Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ten Years of Lessons: Part II


Solve problems that matter to you.

If it is important to you it will get done.  Work on issues that weigh on your mind.  Solve problems that creep into your consciousness.  The payoff for solving a problem that moves your soul fulfills and rejuvenates you for another day.  This cycle will keep you engaged and active in the business and the quest to innovate to repeat the cycle.  Make the difference that makes a difference to you.

Your reputation it everything.

Your competitors (and haters) in general will do everything they can to soil your reputation and put doubt into peoples’ minds about you.  Don't do them any favors.  Be someone that people can count on each and everyday.  No one requires perfection but everyone expects a certain level of common decency, integrity, and effort.  Beat the average; be who you say you will be.

You go last & 2 x 1/2. 

When you are the owner you get paid last- if at all.  I've gone years without a paycheck in hopes a distributing at the end of a quarter.  (Scary stuff for a family man) It seemingly takes me twice the investment of time and money to make of half the money to needed to reach stabilization.  There is an old military maxim that goes, "Amateurs talk tactics and professionals talk logistics".  The entrepreneur must understand how to maintain cash flow to survive.

Poise is required.

People will lie, steal, cheat, threaten, and disappoint you and than say that it is nothing personal.  When it's your business it's always personal.  Business it a contact sport; people will do what it takes to win.  Poise is a requirement in all situations.  Keep your worst thoughts and emotions hidden from the public.  Never let your competitors see you sweat or know what you're thinking.

Time and Money are precious:

Each day and each dollar is precious to an entrepreneur. There is never enough of either to do everything that you need or want to accomplish.  There is no such thing as a forty-hour workweek and the work never ends.  There is always something more to do; there is always more opportunity to seize.

You can succeed.

There is a dearth of consistent creativity, work ethic, integrity, and commitment in business that provides a path for success for those with the talent and fortitude to rise to the challenge.  Smart, dedicated, hard working people succeed in business because the market place needs more of them.

A good idea is not good enough.

There is a lot of work between a good idea and a profitable idea. There is even more work between a profitable idea or project and a scalable, sustainable company.  The desire, drive, capability, endurance, and the discernment to do the work - the right work at the right time- forges good ideas into a business

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