How to guarantee business failure?

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure…than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows nor victory nor defeat”
- Theodore Roosevelt -

Over the past seven months, we traveled together a long distance, we learned about how one should conduct their business (and even their lives). It is an exciting journey and the best is yet to come. Success is great, but I think we can learn a lot from our failures.

Last night, I heard a speech given by Charles Munger. At one point he said “Tell me where I’m going to die, that is, so I don’t go there”. I liked it. It made me think about my business. It made me think about failure and success.

“Tell me how a business fails, that is, so I don’t go there”.

Let me tell you the key lessons I have learned to guarantee your business failure. These key lessons will tell you what not to do. Read more

To be safe or sorry, that is the question

“He that’s secure is not safe”
- Benjamin Franklin -

I am on the last two days of my European trip. It was a good trip. I established many new connections. I met interesting people. I signed up several important strategic contracts and I had a good time with my brilliant and insightful son.

I always have time to think during these trips. I usually pick up some local books, magazines and comic books to learn about a new culture, people and their way of living. I was strolling at one of the few remaining bookstores on Regent street and all of a sudden I saw Seth Godin’s new book The Icarus Deception, I read the first few pages and when I got back to the hotel I got my fancy kindle version of the book.

As I was reading the book, somewhere in the first 50 pages, Mr. Godin poses a question. Is it better to be safe than sorry or is it better to be sorry than safe? Read more

The one question to ask when hiring

“Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it’s true. If you hire somebody without [integrity], you really want them to be dumb and lazy.”
- Warren E. Buffett -

Jenny and I are eating our favorite chocolate cake. We are celebrating her amazing business growth. Today we mark another indication for her success. Today, Jenny is looking to hire her first employee. If operated correctly, it’s a great time in a small business owner’s life, the time in which you realize you need help in order to continue your business growth. It’s the time to hire your first employee for your company.

Jenny came with a pile of resumes, they all look the same, they are all filled with credentials, and extra activities. All the people behind the resumes appear to be intelligent, and possess high energy and enthusiasm.

Jenny asks me “which one should I pick, how do I know I am hiring the right person? How can I tell if a person fits my business not just by her skills and by her values? How do I know if they share the same vision?”. She continues and says “maybe I’ll just ask them what are their skills, values and vision?”. Read more

What are the 3 keys for successful delegation?

“Never tell a person how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their ingenuity”
- Gen. George S Patton -

I am packing my bags again, going for my quarterly European trip, and this time I go with my son. It is great to be on the road, to meet new people, to establish new relationships and to strengthen old ones. It did not use to be like that, a few years ago I dreaded what would happen to my business when I was gone, I have tried different ways of delegation, but it seemed that none really worked out well.

My return day was always a day of fear and worry, would my store be in decent shape? Would clients call me to complain? Have orders been filled to the satisfactory of my clients? Read more

How to make your client feel welcomed?

“To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug”
- Helen Keller -

It is Saturday morning. Ashley is in the kitchen making her favorite waffles together with my hubby who is there, so called, “supervising”. I am upstairs, going over my to-do list.
Today I am conducting one of my most favorite activities, designing the welcome package for my future wedding service clientele.

You may be wondering what a welcome package is and what it is good for. Well, I had the same thoughts when I first spoke with Athena about it. We all know the importance of the relationships we build with our clients, it make sense, if our clients expect us to be more than just a service provider, there is a greater chance that they will request for our services again and maybe even refer their friends to us. A welcome package is a way for us, business owners and employers, to build a relationship. Read more

To change or not to change, that is the question

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change”
- Charles Darwin -

As small business owners and entrepreneurs, we are faced with many decisions, some minor, some crucial and once in a while, we are faced with the big question, the big decision, the one which will define a new path toward our company’s vision. The answer to that question will usually result in a significant change to our venture but how can we know the right answer?

All major businesses face this decision. YouTube was intended to be an online dating service site called Tune In Hook Up, which allowed users to upload videos of themselves, the founders made the decision that the idea is too narrow and dropped it. Nintendo used to sell playing cards. Richard Branson’s Virgin was a student magazine company for a few years before he closed it, and Marriot hotels started by selling root beer. Read more