The importance of form over substance

In South African law, the over-arching principle is, “Substance over form.” In essence, this means the law is based upon actions not words.

“I did not kill him,” is not a defence in itself. Especially if there is physical evidence that you did kill him.

On the other hand, stating “I killed him,” is not enough to be convicted. There needs to be hard evidence.

In law, substance is more important than form.

Businesss is different.

In business, form is more important than substance. If you don’t present yourself well, you won’t get your foot in the door.

No foot in the door? It makes no difference how great your product is. No one will pay attention.

History is littered with examples of great inventions that failed because they were not marketed well. If you don’t tell your story, no one will hear it, so it doesn’t matter how good your story is.

The good news is that story-telling skills are far easier to master than building skills. Great salesmen have an edge, but YOU can remove their advantage by matching their “form” and bringing substance to the party. They, on the other, will find it very difficult competing at a substance level.

The race starts with “form.” It ends with “substance.” The entrepreneurs that understand and master this will win the race.

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