The new reality
- Working 10-40 hours/week is plenty. You don’t have to work 60-80 hours a week and have a miserable life.
- You don’t have to deplete your life savings or take on boatloads of risk.
- Starting a business on the side while you keep your day job provides a cash flow.
- You don’t even need an office.
- You can work from home or collaborate with people whom you have never met and are 1000s of kms away.
Ignore the real world
- Read world expect fresh concepts to fail. They assume society isn’t ready for or capable of change.
- Real-world is filled with pessimism and despair.
- If you’re hopeful and ambitious, they’ll try to convince you your ideas are impossible.
- Don’t believe them. That world may be real for them, but it doesn’t mean you have to live in it.
Learning from mistakes is overrated
- People advise, “Fail early and fail often.”
- You hear that failure builds character.
- Don’t get fooled by the stats. Other people’s failures are just that: other people’s failures.
- If other people can’t market their product, it has nothing to do with you. If other people can’t build a team, it has nothing to do with you. If other people can’t price their services properly, it has nothing to do with you. If other people can’t earn more than they spend … well, you get it.
- Another common misconception: You need to learn from your mistakes. What do you really learn from mistakes? You might learn what not to do again, but how valuable is that? You still don’t know what you should do next.
- Failure is not a prerequisite for success.
- When something succeeds, and you know what worked – you can do it again and maybe even better.
- Evolution doesn’t linger on past failures, it’s always building upon.
Planning is Guessing
- Long-term business planning is a fantasy.
- Plans can put blinders on you – “This is where we’re going because, well, that’s where we said we were going.”
- Sometimes you need to say, “We’re going in a new direction because that’s what makes sense today.”
- Why is expansion always the goal? What’s the attraction of big besides ego? What’s wrong with finding the right size and staying there?
- Maybe the right size for your company is five people. Maybe it’s forty. Maybe it’s two hundred. Or maybe it’s just you and a laptop.
- Have you ever noticed that while small businesses wish they were bigger, big businesses dream about being more agile and flexible?
- Once you get big, it’s really hard to shrink without firing people, damaging morale, and changing the entire way you do business.
- Don’t be insecure about aiming to be a small business. Anyone who runs a business that’s sustainable and profitable, whether it’s big or small, should be proud.
- Workaholics fix problems by throwing sheer hours at them. They try to make up for intellectual laziness with brute force.
- If all you do is work, you’re unlikely to have sound judgments. Your values and decision making wind up skewed. You stop being able to decide what’s worth extra effort and what’s not. And you wind up just plain tired. No one makes sharp decisions when tired.
Make a dent in the Universe
- To do great work, you need to feel that you’re making a difference. That you’re putting a meaningful dent in the universe. That you’re part of something important.
- Your efforts need to feel valuable. You want your customers to say, “This makes my life better.”
- Do you want to build just another me-too product or do you want to shake things up?
- If you’re going to do something, do something that matters.
Scratch your own itch
- The easiest, most straightforward way to create a great product or service is to make something you want to use. That lets you design what you know–and you’ll figure out immediately whether or not what you’re making is any good.
- When you build a product or service, you make the call on hundreds of tiny decisions each day. If you’re solving someone else’s problem, you’re constantly stabbing in the dark. When you solve your own problem, the light comes on. You know exactly what the right answer is.
Start making something
- Ideas are cheap and plentiful.
- What you do is what matters, not what you think or say or plan.
No time is no excuse
- There’s always enough time if you spend it right.
- When you want something bad enough, you make the time – regardless of your other obligations.
- The truth is most people just don’t want it bad enough. Then they protect their ego with the excuse of time. Don’t let yourself off the hook with excuses.
- It’s entirely your responsibility to make your dreams come true.