Even if you’re not the underdog, think of yourself that way. Otherwise, arrogance will creep in. Arrogance cannot co-exist with innovation. Innovation is the mother of necessity. Arrogance implies no necessity, and therefore precludes innovation. Always think like an underdog. That way the competition can’t out-innovate you.
Own up, early
Have you promised something, been paid for it, but under-delivered? Maybe you said you’d give the customer 1,000 oranges. The customer took the shipment without checking, and he paid. You subsequently realise you only delivered 950 oranges. You have two choices: Hope the customer never finds out. Or own up, and make good on your…
Starting from scratch can be a blessing
Sunk costs are things like IT systems, staff complements, pricing policies, that have built up over years. Sunk costs are so entrenched that it often takes a disaster to wipe them away. Part of the reason the German military was so powerful in the early years of World War II is because it had to forfeit…
If the fire is blazing, wind only makes it hotter
You have a startup. Great. You can see headwinds ahead. It’s worrying. Don’t worry. You don’t have to worry about those headwinds. You only have to worry about today. Your job is to get your business humming. On fire. When you’re on fire, it doesn’t matter what headwinds lie in wait. The wind will make…
Action = learning
If you want to keep winning, you need to keep learning. Fall behind in wisdom and eventually someone will blow past you. 90% of wisdom comes from action. Not books. Not theories. Not chit chat. Action. Stop sitting and get moving. Do stuff. Try stuff. Make stuff. That’s the way to learn. Action = learning
The problem might change
Be careful before you start a business just to solve a problem. You put all your energy and money into finding a solution for that problem, only to find that the problem has changed. The first step is not solving the problem. The first step is deciding which problem to solve. Will the problem still…
Are you a builder or a fighter?
Fighters love the fight. They love competition and conflict. All their energy is consumed by stratagems and tactics for winning wars. For destroying threats and enemies. They’re useful tools in your business, but they can’t build your business. Builders build businesses. Are you a builder or a fighter?
It’s ok to be bored
Most times, entrepreneur life is frenetic. 24/7 calls and emails and meetings as you scramble to find cash flow. But sometimes, there’s no panic. Sometimes things are going so well that there’s nothing for you to do. You’re bored. Being bored makes you feel guilty, so you start looking around for things to keep busy….
Go through it
You’ll come to obstacles along the way. The smart thing is to find a way to go around the obstacle, or under it, or over it. But sometimes there is no way. No matter how hard you try, you can’t go around, or under, or over. There’s only one way. Go through it.
No one likes everything. Everyone hates something
You can’t please everyone. It’s much easier to hate stuff than love stuff. Be careful not to do stuff that upsets folks. If you can’t win everyone’s approval, at least minimise the amount of disapproval that comes your way.
Don’t rush so much
Force yourself to walk slowly. Force yourself to stick to the speed limit. Force yourself to chew your food properly. Always leave enough time between meetings. Wake up early to get a head start on the day. Rushing around is for busy fools. You’re so busy rushing that you can’t see what’s important to your…
You gotta keep trusting people
It doesn’t matter if your trust is betrayed. You gotta keep trusting. It’s the only way to make money AND have a life. Otherwise, you’ll never have partners, and you’ll always have to do everything yourself. Put in place checks and balances. Verify. And then trust.