Scale helps protect you from fraud

Sometimes growing your business is the only way to mitigate the risks of fraud. When you’re too small you can’t afford checks and balances (auditors, internal controls, etc). Too much reliance on key people always creates the risk of fraud. Scale is the best way to overcome this risk. More revenues = more spare cash…

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Don’t celebrate failure

Some people think it’s a good thing to celebrate failure. To embrace it. Pay no attention. Losing is not a good thing. Failure is not something to celebrate. By all means, use your setbacks as opportunities for reflection. Learn from your mistakes. But don’t glory in them. You’ll attract other losers, and you’ll lose some…

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When you sign an agreement, then you start negotiating

Sometimes it’s better not to ask for a written agreement. Better to shake hands and get cracking. A written agreement opens the door to negotiating over lots of technicalities (warranties, exclusions, etc). If you have a handshake deal, the details are over-ruled by “intent”, and there’s no haggling.

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Startups are like sharks. You stop moving and you die

You need to keep moving. Keep getting rejected. Keep seeing people. Keep trying new things. Keep moving. Stop moving and you die.

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If you’re asking yourself who’s job it is, it’s yours

Coffee? Your job. Signage? Your job. Stationery? Your job. Business cards? Your job. If you’re asking yourself who’s job it is, it’s yours.

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Dead dead is much better than living dead

You don’t want to be a zombie business. The living dead. Not winning, not failing. Better dead dead than living dead.

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Try, even if you know it’s impossible

Want to get on an earlier flight? Even if you know it’s impossible, try. Want to get paid 30 days early? Even if you know it’s impossible, try. Want to to raise R100million? Even if you know it’s impossible, try. You’ll never know, unless you try.

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Be careful what you wish for

Don’t ask for a specific investor. Don’t ask for a specific customer. Don’t ask for a specific employee. Ask for enough money to grow. Ask for market validation. Ask for help in your business. Then take whatever comes your way. If you get too specific in your expectations, you may take the wrong path.

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There are no headlines about crowd-funding fails

You only read about the successful crowd funding initiatives. Not the failures. If they wrote about the failures, there would not be enough space for anything else. All things being equal, crowdfunding doesn’t work. Don’t put energy into crowd funding, no matter whether it’s a food business or a rocket business. The way to raise…

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If you’re going through Hell, keep going

Things can get tough. Running out of cash. Client rejection. Loss of faith. It can be Hell. You have two choices: Stop, or keep moving. If you stop you have 100% chance of failure. The answer is easy. If you’re going through Hell, keep moving.

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Answer the knock at the door

Don’t ignore the meeting request. Or the introduction. Or the email. Most times the knock on the door is a waste of time. But sometimes it’s the answer to your prayers. If you don’t answer the knock, you’ll never know. Answer the knock on the door.

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What’s more important to you? You? Or your business?

At some point in your business you’ll be confronted with the conundrum of choosing what’s best for you, versus what’s best for the business.For example, a major customer accuses you of being disrespectful. It’s unfair and untrue.You must choose: Apologise and keep the customer? Or stick to your guns, and lose the customer?The former is…

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