The right thing and the safe thing are usually not the same thing

There will be many times on your journey when you will be faced with uncomfortable choices.Do you do the right thing?Or do you do the safe thing?The former has risk, but leads you to the Promised Land.The latter has no risk, but is a dead end.It’s not a hard decision.Always do the right thing.

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The rendezvous with reality

Most startup entrepreneurs are in dreamland. Fuelled by optimism and idealism, you are disconnected from the real world. That is natural. If you weren’t slightly insane, you wouldn’t have started a startup. What you have to look out for the rendezvous with reality. Also known as “running out of cash.” That’s where dreams are irrelevant….

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Do you think you can be Eminem?

No. Then what makes you think you can be Mark Zuckerberg?The odds of succeeding as a consumer tech entrepreneur are probably lower than those of succeeding as a rock star.You see the tech stars (Zuckerberg, Page, Bezos). You don’t the millions of failures.So your brain biases you towards an unrealistic perception of your chances of…

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The calamity theory of growth

Prof Richard Farson is credited with the calamity theory of growth, as follows:Calamities improve us as humans because they force you to reassess your understanding of your capabilities and goals.When you come out of a calamity, you are stronger and better equipped for the future.Same applies to startups.Every calamity helps you grow.Embrace calamities.

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You will live over 100 years…

Modern healthcare means there are pretty good odds of you living past 100 years.By law, companies force you to retire at 65.That leaves at least 35 years for you to keep yourself entertained, and more important, to pay bills.Most corporates don’t teach you how to fend for yourself in the wild (ie: survive without a…

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Wild dogs have the highest kill success ratio in the wild

Why? Because, unlike predators such as leopards and bears, wild dogs cooperate.Cooperation = coordination = success.Same applies to business.Teams beat individuals.Build a strong team, and you’ll win.

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Own your own risk

Every business is unique.So don’t follow someone else’s playbook.There is no playbook.Listen to advice, read books, learn as much as you can.Just don’t offload your risk to someone else.Own your own risk.

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Pivoting is not something to be proud of

Thanks to Eric Ries’ book, The Lean Startup, the concept of “pivoting” has become fashionable. Something to brag about. “We pivoted our business!” Mr Ries did not mean to encourage “pivoting” as a business strategy. He encourages it as a survival strategy. If you have to pivot, it means you are about to fail. If…

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Nurture your generosity gene

Be generous with bonuses. Be happy for other’s success. Be a cheerleader for promotions. Be generous. Be generous. Be generous. Jack welsh advice

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Don’t confuse intensity for frequency

Really tough times in your startup doesn’t mean startups are always really tough. Times of intense difficulty can easily make you think it will never end. Don’t panic. This too shall pass. Things will calm down and the freedom of being an entrepreneur will pay off. Don’t confuse intensity with frequency.

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You can’t spend your life hanging our under someone else’s umbrella, and complain when you get wet

Maybe you have no choice but to work for someone else. Or maybe your startup has no choice but to rely on one big client. Whatever umbrella you choose, don’t complain when you get wet. If you can’t handle the risk of someone else’s umbrella not covering you when it starts raining, get your own…

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Never underestimate the power of being underestimated

Let people think you’re slow, or lazy, or unconnected. Let them snigger and chuckle. Let them underestimate you. The more you’re underestimated, the less likely the other guy will be sufficiently prepared. In business, winning is more important than what other people think. Embrace the power of being underestimated.

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