovation. How do you create fear? Easy: Anger. Shouting. Swearing. Ruthlessness. Heartlessness. Ultimately though, with the right kind of leader, fear turns to respect and the system hums. But. Innovation can’t happen because the…

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Tech start-ups are like yachts

Some businesses can be compared to the 100m dash. Few variables, the course is completely predictable, and at the end of the day the strongest/fastest man wins.Tech start-ups are more like yachts in a sailing race. Many variables, the conditions are unpredictable, and unlike the 100m dash, you can make strategic choices.Sailing gives you the…

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Advertising revenue models

An advertising revenue model creates an incentive to monetise your user’s personal data. People have a high tolerance for others messing with their privacy, but one day the people will snap. It’s like the frog in boiling water. All happy, smiley faces, then POW!Green blood everywhere.

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How to survive the Vortex of Destiny

Every entrepreneur goes through tough times.Me too.I used to call it the Vortex of Death until it occurred to me that the language didn’t inspire optimism, so I rebranded to Vortex of Destiny.It all starts so excitingly! The dream is big, the energy is high, the people are with me, how can I fail when…

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Win the crowd and you win your freedom

One day I started my own business. Along the way I realized I needed more money if I were to go to the next level.So I diluted.A year later I realized I need more money if I were to go to next level, again.So I diluted.Of course, the dilutions led me to toying with the idea…

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There are 3 kinds of secrets

1.         A secret that affects no one. Like picking your nose.2.         A secret that affects other people but does not hurt them unless the secret is revealed. Like the name of a rape victim.3.         A secret that affects other people and hurts them…

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The key to success

What’s the difference between countries that prosper and those that flounder? What’s the difference between Mexico and USA? Or North Korea vs South Korea? Or Germany vs Ukraine? Countries are made up of people. If there is no human population then it’s not a country. So it’s the people that are the key. How do…

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