When the tree shakes, monkeys fall out

State capture. Debt crises. Trees shaking. Crooks and banks and over-indebted companies falling out the trees. Whatever tree is shaking creates opportunity. Especially for the monkeys in the tree with a good hold (ie: not crooks, not over-indebted).

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Winning is more important than having a nice vibe

A nice vibe at your company is awesome. People love coming to work. Smiles everywhere. Morale high. But it all dies if you fail. As a startup your most important objective is to WIN. If you need to hire a certain specialist in order to win, but he will potentially damage the nice vibes at…

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Just because you don’t trust someone doesn’t mean you can’t work with her

The world is not perfect. Life is not perfect. People aren’t perfect. You can’t only work with people you trust. You have to work in the real world where many people are untrustworthy. Get used to it. Just because you don’t trust someone doesn’t mean you can’t work with her.

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Crooks always pay the price

If you break the law, you will pay the price. You may not go to jail, but you’ll always be looking over your shoulder. Waiting for the knock on the door. Waiting for your passport to be confiscated. Waiting for the handcuffs. The stress will eat you up from within. It will kill you. Crooks…

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Do what you can for as long as you can

You can’t control everything. You can’t know the future. At some point you just have to put your head down. Do what you can for as long as you can.

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Everyone is a nice guy until money is on the table

Before you partner with someone, find out how they behave when money is involved. DO NOT GO INTO BUSINESS WITH ANYONE UNTIL YOU’VE DONE THIS. People change when money is the issue. You don’t want to find out what your partner is like after you’ve married.

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Watch for the talkers

He talks his way into a job. Delivers nothing. Then talks his way into the next job. Delivers nothing again. Then talks his way into the next job. Delivers nothing yet again. He is superficially very impressive, but utterly useless. Watch for them. Avoid them. You don’t want them bad mouthing you (they’re good talkers)….

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Know which rules you can break

Rules made by incumbent monopolies, break them. Rules to protect people from racists and sexual harassment, don’t break them. Regulations that hurt consumers, break them. Laws that keep people safe, don’t break them. You can start a business, and win, without breaking rules. You just can’t break ALL the rules. Know which rules you can…

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Can you think of something better to do that the thing you’re doing right now?

If so, you have a problem. You are never going to be happy. You’re always going to rushing to the next thing instead of doing the current thing properly. Stop rushing to the next thing. Can you think of something better to do that the thing you’re doing right now?

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Never believe something simply because you want to believe it

All of us humans are wired to believe what we want to believe. In other words, if you’ve decided you want to buy a business, you’re wired to look for reasons to buy the business (and ignore red flags). You need to consciously force yourself to be sceptical. To look for reasons NOT to buy…

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Incompetence should not be rewarded with blind loyalty

You can’t build a business if you have a reputation for not being loyal to staff. People need to know you have their back. Just don’t take the loyalty too far. No matter how far someone has come with you, sometimes you have to cut them loose. Breaking faith or gross incompetence mean an exit….

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Ignore the assholes

There are many assholes out there. Commentators from the sidelines with no skin in the game. Critics with so real-life experience. Enemies with an agenda. You can’t spend your life reacting to them. There is only one effective strategy. Ignore the assholes.

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