Malcolm Gladwell: Major success stories, whether in music, business or life, have much in common. They usually share a path of extended trial and error; overcoming severe adversity; continuous experimentation; and perseverance. Those behind the successes require a modest level of ability to get into the game. But once you possess that base, the only differentiator is what you put in, not apparent genius.
A suggestion from a human resources manager – how to properly place new employees:
- Put 400 bricks in a closed room.
- Put your new hires in the room and close the door.
- Leave them alone and come back after 6 hours.
- Analyse the situation.
- If they are counting the bricks, put them in the Accounting Department.
- If they are recounting them, put them in Auditing.
- If they have messed up the whole place with the bricks, put them in Engineering.
- If they are arranging the bricks in some strange order, put them in Planning.
- If they are throwing the bricks at each other, put them in Operations.
- If they are sleeping, put them in Security.
- If they have broken the bricks into pieces, put them in Information Technology.
- If they are sitting idle, put them in Human Resources.
- If they say they have tried different combinations, they are looking for more, yet not a brick has been moved, put them in Sales.
- If they have already left for the day, put them in Management.
- If they are staring out of the window, put them in Strategic Planning.
- If they are talking to each other, and not a single brick has been moved, congratulate them and put them in Top Management.
- Finally, if they have surrounded themselves with bricks in such a way that they can neither be seen nor heard from, put them in Parliament.
Harry is getting along in years and finds that he is unable to perform sexually. He finally goes to his doctor, who tries a few things but nothing seems to work. So the doctor refers him to an American Indian medicine man.
The medicine man says, “I can cure this.”
That said, he throws a white powder in a flame, and there is a flash with billowing blue smoke. Then he says, “This is powerful medicine. You can only use it once a year. All you have to do is say ‘123’ and it shall rise for as long as you wish”.
The guy then asks, “What happens when it’s over, and I don’t want to continue?”
The medicine man replies: “All you or your partner has to say is 1234, and it will go down.” But be warned — “it will not work again for another year!”
Harry rushes home, eager to try out his new powers and prowess.
That night he is ready to surprise Joyce. He showers, shaves, and puts on his most exotic shaving lotion.
He gets into bed, and lying next to her says,”123.”
He suddenly becomes more aroused than anytime in his life … just as the medicine man had promised.
Joyce, who had been facing away, turns over and asks, “What did you say 123 for?”
And that, my friends, is why you shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition.
Selling is a fundamental part of an entrepreneur’s journey. We are all selling, all the time. Internally and externally. Inspiring, motivating, sharing. We love what we do, and we do what we love. It doesn’t always love us back though. And this is where character comes into it. Being an entrepreneur requires strength, and grace.
When you sell something you love you are just doing what comes naturally. It is a labour of love. It is not a hustle. Hustling is when you have to sell something for money — not for love.
Selling, selling, selling and more selling. That is what it means to be an entrepreneur. Knocking on doors, breaking the ice, winning friends, and influencing people. These are all part of the package.
That is what entrepreneurs do – they take risks. And in my view, it is not only about money. As my one mentor often reminds me, “Risk everything in life but your reputation”. Yes, the stakes extend far beyond hard cash. When we try something our confidence is gambled. Also, our credibility may be on the line. And if we win then everyone wants a part of it, but if we lose, well, then we are on our own. One has to be strong.
Taking risks – that is the path. Entrepreneurs would always rather ask for forgiveness than for permission. Yes, entrepreneurs take chances.