You have to be a hedgehog AND a fox

Hedgehogs have one big idea. Foxes change direction every minute. Hedgehogs focus on the mountain. Foxes navigate the swamps en route. It’s no good being a hedgehog if you can’t dodge the swamps. It’s no good being a fox if you have no destination. You have to be a hedgehog AND a fox.

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It’s no good solving a problem that lots of other people are also solving

For example: electricity. If your community is struggling with municipal electricity, the obvious solution is solar. So perhaps you should start a solar business, right? Wrong. Every Tom, Dick and Harry will be starting a solar business. You’ll be competing with too many people, which equates to not making any profit. Find a problem, then…

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Be cheerful even when mucking out the pigsty

It’s easy being cheerful when doing stuff you love. The hard part is being cheerful when doing stuff you hate. Everyone hates mucking out the pigsty. Or being rejected by investors/customers. Or waking up at 3am to do cashflow recons. But it comes with the job. There’s no avoiding it. So don’t drop your lip….

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If you don’t have money, you work for other people

It’s that simple. If you don’t have enough of your own money, you work for other people. Shareholders, customers, banks. It’s only on the day where you have enough money of your own that you can say you don’t work for other people. Until that day, suck it up. Return those calls, go to those…

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You need a coach

What you think you are doing and what you are actually doing are two different things. For example, you may think your golf swing looks like but it is physically impossible for you to see the same picture and someone watching you. That’s why even the world’s best golfer, Tiger Woods, has a coach. So…

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Every obstacle is an opportunity

It’s such a trite thing to say. But it’s true. Every single hurdle, setback, obstacle in your way is an opportunity. An opportunity to improve your business, to close a loophole, to find a new revenue stream, to learn a new skill. Grabbing that opportunity means you becoming a better entrepreneur, more skilled, better tooled…

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So, you don’t have any ideas

You want to start a business. But you don’t have any ideas, so you can’t. Or at least that’s what you tell yourself. That’s what you comfort yourself with when sitting in your cubicle. The truth is you don’t want to start a business. Whatever the reason: job security, financial stability, time commitments, lack of…

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Patience leads to opportunity

In business, its important to move fast. Urgency is key! But patience is also key. If you’re racing around too much, you may just miss what you’re looking for. Patience means having the power to sit still when there is nothing to do but wait. For example, when looking for a spot in a crowded…

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You can’t sleep if you’re not transparent

There are many circumstances in business (life) where you can keep information to yourself and let the other party think what they want to think. You justify the situation: “She never asked the right question”, or “I never actually told a lie.” But you know in your heart, you should have told all. You should…

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Unquestioning loyalty is bad

Every business needs trust. It’s the lubricant that lets you move fast knowing your team have your back. Loyalty is a key ingredient for trust. There is no space for traitors in a winning team. But loyalty can be taken too far. Expecting your team to be loyal to you even if you’re taking them…

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Too much control and you won’t go far

Control is important. If you don’t keep a handle on your people and your business, chaos will ensure and you’ll fail. But too much control is a bad thing. Too much control stifles. Too much control stops you from hitting it out the park. Too much control alienates star performers. Too much control makes you…

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Pass on the chicken feed

What’s the point of taking the risk of starting your own business if the profits are small. Miniscule profits are not fun. They’re chicken-feed. Do you really want the fruits of your labour to be chicken-feed? Pass on the chicken feed. Chase big profits.

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