The most important thing in a business is not the abundance of great ideas, or good staff members.
What is really important in your business is the money. The most important job of a startup’s CEO is to ensure that the company doesn’t run out of money to continue operation.
It is not a good sign to run out of money, things start to go awry…
Therefore, we should keep an eye on the money. Keep track of the cash flow and develop the discipline for good cash management, I have met a lot of businessmen who cannot account for their business. They just muddle everything up and gradually everything hits red and the lights go red.
Over and over again, very great things have started from very small things. We must not despise the days of little beginnings, when everything looks like a practical joke. How can you grow big when your entire retail business is currently worth much less than 2 dozens of egg?
However, I always argue that starting small is beautiful…. The journey is always worth it. Therefore, start from the mustard! The mustard seed of today can grow into the mountains you see today. But in between here and there, you need FAITH!
It is simply dumb to allow “how much will these cost” be the first factor to consider when we want to embark upon any project. I am of the opinion that doing so makes our brain to go to sleep.
We are able to do a much better work when we focus on what needs to get done first, understand it properly and then start looking at how we can get it done within our budget. I have earlier argued that throwing more money at a problem does not necessarily solve it, we need to make more thoughtful decisions.
When we consider the money first, we have started to miss the road already.
Watching The World
I think what businesses need to to do in these century is to find their core. Their main business, focus on it and outsource the rest. That’s what Apple does.
Apple does not build any of the devices that carries their name by themselves. They work with various orisirisi suppliers that manufacture the various parts of their devices and then Foxconn in China does the final coupling together of the parts. Yet, Apple still makes huge profit from their products. I read a few years ago that 26% of an iPhone is made up of Samsung components!
What then is at the heart of Apple’s business? Design. Apple is ruthlessly focused on design, they work hard at designing great devices and user interfaces that feels right to human use. Working hard to improve an already great design. They work out the design and outsource everything else to partners.
So, maybe we should reduce time spent on things that are not central to our business, those ones can be outsourced to specialist in that domain allowing us to double down and do great work in our own field.
I think life is just too short for you not to seek out and pursue a career in something that really counts. The same energy you expend on crappy ideas is the very same energy you will expend on work that matters.
Why now pick something that does not really matter?
I know the major headache for most people is “what will I eat and drink? How will I survive?” It is the nagging question behind everyone’s mind. It is one of the top questions on my mind these days as my own life too has transitioned from a not-for profit venture bankrolled by my Dad into a for-profit, sell-or-die venture funded by myself.
The confidence we have in stubbornly choosing to work on things that really matter even though there might be no apparent immediate monetary rewards is that money flows towards value providers. If I concentrate on working hard to create value, I will sooner or later hit massive wealth.
Money is merely a reward for solving problems. The bigger the problem, the bigger the payout.
If anyone can conjure a cure for cancer right now, that person (or team) cannot end up less than a billionaire. That is how the world works. Not just cancer though, there are thousands of big problems out there that can be solved if we had more people looking into it, but these days we all want to enjoy life on the fast lane and no one is willing to work hard and long on things like this.
We need you to seek out and pursue a career in something that really counts. Do something that matters with your work life.
Watching The World
The things that happen to you are not as important as what you learnt from such experiences. Whether we win or loss or locked in a stalemate, there is always something to learn.
My assignment therefore is to be an active student of life, scanning through day-to-day activities and highlighting the things I am learning. My boss, colleagues and the random strangers I run into do not need to know I am learning from them. Learning and improving myself is my own personal headache, not theirs.
The greatest people have a learning approach to life, learning something from everyone they meet.
Bootstrapping is the art of building your company without any external funds or investors. In a world where a lot of people automatically want to raise money to start their new company, bootstrapping seems to be avoided like a plague.
Everyone wants things to move fast in their company and only “free” money can make that happen. However, I am convinced that the bootstrapping route is a very important one and it helps to acquire certain skills.
Every Entrepreneur should have at least one bootstrapped company in their profile.
Bootstrapping helps you to think clearly and focus on what is truly importantly which is selling to real customers. Selling is HARD and when you have investor’s money, you have the luxury of delaying the selling process. You are able to lock up inside your air conditioned office pretending to be building a business until you run out of money and then have to run outside to make sales.
When you bootstrap your company, you are able to learn some high level discipline which you can barely learn if you have a pile of investor cash waiting for you. You have to find ways of achieving your goals without spending loads of money.
Bootstrapping is the surest way to build a business that stays on course of purpose. When you invite investors, especially the shortsighted and greedy ones, all they want is profit ASAP and if you cannot deliver, they can sack you and hire someone else. Yes, when you raise money, sometimes you go from visionary to “foreman”. A visionary has a vision she wants to build out, quite indispensable to the company. A foreman is the lead man of the work force, highly dispensable. Anybody can lead a workforce that is controlled by a board of directors who merely tells them what to do.
A lot of Entrepreneurs think that all they need is money to start the business, but they are yet to actually solve their business equations. When they raise the money, then they lose it and the business fails.
The only issue we all have with bootstrapping our companies is that it seem to require that we think small and start small.
Watching The World
It is pointless to pursue growth that cannot be maintained. When we do, we soon come crashing down, back to earth. It is a good idea therefore to only pursue growth you can maintain.
Bad idea to try to scale up business too early by either growing into other locations or new areas. Growing too quickly can destroy the business completely.
In any community or circle you find yourself, work hard to be in the top 20% of the people that are truly useful to that community; that is how you become a great person. To become a legendary figure, work hard to be in the top 1%.
Sure, there is a bottom 20% of the people who always ensure that they are a burden to everyone else. They want to be pampered and tolerated, they display high level immaturity and are best ignored. There is also a middle class called “good” people, they are not really a burden to people, but they are not so helpful either to the larger community. At least they cater for themselves.
My plea with you is to be truly useful. If you want to move out of your community today, will you inspire tears of do not go, stay with us or will the neighbors start thanking God for ridding them of evil??