THOUGHTS ON WEALTH, SUCCESS AND YOUR SMALL BUSINESS
What do you want to do with your life?
you and yourself
There’s no one looking at your answers. This is between you and yourself. There’s no right answer for everyone. There’s only the answer that’s right for you. If you’re passionate about your answer, then you’re not counting the hours in the investment toward your goals. If you’re excited about what you’re doing, then others will follow you and your example. No one is criticizing your answers to the above. But there may be the voices of the others from the past, telling you what you can do, and why you can’t do it, or why you shouldn’t try. If you admit to these ghosts, instead of running away from them in fear or regret, then perhaps more is possible. We are only held back when we give consent to others in holding us captive. Greater people are often held in bondage by the lesser person. This is done through consent of the controlled. Unless you realize where and when you gave consent, you’ll always be in the same bondage you’re in right now– if that’s where you are. Below are principles of success discovered by those greater than myself. Mentors, teachers and friends, who taught me through their example, shared experience and mistakes. Humbly, I share these suggestions with you.
1. Do the right thing.
In doing so, remember to be aware of those around you who mistake kindness as weakness. Abusers, liars, deceivers and thieves always mistake kindness and morality as weakness. Never forget this for they will try and try to take everything from you–as you do the right thing. Recovering drug addicts are the best at talking you out of your business and your money.
There’s a saying, “No good deed goes unpunished.” There’s a degree of truth to this statement. This is because we’re in a world of people who assume that nice guys finish last. Doing the right thing puts you in first class. People will notice it and notice you. If you are punished for doing right, it’s because you’re reminding someone else that they are doing wrong. Expect retaliation when you blow the whistle– and then do it anyway. Sometimes, termination is your graduation.
2. Master the need for immediate gratification.
A willingness to wait places you at an advantage against your competitors in all areas. Delaying gratification fuels success. Delaying purchasing that new car allows you flexibility in decisions because you’re debt load is relieved. Delaying a payoff by working, while your friends are partying, may pay off in more ways you may imagine.
This means you do first things first. When the bills need to be paid, you’re not checking unnecessary emails. When a customer needs a follow up phone call, you’re not chatting with a coworker. When the product needs to be prepared and shipped, you’re not reading the newspaper. First things first. Smart people fail miserably when they leave the most important tasks to last. The best way to destroy your business, your prospects and your opportunities, is to neglect a first priority task. It’s the most common form of self-sabotage. Brilliant people often fail because they refuse to take responsibility for their own success and failure. The issue that sabotages them most is that they fail to place first things first, as their failure to control their need for immediate gratification. These two issues are one in the same. This alone is the seed of failure in most brilliant people. Obtaining success is the process of doing the things you don’t want to do in order to obtain the objectives you seek.
3. Identify, restrict and control your need for certainty.
Identify who you are and how this fits into your life. The industry you choose should fit inside this need for certainty and tolerance for ambiguity. This means that if you have a high need for certainty, then preparing others’ tax returns may be a better business than starting a construction business.
A low need for certainty means you are able to tolerate high risk better than others. What seems unpredictable and chaotic to others may be your area of strength, if you’re able to tolerate that environment. Those who have a high need for certainty (low tolerance for ambiguity) cannot function in an environment where there are many unknowns and high risk. Pick you career, your industry and your role according to your need for certainty. If you can’t handle ambiguity, then pick an activity and a role that minimizes it. This decision may minimize your risk and save your relationships. It may prevent and alleviate health problems.
The role of breadwinner within the family may temper your choices. Your spouse may not share your penchant for risk. Unless husband and wife are on the same page and are able to focus on the prize, risk will produce conflict. In such circumstances, the family will need to work as a team and make sacrifices to do what is possible and minimize risk.
Foreigners do better at this then happy Americans. This is why you’ll see an Indian family operate a Dunkin’ Donuts and work as a team. Prior to that family project, they each took two or three jobs, scraping by, to save the money and start that business. Many families don’t have that commitment level. Most broke families can’t think past the weekend. It all depends on your perspective, teamwork and what you’re willing to risk. If your family members are moving in opposite directions, then perhaps gambling your life savings is not the right time to start a business. Start a home first. Get home life on track first. What’s the point in building a successful business if you’re going to turn it over to the divorce lawyers? Why burn through your health to obtain wealth? And then burn through wealth to recover health? There’s no point in that.
This certainty-ambiguity issue has the ability to polarize relationships, cause arguments and test your conflict resolution skills. Who you marry will play a larger role in your success than you think. The spouse’s need for certainty, and tolerance for ambiguity, may dictate how far you can go, and how fast. It may also determine whether you’ll be building your wealth or sharing it with scum divorce lawyers.
At least you can avoid problems with the IRS by filing your paperwork properly and on time–and paying up. Dealing with a scum lawyer and an unreasonable estranged mate is enough to drive your key employees out the door, and close your business for good. Managing uncertainty is managing your business. Running a business is really “IF Management.” You are managing the IF’s of your personal relationships, business relationships, the market, your suppliers, costs, etc. The whole game is one big IF. Again, choose a mate and a business that makes the “IF Factor” manageable.
4. Make complex issues simple. Customers will love you, employees will appreciate you, and your competitors will hate you.
Genius is making complex matters appear simple. People seek to understand. They buy from those who take the time to explain, to teach and to share. It shows commitment and understanding of your client.
5. No matter how far you go, remember that you’re one step away from losing your touch.
If success makes you lazy and inattentive, this will be your downfall.
6. Build skills when times are easy.
If you don’t believe this one, consider the employees at GM. When times were good, they went fishing. Many didn’t reinvest in their business model, their products, their relationships, and their own careers. Whether you’re self-employed or you’re an employee– you are your business. You are responsible for what you do, and what you fail to do.
7. Collaboration and team building is an advantage when the landscape is marked with conflict.
8. Do what others are not willing to do.
Do well what others hate to do. Then do it at a rate that others will consider outsourcing to you. This is often a hidden opportunity in any industry. The dirty and uncomfortable work affords the most opportunity. Ever notice how most gas stations have dirty bathrooms? Most women would pay more for gasoline if they were guaranteed a clean bathroom. That’s one example. Look around for those opportunities. Taking this rule to an extreme will lead to disaster.
9. Start with what you have right here–right now.
Do it right now. This may mean that you’re not able to start doing exactly what you want to do. You may need to start somewhere related to your goal and work your way in. This means that a support role may be enough for now, master it, then work towards what you want.
10. Success is defined by measuring the distance from where you are to where you started.
Stop comparing yourself to others. If you were born on third base, it means something to reach home plate. It means more if you started at home plate.
11. Smaller means flexibility.
Test your ideas. Big companies are inflexible. This is your opportunity.
12. One inconsiderate person can ruin your day, or your business in a day.
Stay away from people who exercise bad judgment. Stay away from people who create drama in your life. Stay away from people who put you down. If you can’t stay away, then do this:
16. Be a student of your business.
17. Keep expenses low and don't commit to expensive situations (big house, expensive car, high maintenance people).
This affords you the freedom to try new things in your business, to test your ideas and to see if there’s a demand you can fill. If you’re an employee, choose the smaller apartment, the cheaper car, and the lower cost when able. This provides opportunity to choose when the time is right. Review point number 2 above. Risk-taking is less nerve racking, and less abrasive on relationships, when you’re not gambling the milk money or the mortgage payment.
18. Even if you're an employee, you are a business.
19. When in doubt, invest in yourself and in others.
20. Innovation is the mixture of two or more ideas that are fundamental.
21. Find out what others hate to do and do it well.
22. Sharing your knowledge with others breeds trust, goodwill and understanding.
23. Promise a little and deliver more.
24. In a world focused on quantity, quality is a breath of fresh air.
25. THINK FOR YOURSELF.
26. Make yourself into a small target in terms of what you own in your name.
27. When everyone is tense and agitated, the person who is relaxed is in control.
28. Avoid making financial commitments that keep you stressed and pressured.
29. Debt limits your options, inhibits experimentation, and restricts your progress.
30. Turn off the television.
31. Take less drugs than what "professionals" prescribe for you and your children.
32. Filter your water.
Let your drug be your food.
34. If the media tells you to buy, then you sell.
35. You can't buy into the destruction of others, other countries, and other societies as you build your own.
36. As you pay fees to a lawyer, the lawyer will give you more reasons to pay fees to the lawyer.
37. First responders such as Police Officers, Fire Fighters and Ambulatory Personnel are there to help you in times of trouble.
38. If you really want to feel alive, take on a bully. Then show others how to do the same.
39. Your life and hard work can be trashed and thrashed by people who don’t care.
Although you did a great job, your exposure to people on your side, your team or your department (who cares less about their work than you do) will produce more
drama than you can imagine. By limiting your exposure to people who are careless, you reduce the chances of failure considerably. Avoid people who are reckless and irresponsible. A person who is irresponsible in personal matters will be irresponsible in working for your business. Clients who are careless and irresponsible are just as dangerous than an irresponsible and careless employee.
40. Advance on your competitors when the times are tough.
When times are good, it’s hard to catch a competitor in terms of market share. Overtaking a competitor happens when times are difficult.
41. Pull when your enemy pushes. Push when your enemy pulls.
Make your opponent over-react. Then use that over-reaction against him. Anger, frustration, and irritation creates over-reaction. Attack your opponent’s center and at his base. Everything else will follow. Do not attack head-on. Always attack from the blindside, particularly when the opponent can overpower you with superior strength and power. Use the opponent’s arrogance as your source of surprise. If you’re able to put aside your pride, let your opponent think he has you beat. This is the moment that the opponent will either put down his guard or over extend himself. This is the moment you seek.
43. When confused or overwhelmed, spend time with a child.
Think simple and relax. Clarity is found in the eyes and face of a child.
44. In risk, you can only ask questions from an awareness of what you don't know.
The biggest risk is that which is unknown, and you don’t know enough to ask the question in the first place.
From what you know…
a. What you know
b. What you don’t know (You realize that you don’t know the answer)
From what you don’t know…
c. You realize that you don’t know it and seek the answer.
d. You don’t know enough to even consider the question (You don’t know that you don’t know). This is the biggest risk. It is the unknown unknown. In other words, you don’t realize that you don’t know.
Choose your business and your partners according to your tolerance for ambiguity.
45. True rebellion is to be kind, to the tell the truth, and to do good in an evil world.
If you’re mean, violent and evil, then you’re the ultimate conformist.
46. When you seriously consider quitting, just slow down and take a breath.
47. When all else fails, they cannot take your skills away from you.
Your skills and how you cope with fear will determine your ability to respond to the challenge at hand.
48. Stay away from people who constantly mention their elevated level of honesty, or how good they are.
49. Every movement of your opponent results in a shift of strength, weakness, focus and timing.
50. If you’re working full time and thinking about jumping into a business, what questions should you ask of yourself?
51. If you don’t like the opportunities in front of you, make your own path.
52. If you’re looking to break into an industry, find out what most companies hate doing. Do it for less and at non-traditional hours.
53. The new money is made after 5:00 pm, and on Saturday and Sunday. The competitors who are fat and comfortable are having a good time– and won’t see you coming.
54. Winners know how to take discomfort and turn it into background noise.
55. There’s a difference between discomfort and pain. It’s important to know the difference.