To Be Successful As A Entrepreneur Just Do The Obvious Things

I have noticed a curious thread that runs through all the most successful entrepreneurs that I have worked with: they don’t think they are anything special

They are merely going about their business fixing the obvious problems and doing the obvious work. They aren’t trying to pave new ground, but by doing what seems obvious, they are getting the job done.

The rest of us are busy trying to be original and thinking new thoughts and solving complex problems. We are constantly analysing the situation and then hypothesizing about new ways of doing things.

Meanwhile the real entrepreneurs are busy at work.

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Why You Are Paid

You are paid to think, add value, solve problems for others, act AND transact business differently / more EFFECTIVELY / ADVANTAGEOUSLY than anyone else

The Cat Ate My Project

Don’t blame someone or something else, or make up an excuse. Don’t blame all the problems on a vendor, a programming language, management, or your colleagues. Any and all of these play a role, but it is up to you to provide solutions, not excuse.

Provide Options, Don’t Make Lame Excuses.

Before you approach anyone to tell them why something can’t be done, is late, or is broken, stop and listen to yourself. Talk to the rubber duck on your monitor, or the cat. Does your excuse sound reasonable, or stupid? How’s it going to sound to your boss?

Instead of excuses, provide options. Don’t say it can’t be done; explain what can be done to salvage the situation.

Ref: The Pragmatic Programmer

Deliver Something of Value Every Week

If you want to ensure that your organisation is delivering great products, services, and customer experiences then ensure that you are constantly adding value to everything that you do.

This is an extremely powerful lesson that I learned from Jonathan Rasmusson’s book The Agile Samurai, and it is something that I firmly believe that everyone can and should apply to their businesses and careers.

When I led HR for Starbucks , my team and I would pretend that we were the internal customer, and that we were spending our own money to hire a top notch team to deliver the project.

We started off by asking ourselves : (1) What would give us confidence that the team we hired was actually delivering? (2) A pile of documentation, plans, and reports? (3) Or the regular delivery of working, efficient , productive processes and systems that ensure that the company operated optimally.

When you start looking at product delivery, project delivery, or whatever from your customer’s point of view, good things start to happen.

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Whats The Worst That Could Happen

If you’re not familiar with Aikido, you probably imagine it’s all about kicking butt like Steven Segal and rolling all over the place in a secluded monastery.

You’re not far off. Except for the secluded monastery part.

The forward roll is a fundamental part of Aikido and is actually a pretty simple position. It’s just a bit scary at first.


In fact, when you first practice the position, it’s pretty helpful to try that a few times, just to realize that there’s nothing to be afraid of. Even the worst that could happen – – is completely harmless and you can handle it easier than a hungry dog handles bacon.

So why am I telling you all this? (Aside from encouraging you to try Aikido, because it’s pretty neat.)

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