Learn to dance in the rain

In business, there are times where everything will go wrong. Your partner will leave. Your customer will fire you. Your competitor will sure  you. It will feel like you’re standing in a thunderstorm, alone and without an umbrella. That’s when you need to start dancing. Figure out a way to have fun amidst the bad…

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A snake is still a snake, no matter how many times it sheds its skin

People can change. But a snake is a snake. When you identify someone without integrity, get rid of her. No matter how many times she promises to turn over a new leaf, she will revert to type. A snake is a snake, no matter how many times it sheds it’s skin.

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Don’t park in the disabled parking spot

If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re taking risks. Big risks. So why would you park in a disabled parking spot (unless you’re disabled)? You’re just tempting fate. Not only that, but other people will see you. Very few people respect able-bodied folks that park in bays reserved for the disabled. If you’re not respected, how do you…

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There’s a difference between being friendly and being friends

There will be times where you must have hard conversations with your staff Hard conversations are not possible with friends. You can’t be friends with your staff. By all means be friendly. Go for company drinks, hang by the water cooler, ask after their private lives. Be friendly. Don’t make friends.

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In a multiplicative system, you’re only as strong as the weakest link

1000 x 45 x 37 x 0 x 789 = 0 The presence of a zero in this equation renders the entire result as zero, regardless of the size of the other factors. This applies to all multiplicative systems, here is an example of a football player: 1. Talent. You’re 6 foot, quick, skillful, strong, and have always…

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The simplest explanation is usually correct

Occam’s Razor states that, “Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.” In plain-speak, the simplest solution is correct. Another good explanation of Occam’s razor comes from the writer, William J. Hall: “Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof.” We all have a tendency to look for more that what is there. Instead of…

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Be indifferent to the opinions of others

Ignore the crowd. Ignore the pundits. Ignore the noise. If you must, politely listen to the opinion’s of others. Then forge ahead on the path of your own choosing. It’s your business. If you make the wrong decisions, only you will pay the price. No one will give you the right advice. Only you can…

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Lose your fear of losing what you have

Are you paranoid of losing what you have? Your idea? Your savings? Your business? Harbouring a fear of losing what you have is the easiest way to lose it. Get rid of your fear. Mentally picture losing whatever you’re afraid of losing, all the way to the end. It will help you realize that the…

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Use the pyramid principle

The Pyramid Principle describes a very effective way to structure your thoughts, arguments and presentations. The gist is that you should break your argument into no more than three points. If you have nine points you want to communicate, then create three sub-headers, with three points per header. Create a pyramid. Your brain is wired to remember…

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Frame your pitch as a way to avoid losing

People have a bias towards loss aversion. If you want Bob to bet R50 on the outcome of a football match, frame it as a potential win of R50, rather than a potential loss of R50. Bob’s fear of loss will beat his desire to win. When you’re selling to your customer, be aware of this….

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Beware of regression to the mean

Statistically speaking, you will be rewarded for punishing others, and punished for rewarding. Its just math. All things being equal, if the odds of scoring a goal are 50/50, then someone who has just scored a great goal is more likely to miss his next shot. Same for someone who has just missed a shot…

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7 psychological biases to watch out for

All have heuristic biases.These mental habits make us take short cuts, and can lead us to make stupid mistakes.The trick is to be aware of our biases, so we can compensate for them in decision-making.Here are seven common biases in business: Anchoring bias: You tend to rely too heavily, or “anchor,” on one trait or piece of…

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