Keeping business separate from personal or charitable lanes is something everybody in business needs to work towards.
This is a business. It has to be treated as such.
Your startup business is a baby that needs to be nurtured till it takes on a life of its own. That, however will not happen unless the founder is ready to take really tough decisions.
The business lane has got to stay strictly business. Don’t sign up partners based only on emotional reasons, give your family members money and support to do what they want to do, don’t sign automagically into your workforce.
Develop the wisdom to know who you should bill heavily for work done and who to give free work to.
Never never never never mix up your business lanes and the others. Nurture your baby, don’t sniff life out of it.
That’s a question the boss has to ask every member of staff from time-to-time. We have to ensure our business runs efficiently and that we don’t have staff members who just clock in at 8AM, clock out at 4PM, yet deliver no value for the company.
Every kobo we spend on salaries, allowances and bonuses has to be justified. We need to resist the urge to hire everybody that comes knocking on the door, we must learn to hire and retain only the very best people.
Disaster begins the day some friends say they are co-founders with us – yet they do nothing tangible. It continues when we start hiring staff on emotional reasons: she’s my cousin (note: nothing wrong with hiring family members as long as they also commit to work as hard as you do).
Overtime, you discover you have a staff strength of 50 people, half of which does nothing.
Then the business starts to suffer.
Whatsapp has announced that their messaging service is now free. They will no longer charge $1 per year as they intended to do, they are coming up with a new business plan.
In my line of work. This line of work, we usually say “if you are not paying for the product, then YOU ARE THE PRODUCT”
This is exactly Whatsapp’s next line of play. Rather than charge me $1 per year to talk to my family and friends, they will try to use me to make money over the year. Google makes about $5-$10 per internet user per year! (I bet some of my readers never knew this). Similarly, in Whatsapp’s version of future events, they can “easily” generate $5-$10 per Whatsapp user. (Whatsapp is fast approaching 1 billion users, do the maths)
This will be much more profitable than charging us $1/year.
They are still committed to not running adverts on Whatsapp and they are still very much going to lock out spammers, we end users will still get a valuable and rich experience. While they will be able to generate enough money to keep the service free and put some money in their pockets too.
Watching The World
It is always important to have results. Winning an argument by real and verifiable results trumps everything else. Very few people argue with results.
When you are at a stage that you don’t have enough “kick-ass” results, its futile to try convincing people by speech that all is well. Until you have results to show forth, just shut up, heads down, work hard and produce something.
Watching The World
Why are you breathing?
What is the point of waking up every single day?
We, as a collective, seem to have backslided to the point whereby most of us (over 90%) merely live to make money to buy food, sex and toys. No purpose living! No overall life theme.
Beyond fun, games and eating, we need to find a purpose to stay alive.
Oh God! How I hate no purpose living!
Normally, you ought to look before you leap. But once in a while, you really have to leap, then look.
At times, your heart wants to leap, but your head is looking. The head has good intentions, it wants us to land in a favorable spot and until it is convinced, it will not sign off on the leap. On the other hand, your heart really wants to leap, your heart just knows this is going to be the best leap ever.
The more you look, the less you see.
The more you look, the more the drive to leap vanishes. Enough with the looking then…
Leap, then look!
Leap first, then you might be able to figure out the rest.
As we move forward, there are a lot of stuff we never should actually forget. The hard lessons we learn must be internalized and various measures should really be put in place to ensure that we do not end up in the same spot again.
Every time we fail is a chance to start over, but each time, more intelligently.
Of course, we forgive the personalities involved and never go on a revenge seeking mission (this I believe is the real meaning of the forgive and forget mantra), but we must not continue to bleed away from the same spots. We must never forget how we ended up in the ditch the other time and plan properly this time.
Affliction must not rise up a second time. If it does, it will wipe you out.
Watching The World
Unexplainable random strokes of genius doesn’t make a good business. It is processes that make a business. Yes, boring processes.
Simple defined processes for everything. Once a business process is defined, anyone can pick up such a blueprint and execute it. (Ok, almost anyone – some intelligence might still be needed, but still…)
Great talent doesn’t translate into a solid business. It is good business management skills that helps in making a solid business.
Let’s talk about your business processes.
My to-do list has 42 items on it.
Not really. As far as I’m concerned, its just got 5 items I need to act on today.
Its not really a ‘to-do’ item if what is to be done is not explicitly explained and itemised. To make an effective todo list would require thinking in the line of what’s the most important thing I need to get done today? What exact steps do I need to take to get it done?
I usually get things done when I break it down from one big item e.g “Launch a new company” to a set of smaller, actionable steps like “find a profitable idea”, “do some research”, “define the mvp” and so.
The gap between moving from big ideas to execution is usually bridged when we can explicitly state in simple terms what needs to be done next. Done today.
It is useless to make a wish that the day be longer than 24 hours. No matter who or what you are, we all get 24 hours. What we need to master is how to master the time.
The more efficient we can get at managing the time, the more productive we can be.
“Some work hard, some work smart and some work long hours. At Amazon, you cannot pick 2 of the 3.” So, I read in an article about the ecommerce giant several months ago. If 2 people are 30 years old and yet one of them seems to be much more productive and efficient than the other, it is because one of them has learnt how to squeeze out maximum returns from her time.
Working smart does not mean you do not still have to work for long hours. If working smart empowers me to get done in 2 hours what others can only get done in 20 hours, think of all the good I would have done if I do not take a break after 2 hours… working on for another 18 hours.
If the laws of the universe or human conditioning (or both) prevents me from getting more than 24 hours a day, I will work smart, work hard and work long hours in order to squeeze out maximum productivity from my days.
Watching The World