“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” Billy Graham

Leaders have to be brave.  But it’s hard when it seems like you are alone.  But be brave still.  You’ll find you have more support than you think.

And if the leader you follow is facing a tough time, encourage her.  It helps to know your followers are there with you.

 

BloggingGazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson


“If you’re too afraid to mess up, you’re too afraid to do better.” – Coach K

A few good things happen when we try and fail.

  1. We learn what doesn’t work
  2. We learn where our boundaries are (so we can break them)
  3. We get stronger
  4. We have better stories.  (no one talks about the vacations where everything was perfect.)
  5. We go farther than we thought we could
  6. We try new things
  7. We realize there are few things in life that result in being killed and eaten (tip to Bill Bryson)

Being comfortable is good for a while but you get soft if you don’t try for more.

 

BloggingGazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

 

 


“Prediction requires the identification of a pattern that repeats, because a pattern is what allows you to use what has happened to infer what will happen next.” – Michael Raynor

And this is precisely the problem with startups.  By definition, a startup is new.  It’s never been done before.  There are no patterns.  There is no history. You can;t predict what comes next.

This translates to risk which scares people.  It’s why bankers won’t let you borrow money against your own house to start a new venture.  You don’t yet fit nicely in a spreadsheet.

This is why it’s so important to get to first customers and quickly as possible.  It is the single best thing you can do to mitigate risk.  Sell what you have a soon as possible, even if it is not perfect.  Once you have customers, they will lead to in the direction of perfection.

 

BloggingGazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

 


“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure some of them are dirt.” – John Muir

Today I am backpacking in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  Hiking in the woods is where I think; or not.  It’s where problems get solved in my subconscious.  It’s where the Creator reminds me that there is something more.

Our lives are so full of noise.  It’s getting worse and worse.  It’s good to get away.  From people.  From technology.

Take the time to be alone and to be quiet.

 

BloggingGazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson


“It is a curious feature of our existence that we come from a planet that is very good at promoting life but even better at extinguishing it.” ― Bill Bryson

As soon as you achieve any element of success in your business, people will notice.  You’ll have fans.  And you will have competitors.

They will cut prices.  They will say bad things about you and your products.  They will copy your ideas. They may try to defeat you with legal loopholes .  Everyone loves a winner but not for long.

Stay focused on your customers by easing their pain and delighting them in the use of your products.

 

Read “A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson

 

BloggingGazelle is written daily by Shawn Carson


“Can you imagine Steve Jobs showing up for a paycheck? It’s nice to get paid. It’s essential to believe.” – Seth Godin

Sooner or later you will face a crisis of belief.  It seems to happen more often these days and it shows up everywhere.  A revered leader is dismissed over hubris and egotism.  A venerable church splits over a contemporary moral issue.  A veteran teacher struggles with a new job evaluation process.  A loyal employee is laid off due to a decision made in another city over numbers on a spreadsheet and shareholder value.

Crisis reveals hidden truth.  You learn what people really believe when their credibility is at stake and it’s surprising to learn how indifferent and selfish we tend to be.

Adjust your lifestyle to accommodate mobility and flexibility.  Save money in the good times.  When it all goes to hell, then go make your own meaning.  In fact, just go make your own meaning, period.

Read Tribes by Seth Godin

BloggingGazelle is publish daily by Shawn Carson

 

 


“The best way to build cohesiveness is to suffer,…” – Guy Kawasaki

“…and you can’t suffer if your butt is sitting in a $700 Herman Mller Chair in a beautiful building.”

It takes every penny you can muster to build your company and get your product in the hands of your customer.  The money your investors gave you is meant for that; not for supporting a nice office and a lavish lifestyle.

The best work your people will ever do for you is the work they choose to donate.  You want them thinking about your mission on the weekends and in the middle of the night and here’s the thing: You can never pay enough for that.  It only comes to you when they choose to give it. If they ever feel like their efforts are supporting your hubris, then you will get less than you pay for and the best will find someone else to donate their time to.

 

BloggingGazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson


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