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Thread: random thoughts on being an entrepreneur

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    random thoughts on being an entrepreneur

    Hugh Macleod of www.gapingvoid.com has shared his thoughts on entrepreneurship - here is the list,

    1. Everything takes three times longer than it should. Especially the money part.

    2. The best way to get approval is not to need it.

    3. People want what they can’t have. In fact, that’s pretty much all they do want.

    4. Once you become an entrepreneur, you find the company of non-entrepreneurs a lot harder to be around. You’ve seen things they haven’t; the wavelengths alter, it’s that simple.

    5. In a world of over-supply and commodification, you are no longer paid to supply. You’re being paid to deliver something else. What that is exactly, is not always obvious.

    6. Word of mouth is the best advertising medium of all. The best word of mouth comes from disrupting markets.

    7. People buy your product because it helps fill in the narrative gaps in their lives.

    8. You can either be cheapest or the best. I know which one I prefer.

    9. Some people think that once they secure venture funding, their problems will be over. Wrong. That’s when your problems REALLY begin.

    10. It’s better to be underfunded than overfunded.

    11. If an average guy in a bar can understand what you do for a living, chances are you’re halfway to becoming a commodity.

    12. It’s easier to turn an ally into a customer than vice versa.

    13. If you’re happy in your career before the age of thirty, you’re probably doing something wrong. Heck, if you’re happy in your career before the age of seventy, you’re probably doing something wrong.

    14. Young people are always asking me which is a better career path, “Creativity” or “Money”. I always answer that it doesn’t matter. What matters is “Effective” and/or “Ineffective”.

    15. Write the following on a piece of paper, have it framed, and stick it on your office wall: “Have you hugged your customer today?”

    16. People will always, always be in the market for a story that resonates with them. Your product will either have this quality or it won’t. If your product fails this test, quit your job and go find something else. Just making the product incrementally cheaper or better won’t help you.

    17. Products are idea amplifiers. The molecules and/or bytes are secondary.

    18. People remember the quality long after they’ve forgotten the price. Unless you try to rip them off.

    19. Markets serve entrepreneurs better if the latter can keep the former undersupplied. Oversupply is the kiss of death.

    20. I personally know a former CEO who, once he attained control of the company, ran an EXTREMELY profitable business into the ground in less than two years. From a market cap of $100 million to ZERO, just like that. Why? Short answer: He loved being “The" CEO, but he didn’t much care for being “a" CEO.

    21. In terms of becoming an entrepreneur, probably the most useful thing I learned in the last twenty years was how to enjoy my own company for long stretches of time.

    22. One successful entrepreneur I know well has a wonderful quality, namely that he never, ever compares himself to other people. He just does his own thing, which actually serves him rather well. Just because his competitor has bought himself a bigger motor boat, doesn’t mean he feels the need have a bigger motor boat. This quality helps him to build his business the way he sees fit, not the way the motor boat people see fit.

    23. Running a startup is full of extreme ups and downs. Which is why so many successful and happy entrepreneurs I know have such normal, stable, “boring”, unglamorous family lives. Somehow they need the latter in order to balance out the former. Extra-curricular drama looks great in the tabloids, but that’s all it’s ultimately good for.

    24. MBAs are conditioned to use their brains in much the same way as sex workers are conditioned to use their genitals. Nice work if you can get it.

    25. Bill Gates may have a million times more money than me, but he isn’t going to live a million times longer than me, see a million times more sunsets than me, make love to a million times more women than me, drink a million times more fine wine than me, listen to a million times more Beethoven String Quartets than me, or sire a million times more children than me. Money can only buy you so much in this world. Of course, Mr. Gates will know this as much as any man alive.

    26. F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, “There are no second acts in American lives.” F. Scott was a drunkard and a fool.

    Read the full blog post, "randon thoughts on being an entrepreneur" by Hugh Macleod
    Maybe another one to add concerning money is that entrepreneurship is no panacea for financial woes.

    What would you add to the list?
    Last edited by duncan drennan; 15-Jan-07 at 07:56 AM.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    People think success as an entrepreneur relates to activity. It is more a function of one's state of mind.
    Last edited by Dave A; 15-Jan-07 at 08:36 PM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Silver Member Graeme's Avatar
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    1. Everything is a state of mind.

    2. It's quicker and easier to ask for forgiveness than to apply for permission.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    You need to become familiar with the word whilst. You'll always be waiting for something to happen. This doesn't stop you from working on the next something whilst you're waiting. In fact, the more somethings you've got queued up to land, the better. Some things just don't ever happen.

    If whilst hurts your focus, you're probably focused on the wrong thing.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graeme View Post
    2. It's quicker and easier to ask for forgiveness than to apply for permission.
    Is it really? I have my suspicions about this one, but it depends what you apply it to.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I keep coming back and rereading this thread. The "random thoughts" here have been quietly percolating in my head for the last couple of days. I keep seeing a situation and going "There's that random thought..." Powerful stuff.

    As short as it is, I think this rates as a "Definitive Thread." It certainly should benefit anyone who thinks seriously about being an entrepreneur.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Forget about positive thinking, start positive doing.

    A positive action often elicits a positive response and a negative action a negative one.

    Say sorry when you know you've messed up - it gives everyone a chance to start moving forward.
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    1. Honesty is the building blocks of any successful business.

    I think that one of the most important and often overlooked one is honesty. If you lie and cheat you will only end up with unhappy clients who will tell their friends and make sure many people know of your business practices. This one goes hand in hand with saying sorry.

    Really nice thread too!
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