Cash is more useful than assets

Ever heard of the term: “Asset rich, cash poor”? It refers to a situation where you have lots of assets, but no hard cash. For example, you may own R100million worth of properties, but only have R10,000 cash in the bank. This is a very fragile situation, because if you have any emergency expendenture you…

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Don’t underestimate animal spirits

“Animal spirits” is the term used by the British economist, John Maynard Keynes, to explain financial and buying decisions in conditions of uncertainty. It basically describes the psychology of the market. Positive – Everyone is buying, shares are going up. Negative – Everyone is selling, shares are going down. Keynes argument is that the animal…

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Entrepreneurs have three kinds of stress

Operational stress – the worries that go along with making stuff. Product deadlines, service providers, staff. Financial stress – the worries that go along with cashflow. Fund raising, payroll, chasing client payments People stress – the worries that go along with working with people you don’t like. Difficult shareholders, dishonest partners, rude clients. Operational & financial…

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Toughen up

Feeling sorry for yourself? Lost a big client? Laying off staff? Can’t get startup off ground? Not seeing enough of your family? Not making enough money? Whatever your gripe, toughen up. Imagine you are one of the millions of folks that can’t read this post, either because you can’t afford R10 worth of airtime, or…

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Don’t be a sulker

If things don’t go your way, be cool. Don’t go into a sulk. Don’t be grumpy and mope and gripe that you didn’t get what you want. Rather get over it and move forward. Smile on your dial and focus on the next thing. No one likes a sulker. Don’t be a sulker.

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People believe what they’re paid to believe

Upton Sinclair once said, “Getting a man to believe X when his salary depends on him believing Y, is very difficult.” This observation explains 99% of all irrational corporate behaviour. Salaries erode common sense. Remember that when asking someone their opinion. They will tell you a story that affirms their salary, not necessarily reality. People…

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Pick up the phone and make the call

It’s too easy to rather add the phonemail, or email, to tomorrow’s to-do list. Why delay? Why not just make the phone call right now? Every delay has a ripple effect on all events from that moment on. More delays. More chance you may fail simply because the other guy moved faster. Don’t delay. Pick…

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Keep your doubts to yourself

Everyone has doubts. It’s human. If you had no doubts there’s something wrong with you. The trick is to keep them to yourself. Not everyone has all the information you have, and so cannot allay their doubts with counter-arguments. You showing doubt sows the seeds of panic in your staff/partners/shareholders. That is a guaranteed way…

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Communicate communicate communicate

No matter whether you have three staff or three thousand staff, you simply can never communicate too much. Everyone wants to know what’s going on, no one has the same access to info as you do. Tell them what’s going on. Regularly. Repeat yourself. Bore yourself. Bore the audience. You simply can’t communicate enough. Communicate…

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Listen

Want to know what your customer wants? Listen. Want to know how much an investor is happy too invest? Listen. Want to know how to motivate your staff? Listen. Most of the time you’re so convinced you have the answer, you don’t listen to the other guy. And then you’re surprised when your customer is…

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Play your cards one at a time

Everything in business is unpredictable. You cannot predict whether you’ll win or lose until the end. So don’t play your cards before you have to. Save you best cards for when you need them, rather than fritter them away assuming you’ll already won. Everything is a long game. Don’t rush. Play your cards one at…

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Are you a leader or a boss?

A leader is someone that people follow because they want to. A boss is someone that people follow because they have to. A leader asks the opinions of her team before making a decision. A boss doesn’t care for the opinions of her team. A leader never leaves a man behind. A boss thinks of…

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