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Part A: Because of who I am, how I think and what I believe Part B: Because of my understanding of what it takes to make a business successful.
This collection of statements is a philosophical and practical guide to operating a business successfully. Have you got the personal characteristics, the personal value system, that you need to run a business successfully? Have you got the drive? Do you understand the totality of managing a business? Do you know what it takes to run a business successfully year after year? Are you, or will you ever become, a professional and effective business manager? Journey through the next fifty pages and see how you stack up. If you own a business, maybe you should do something else with your life? If you are thinking of setting up your own business, then this compendium of attributes and advice may convince you that you really ought to set up your own business. If you own your own business, if you ever thought of setting up your own business, then you will find at least one gem in here. Even if you are critical of business, you will most certainly find fuel for anti-business propaganda in here! Even if you are not interested in business, you will still find something in here to inspire you, or at least make you laugh.
I am quick to sense a weakness in a competitor and an opportunity in the marketplace. I am clever. The idea of my failing is ridiculous. How else could I succeed? Every opposition accuses every government of being arrogant and they are right. Arrogance is having an exaggerated sense of one’s ability. How many humble people are successful? 2. I am either intelligent or cunning. There are many different types of intelligence. I don’t care which. . I am arrogant. Optimism is the fuel that propels entrepreneurs. I am arrogant. When all the analysis is done.Part A. you lose your capacity to succeed. talented and creative and I have unstoppable drive. Of course. Whatever it is. 5. I am supremely confident. Show me a pessimist who is successful. If you lose your confidence. my animal instinct kicks in. how I think and what I believe. I can smell danger. Because of who I am. 3. I must have a lot of them. You would play golf if you didn’t think that your next game is going to be better than your last. I make very good decisions and every day I move my business forward relentlessly. I know whom to trust and whom to suspect. 4. I have superb instinct. 1. I am a supreme optimist. I knew that I was going to succeed.
My perseverance is driven by my vision. I can assure you that you are really missing something. You can get high on money. Even when you have made it. recognise the seeds of success and persist. Being rich is very fulfilling. It restores my faith in humanity. Money is the scoreboard of your success. I am a really nice person. horrible people and I wish them nothing but harm. it is far too easy to lose it. If people like did not succeed. To my surprise almost everything that I want in life costs money! . Poverty is a powerful motivating force and it drives many people to riches and makes them appreciate being rich. Recognise that your brilliant idea is a commercial failure and stop investing in it. It beats drugs any day. perseverance in business? Yes. I am persistent. Memories of my childhood poverty are my primary motivation. But I don’t underestimate them. but banging your head against a stone wall is obstinacy. what a terrible world it would be. destroy them. Don’t you agree? 9. How many readers still have the smell of green moldy bread in their nostriles? As a child I lived on discarded bread from the local baker. 8. 10. and gifted. If you haven’t been rich. 11. How many times have we heard that you need persistence. not obstinate. They are horrible. I hate my competitors How dare they compete against me! Who do they think they are? I do everything humanly and legally possible to undermine them. I am unashamedly mercenary. It is only right and proper that I should be successful. challenging and risky. I love making money. Making money is my favourite hobby. It is difficult. Anybody who says that it is easy to make money is an idiot. I deserve to be successful. 7. Conversely.6.
I use instinct. 15. sexual orientation or physical characteristics. All human beings are entitled to dignity. Sometimes. But once I have decided on a course of action. I consult widely. I look them in the eye.12. but sobering. Yes. I preface my actions with analysis and preplanning. I read them. 14. I treat everybody with respect. 17. I select selectively. every idea. I can distinguish between falsehood and genuineness. I act decisively. I consult. religion. I assess people. others improve what I create. An outstanding employee can be worth twice the average employee. I am truthful and trustworthy. because they trust me. I take immediate corrective action. People like doing business with me. Every email. I address the most junior member of staff in the same manner as I address the most senior member of staff. Sad. 13. People know where they stand with me and there is no nasty hidden agenda. classified and deciphered I know how to respond to people. I am open and honest. My business assesses about 100 applications per appointment. I hate lying. every report. yet he or she rarely costs twice. 16. . I show to someone else. irrespective of race. I act decisively and quickly. my most wonderful ideas are shot down in flames. If a new member of staff is seen as a mismatch. Once categorised. political persuasion. I listen to people. observe body language and tune in to invisible vibrations. I tell it like it is. and it saves me a lot of money. I would rather leave a position vacant indefinitely than make weak appointment. Invariably.
Savings even earn money while lying around and they appear on the asset side of my Balance Sheet. I align their performance and reward system with mine. They are not your slaves. It is 70% in the past tense. 20% in the present and 70% in the future. You can learn from the past but you can’t change it and you are already committed to the present. If you don’t like what you see. if you want them to think about the business as you do. Saving is my virtue. 20% in the present tense and 10% in the future tense. 21. I never put up a front. And I don’t like the people who use it. 20. no superiority. Saving strengthens my capacity to act in the future. Take it or leave it. No pretentiousness. They are working with you.18. My conversations are the reverse. They are working not for you. no faking. I never say “My staff… How I hate that degrading and pretentious phrase. If you want staff to feel a sense of ownership. Listen to a typical conversation. Your good fortune should be their good fortune too. give them a share of revenue every month. I spend more time planning for the future. The are a wonderful buffer in a business . no superciliousness. get stuffed! 19. to achieve personal goals. I share the spoils. What you see is what you get. Employees are not something you possess. Just me. I am future orientated. no obsequiousness. 22. for themselves. by allowing me to take advantage of future opportunities instantly. 10% in the past tense.
I write down what I am trying to achieve. Many moons ago I realised that I would spend the rest of my life hitting a keyboard almost every day. I articulate my vision. 25. 24. I can more easily define my vision and edit it until it is presentable in a compelling form. It makes the physical activity of typing less distracting and less frustrating and it gives me independence within my own business. It saves buckets of time every day. I keep in touch with ex-staff. . it is easier to communicate and it is more enduring. you idiot. They were part of my life and I was part of theirs. my vision acquires substance. Learn to type. Written down. I learned to type properly. Was that relationship meaningless or did it have anything worth preserving? There is a network of ex-staff who have being emailing me for years and invariably we tune into each other to report special events. By writing it down I can understand more clearly what I am attempting to do.23. The advantages are myriad.
how the market works. Quite often people who tell you that you can’t do it are often driven by jealousy. Opportunists are lucky.Part B Because of my understanding of what it takes to make a successful business. creative synthesis and unique service and delivery systems. 29. Some people can’t recognize an opportunity staring them in the face and complain bitterly that they have no luck. 28. Successful business people do things differently. . more efficient processes. how the changing environment is impacting on your customers. your business starts to go downhill. You get rich slowly. to whom you sell and the environment in which you are selling. They are forever searching for situations in which they can stake a claim or establish a new and profitable relationship. Great structures are built one layer at a time. Negativity is contagious. imaginative re-configurations. 26 . Trying to get rich quickly is virtually guaranteed to send you broke. 30. they themselves are afraid to try. 27. Success lies in new concepts. such as. Never stop learning. Imagination is your greatest asset. Don’t let people infect you with negative thoughts. The moment you stop learning about what you sell. Getting rich is a process of accumulation. how you can promote more effectively. Either they don’t like you or they don’t want you to be more successful than what they are. Opportunists are constantly looking for the lucky break. Keep learning about every aspect of your business. novel adaptations. Or. a harvesting of your energies and talents over time.
Before signing. but it has a vey concrete impact on the performance of staff.31. What impression will it make? Emails have no body language. 32. Culture is a nebulous word. Don’t engage in a fight if there is some other way of achieving your aims. I voluntarily enrolled in an evening elocution class when I was a teenager. forceful speaker. Hand on to that email a bit longer before sending it. 35. What the audience does not know is that I rehearsed my spontaneous speech. it should minimize conflict. Deliver impactful speeches. re-edited it and even practised it on my wife. Choose those words very carefully. no pitch. just words. Your image talks. Sidestep petty squabbles. In most modern businesses the culture should be friendly and supportive. Can you remember what you were arguing about a month ago? Assess the value of the prize before you enter the ring. Fight only when the stakes are high. . 34. fluent. Don’t waste your adrenalin on trivial matters. STOP. Read the small type and the Appendices at the back. amended it. Your spoken voice has the single greatest impact on people’s assessment of you when they first meet you. Seek advice. no laughter. it should offer flexibility to staff and it should be open and honest. I am a spontaneous. I never use notes when delivering a speech. Craft a culture. Remember how the audience reacted to different parts of your speech. no intonation. 33. It is hard to define and hard to measure. Do you remember when you first heard David Becham speak? Believe it or not.
yet paradoxically a business needs to project an image of stability. customers are the most important people in your business and your relationship with them is vital to the health of your business. but only one has made any money for me. its pricing structure its delivery strategy and many other variables to maximize its appeal and its profitability over the decades. Most brilliant ideas don’t make a dollar. Sadly. Good teams are synergistic. you learn how difficult it is to get the moon and the stars all in that unique configuration at the same time and to keep them there. 38. creditors. Create an environment in which the team initiates. this is true. the whole is greater than the addition of each of the member. Strengthen that personal bond between you by catering for your partner’s emotional and sexual needs. improvises. who can do what you can’t do. 39. But you have other important relationships in business. staff and most important. suppliers. its advertising. When you have been in business for some time. Neglect those needs and the bond will weaken. all of which require careful management. Coca Cola changes it livery. Metamorphosis cheats death. Love your partner Most successful new businesses are founded by a couple. 40. banks. 37. . Build a team of talented people. The more they compensate for each other’s weaknesses the better. Don’t get too carried away with your own ideas. Of course. including investors.36. I have had some remarkable clever ideas. improves and implements diligently. its bottle. Without changing with the times. Build a Team. all businesses die. usually a man and a woman. your partner. No successful business stays the same. Maintain good relationships.
Amateurish and cost intensive processes and procedures are inefficient and they have the potential to undermine your business and erode profit. national or international market? How strong are your competitors? 42. Build your brand Your brand of business is unique because it is yours and nobody else’s. so you have a great idea and you see a wonderful opportunity. Are you going to concentrate on one segment of the market? How are you going to differentiate your product or service? What tools. . what resources are you going to deploy to reach the market? 43. what type of marketing will you engage in? Will you use the Internet and what will that cost you? 44. Document your plan You need to convert your strategy into a detailed plan for which you must estimate the necessary budget to execute your plan. Are you looking at a local. Streamline your processes. Ensure that all communications from and all encounters with your business re-enforce the image of your business/product which you are trying to create.41. preferably at least 50%. Determine what position you want to occupy in the market place and forge a brand image which will help you establish that position. Can you sell it a price which will leave a handsome gross profit margin. Set realistic targets OK. Train staff in processes and continually improve your processes and procedures. Get your processes and procedure right and document them. Don’t get too carried away. 45. What selling resources will you muster. Devise a strategy A strategy is simply the deployment of limited resources to achieve a defined objective.
with the minimum of effort. 50. moreover. Monitor performance. Paths to Success Finally. I am not blind to the appropriateness of borrowing on some occasions and in some circumstances. then maybe borrowing is a vice. that is to say there are some things we know we do not know. Some investment opportunities are so attractive that the yield from them greatly outperforms the interest on a loan. . If saving is a virtue. Don’t leave money on the table. If you reduce your expenses by 15% and increase your prices by 15%. without damaging revenue.46. “There are known knowns. 47. Look for every opportunity to increase your prices. there are things we know we know. borrowing in times of rampant inflation may be a shrewd move 49. Don’t let the business drift! 48. Negotiate and thrive. At least once a month analyse your business’s performance. “You succeed by doing that which is common uncommonly well. Be prepared to review your strategy and to revise your plan. someone once said. you add massively to your bottom line. Knowns and Unknowns. downwards.” Thank you Donald Rumsfeld. the ones we don’t know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns.” True. commonly well. you budgeted costs and your anticipated gross and net profit. or by doing that which is uncommon. We also know there are known unknowns. nevertheless. Borrowing mortgages your business. Look for variations from your original estimate of revenue. Never accept a price without firstly negotiating.
James Hearne © 2009 James Hearne read Economics at Trinity College Dublin and completed his PhD at the University of Melbourne. His business career included working for J Walter Thompson. one on marketing management and one on advertising management and numerous feature articles published in magazines and newspapers in the UK and Australia. Ogilvy and Mather and Imperial Tobacco. a distributor and developer of technical software. He has had two textbooks published. . which has offices in Melbourne and Auckland. He is the founder of Hearne Scientific Software Pty Ltd. has four children. As a academic he was Principal Lecturer in the Faculty of Business at the RMIT University in Melbourne and one time Chairman of the Faculty Board. operates his own business and plays golf. He is married to an Australian.
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