Focus on one mission, pray for luck

The path to success is focus. All your eggs in one basket. But it also makes you open to failure. The more committed to a project you are, the more vulnerable you become. That’s where luck comes in. Accept that your success is not entirely within your control. You must rely on factors outside your control….

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There will always be naysayers

The only time in your life when you won’t have naysayers is if you’re doing what everyone else is doing. Which means you won’t succeed as an entrepreneur. To succeed you need to find a gap in the market. Something no one else is doing. By definition that means there will be people who don’t…

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There’s nothing worse than a slow No

Some companies/people don’t have the guts to say No to your face. So they drag it out. Ask for another meeting. Another email. Eventually, months later, they say, “Sorry, no budget.” And you’ve wasted time and energy. A fast No is painful, but at least it’s over and you can move on. Beware the slow…

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If someone lends you money, pay it back with interest

If someone lends you money, pay it back. And don’t forget interest. Borrowing R100 for 5 years, and paying in back without interest is like stealing R34. That is the interest the lender would have made on his cash if he’d had it in his bank account. It’s the right thing to do.

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Startups are like curling

Curling is a sport whereby you push a “rock” along a flat ice lane, with the goal of landing it as near the target as possible. Similar to lawn bowls. Once the rock is released you can “sweep” the ice in front of it in order to change direction (curl), or speed it up. If…

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Don’t complain about the pitch

One of the biggest factors in a cricket match is the state of the pitch.It can heavily favour one side’s bowlers, and determine the outcome of the game.Fine. That’s just how it is.There are plenty of “pitches” in business.If the pitch doesn’t suit you, there’s no need to complain about it.That’s life, get on with…

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Stop, reflect

As an entrepreneur, your business is your life.If you don’t regularly stop and reflect, you will forget that your business is on a path, and that path has a direction, whether you like it or not.Reflection helps you find the direction, and make it easier to go with the flow.Sometimes it’s an employee that just…

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Give youngsters a chance

If you’re a youngster, ignore this.If you’re an elder (ie: over 40), pay attention.Young people may lack experience, but they have energy.Energy can overcome most obstacles.Lack of experience can be an asset. Youngsters don’t know what didn’t work in the past, so they’ll try it again with no jaded memories.And it may work.Experience is always…

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Be unpredictable. Don’t ignore proven strategies, but experiment

There are tried and tested strategies for winning in business.But that doesn’t mean you should never try something original.As long as it doesn’t jeopardise your macro-strategy, go ahead and experiment.Some ideas have never worked simply because of timing.Maybe the timing is right now.You’ll never know what will work if you don’t try.

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You don’t have to be perfect. You just need fewer mistakes than the opposition

Everyone will make mistakes in business. It is not an exact science.The trick is to make less mistakes than anyone else.How do you do that?Discipline. Concentration. Learn.Stick to good habits: early to bed, exercise, meditate.Concentrate: don’t let anything distract you from your focus.Learn: read books. Find mentors. Watch others. Learn from your own mistakes.Do all of…

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Don’t be childish if things don’t go your way

Virat Kohli, captain of the Indian cricket team, was recently fined for thowing the ball into the ground in anger because the umpire refused to replace it.What did he achieve?He was fined. He looked like a brat. He alienated some people who would otherwise highly respect his ability as a cricketer.And the ball was not…

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What is the speed of your Ooda loop?

Ooda is used by US fighter pilots. Think Tom Cruise in Top Gun. It means: Observe. Orient. Decide. Adjust. All pilots are trained in Ooda, constantly striving to speed up the Ooda loop. Observe. Orient. Decide. Adjust. Faster faster faster. The faster the loop, the faster the decisions. The faster the decisions, the higher the…

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