You must choose the vortex or the monster

In ancient Greek myth, sailors feared sailing the Straights of Messina because of the Charybdis whirlpool. In order to avoid being sucked into the vortex, ships had to hug the opposite side of the channel. The trouble was Scylla, the twelve-headed monster, that lived on the rocks on the opposite side. To avoid the vortex…

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Pain nourishes courage

Winston Churchill said courage is the most important character trait. Some people are born brave. Most of us are born cowards, and have to learn to be brave. You can’t be brave if only good things happen to you. Encountering misfortune and bad stuff teaches you bravery. Pain nourishes courage.

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Don’t listen to everyone

Be open to new ideas, other’s opinion, 3rd party input. But you don’t have to listen. In fact, sometimes you must go out of your way to not listen and to forge your own path. Only you have all the information. Only you can make the right decision. Don’t listen to everyone.

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Near death experiences are useful

Consider being on a plane experiencing severe air turbulence. Your fellow passengers are crying and screaming and praying. You start thinking, “What if we crash and I die? What if this is it? No last phone calls, no emails, nothing.” That’s a useful thing to go through. It makes you stop thinking about your plans…

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Have fun

Life is too short to not be having fun. Don’t put off fun till tomorrow. Starting your own business is stressful, there is pain and uncertainty. Don’t let that take away the fun of life. Make that the fun of life. Don’t delay fun. Have fun.

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There is no pleasure in hearing that you were right

So you can see an unhappy ending, so what? Why do you feel the need to tell everyone? If it comes true, someone is hurt, or some business has gone down, or some country has gone bad. What upside is there in hearing you were right? Only if you’re a damaged person do you rejoice…

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Companies are like houses

Houses need constant maintenance. You fix things, then they go awry. Then you fix them again. Just like companies. If you don’t like maintenance, don’t start a company.

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A crisis will either break you or make you more yourself

Crises are like a fire, and you are like a piece of iron. Put iron in the fire, and it will either become steel, or it will shatter. Either way, you know what you have. Steel or nothing. Embrace crises. You will find out whether you have what it takes.

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Beware simple solutions

Let’s assume you have a mole problem. Moles keep digging holes in your lawn. You don’t want to be cruel to nature, ie: use rat poison or exterminators. You’d like a natural solution. So you decide to get a mole snake. Mole snakes eat moles, no more moles, all natural. Except it turns out snakes…

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Work on the assumption that you’re the fool

Assembly instructions seem to not make sense? Missing piece for DIY bookshelf? Before you lose your cool and blame the manufacturer, pause. Assume you’re the fool and have over-looked something. That way you’ll save embarrassment, and delay, not to mention stress and anger. Work on the assumption that you’re the fool.

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Beware tactical hell

If you want to be a leader, you can’t only be focused on today and tomorrow. You need to step back sometimes and see the big picture, plan your way to the end goal. Tactical hell is a life of constantly responding to events. Only planning for today and tomorrow. Tactical hell takes you nowhere…

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You can’t make money on someone else’s advice

Trying to build wealth on the back of other people’s opinions is like trying to build muscle on the back of other people’s exercise. You can’t do it. You need to teach yourself about whatever you’ve chosen to do. You need to form your own opinions, so you can follow your own advice. That’s the…

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