Go ugly early

When you’re starting a business it’s tempting to target the ideal customer. The customer with the best reputation and the most money. That’s a mistake. Everyone is targeting that customer. If you join the pack your odds of winning go down. Better to be alone in your chase. Go ugly early.

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If someone loses her cool, it’s her problem, not yours

In business there will be times where your counterparts will lose their cool. She might shout, or swear, or threaten, or slam the door. Whatever. If you’re not careful, this type of outburst can affect you. It can niggle in your mind, and distract you from more important stuff. Don’t let it. If someone loses…

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Dumbo didn’t need a magic feather

Dumbo is an elephant that could fly if he held a magic feather. Except it turns out he didn’t need the feather. The ability to fly was inside him. The feather was a prop. The secret was for Dumbo to believe in himself. The same goes for you. You don’t need anything external. Everything you…

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Every downhill starts with an uphill

Every entrepreneur wants the good life: financial security, time with family, work without assholes. That’s the downhill of startup life. But before you can go downhill, you must go uphill. Financial insecurity. Time away from family. Work with assholes. Don’t begrudge it. Put your head down and grind your way up the hill. The downhill…

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Make it up as you go along

To the outside world it may seem that great entrepreneurs are following a master plan. A well thought out scheme, with defined milestones, ending in greatness and success. That’s because most of the outside world has never started a busines.s There is no grand plan. Businesses make themselves up as they go along. Your job,…

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The 4 Quarters Rule

If you’re in the game of buying companies, apply the 4 Quarter Rule: 1 quarter is how you buy. 1 quarter is how you structure. 1 quarter is operations. 1 quarter is sales. That’s how you must allocate effort and energy. Neglect any quarter and you risk doing a bad deal, regardless of how well…

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Kill your darlings

It’s a sad truth that most of your ideas will end in the trash can. And many of those trashed ideas will be the best ones. But trash them you must, otherwise you can’t focus on what’s gaining traction. If you chase more than one idea at the same time you risk failing at everything….

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Every lie you tell incurs a debt

Sooner or later, that debt must be repaid. The best policy is to never tell a lie. That way you don’t have to remember what you said. And you don’t have to lie in bed at night thinking of when that debt is going to be called up.

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You gain authority by giving it away

True authority is leadership. To be a leader you need followers. People follow leaders that create goodwill. Goodwill is created by helping others, putting their interests first, and empowering them. In other words, leaders gain authority by giving it away.

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You are the message

What is being said is less important than who is saying it. People attribute credibility to the words depending on who is saying them. So, if you want your words to be taken seriously, you need to build a reputation of authenticity. To do that you need to spend your life keeping promises and delivering…

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Victory is the only option

Coming second is not an option. Great entrepreneurs find a way to win. That’s all there is to it. You have to think hard, and work hard, until you win. All other routes are a cop out. Victory is the only option.

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Momentum can be the difference between winning and losing

When you have no momentum even the simplest tasks seem hopeless. Morale is low. The future is dark. A company with no momentum is like a train at dead stop. It’s hard to get going. On the other hand, if you have momentum, even a steel reinforced concrete wall can’t stop you. Momentum starts with…

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