Decks & documents are not important

Decks & documents are useful for forcing you to distil your thinking, but they won’t get you a deal.Only face-to-face meetings get the deal.Only relationships get the deal.Spending your life fine-tuning decks and docs is a form of mental masturbation and delaying the real thing:Sales.If you win over the customer, the rest is just “ticking…

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Don’t speak ill of others

What’s the upside? None. What’s the downside? You make an enemy. Why would you do something with no upside, only downside? Don’t speak ill of others.

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Who’s fault is it if you misunderstood?

It’s your fault. Don’t blame the other guy. Don’t get upset. Get busy taking responsibility for understanding exactly what the other person wants. It’s your fault if you misunderstood.

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Cash windows always close faster than you think

How much time do you have before you run out of cash? That’s your cash window. Beware. Cash windows always close faster than you think.

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Your job is to get rid of clutter and rules and bureaucracy.

Curling is one of the great Winter Olympic sports. (Google it.) Running your business is akin to being the sweeper in a curling team. Your job is to clear the way for your “rock” (aka: business), so that it can move forward with minimum friction. Your job is to get rid of clutter and rules…

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The lies that losers tell

“I’m glad he left because I was going to fire him anyway.” “We were going to drop our prices anyway.” “It’s not our fault that we bought the wrong business.” Watch out for these lines. They’re the lines that losers tell to make themselves feel better about being bad businessmen. If you need to fire…

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The right thing and the safe thing are usually not the same thing

There will be many times on your journey when you will be faced with uncomfortable choices.Do you do the right thing?Or do you do the safe thing?The former has risk, but leads you to the Promised Land.The latter has no risk, but is a dead end.It’s not a hard decision.Always do the right thing.

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The rendezvous with reality

Most startup entrepreneurs are in dreamland. Fuelled by optimism and idealism, you are disconnected from the real world. That is natural. If you weren’t slightly insane, you wouldn’t have started a startup. What you have to look out for the rendezvous with reality. Also known as “running out of cash.” That’s where dreams are irrelevant….

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Do you think you can be Eminem?

No. Then what makes you think you can be Mark Zuckerberg?The odds of succeeding as a consumer tech entrepreneur are probably lower than those of succeeding as a rock star.You see the tech stars (Zuckerberg, Page, Bezos). You don’t the millions of failures.So your brain biases you towards an unrealistic perception of your chances of…

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The calamity theory of growth

Prof Richard Farson is credited with the calamity theory of growth, as follows:Calamities improve us as humans because they force you to reassess your understanding of your capabilities and goals.When you come out of a calamity, you are stronger and better equipped for the future.Same applies to startups.Every calamity helps you grow.Embrace calamities.

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You will live over 100 years…

Modern healthcare means there are pretty good odds of you living past 100 years.By law, companies force you to retire at 65.That leaves at least 35 years for you to keep yourself entertained, and more important, to pay bills.Most corporates don’t teach you how to fend for yourself in the wild (ie: survive without a…

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