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Wednesday, February 13, 2013



1. Never fight a battle that you do not have to win. Do not let pointless arguments with cranky people absorb your time and energy or get you too upset to work.

2. It is always later than you think, which is why "now" is usually the best time to get started. Don't start something you don't know how to finish, so you have to always be getting ready for the next thing your business needs to do.

3. It is not enough to be a success, but it is also not necessary for your friends, rivals, and enemies to be failures. Someone else's good fortune is only very rarely something bad for you.

4. It is not enough to work hard to get your money. The devil works hard, too -- so do a lot of idiots.

5. Sometimes the best man for the job is a woman, and sometimes the best man for the job is your worst enemy.

6. If at all possible, grow your business without taking on debt. Debt will crush you since the payments still have to be made when business slows down. Don't buy a big piece of equipment unless you're already paying more in rental fees than it will cost to buy it, maintain it, and move it around.

7. Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice tie!" while your attorney files the lawsuit.

8. You do not have to know everything or even know someone who knows everything. But you need a big enough circle of friends that one of them can answer the question: "Does anyone know someone who knows how to do this (or where to get it)?"

9. Sometimes you just need to have a long rambling chat with your suppliers and customers. Things (good and bad) come up in a casual conversation that would never come up during interviews.

10. Excellence is achievable and worthwhile; perfection is not achievable and chasing it will drive you insane. It's cheaper to pay to correct the one thing in a thousand that goes wrong than it is to make sure nothing ever goes wrong.

11. The best surprise is the unexpected.

12. The guy you defeated, destroyed, and utterly humiliated last week is the guy you will have to ask for a favor next week. So be nice to people, even ones you don't like.

13. It's easy to be somebody's favorite customer. Pay your bills on time without being reminded. Learn how to frame your orders and requests in their terms.

14. It's easy to pay your bills. Don't spend money you don't have in the first place!

15. It's always the worst possible time for somebody you have to deal with today. Respect that and have your questions organized before you interrupt their work.

16. It's better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all -- unless trying costs a lot of money.

17. The only one who will ever really understand you is your most dangerous rival.

18. Failing to write a plan is a plan for failure.

19. What's "Good Enough For Government Work" is not good enough for a successful business.

20. There never has been, nor will there ever be, a good time to release a bad product.

21. Junk mail arrives the day it was sent. Checks sent to you are always late. Checks you are racing to the bank always win. The letter you regret sending already arrived.

22. It's not hard to meet expenses; they are everywhere. Fortunately, most of them are predictable and can be taken into account in your budget. Taxes are not unexpected. Neither is the annual insurance payment.

23. It's not how good your product is; lots of good products never find a market. Assuming you have a good product, success comes down to how well you market it it.

24. It's not the work that gets you down. It's the interruptions that are the real killers, the worst of which are the ones you create for yourself.

25. Always have a reserve. If you have to use it, start creating a new reserve. Always know where the new reserve that replaces the current reserve is going to come from.

26. Sometimes you have to ask: "Are we trying to get this project done, or are we just trying to prove which one of us is the biggest elephant in the herd?"
27. Sometimes, you have to ruin the fun and point out that the new plan violates the contract, or the law, or ethics, or the copyright of someone who has a lot of lawyers.

28. It's necessary for people in a small business to have more than one job. It's not ok for them to just do one of their jobs and ignore all of the others, not even for one whole day.

29. You had the staff meeting. You told everybody what to do. You made sure they had the resources to do it. Did you check back later to see if they actually did it?

30. Use college interns when you can. For $10 an hour, you can get a student in marketing, web design, or other fields who has the latest skills and knowledge. They'll work hard for you in exchange for cool things on their resume.


Excuse: It's Not My Job!
 Answer: Ok, then whose job is it and why isn't he doing it?

Excuse: It's out of my control!
Answer: Then we had better get control of the situation, or stop getting ourselves into situations we cannot control.

Excuse: I didn't know that would happen!
Answer: So you admit your planning was faulty.