“The ultimate test of your (mission statement) is if your telephone operator can tell you what it is.” – Guy Kawasaki

… not that small companies have operators anymore.

I’m usually a bit skeptical about mission statements.  Perhaps because most I have seen are pretty weak, or crafted to send a message that is different from reality.  Perhaps because it’s hard to distill the purpose of a complex organization down to a simple statement. Or, perhaps it’s because no one wants to declare a statement of accountability  where there’s natural conflict between customers, shareholders, and the general public.

That doesn’t mean it’s not a worthwhile exercise.  I am biased toward Jim Collin’s idea of the Core Ideology, a set of fundamental beliefs that seldom if ever change.  That combined with the company Purpose covers the basics that provide a firm’s moral compass.  What’s left is then to make sure everyone knows it by heart.

The Boy Scouts start every meeting with the Scout Oath and the Scout Law.  It constantly reinforces Scouting’s Core Ideology that a Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.  Something that doesn’t change and one remembers 40 years later.


“You don’t normally get spiders in space.” – Dr. Who

Entrepreneurs have a way of observing what’s going on around them and making associations between things that seem ordinary on the surface and other things that may be related somehow.

One person noticed that more ordinary people were owning computers in their homes.  That same person noticed that advent of a new way to communicate called the Internet and it led to a question, “What if people could buy stuff on their computers using the internet?”

Amazon was born.

There’s nothing unusual about noticing spiders (which are cool creatures by the way), but noticing one in space means something.  What if…


“Every increased possession loads us with new weariness.” – John Ruskin

I am a hiker, or backpacker to be more precise.  I spend considerable time and some treasure  figuring out how best to keep my load as light as possible.  I find that the lighter my pack is,  happier are my legs, faster I can go, and more things I can see.  It also has the benefit of making camping chores simple and quick.

Another aspect of of traveling light is that it takes less time to plan and gather resources.  An idea for an adventure can come and within a couple hours, you can be on your way.

Agility, flexibility, simplicity, endurance.

All helpful things for the entrepreneur.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” – King Solomon

This Proverb from the King James version is perhaps better translated as, “If there is no prophetic revelation, the people will cast off restraint”  The verse finishes with “but blessed is he who keeps the Law.”

The point is without a focus on true north, chaos ensues, social order breaks down.

Have a great 2015!


Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

“You lie in the bed you made. At some point, you change the sheets.” – Michael Carroll

If you want to change the world, not everyone will be happy about it.  Your product will threaten those who think they own your customers.  They will not appreciate losing business.

Still others won’t have the time for you when you really need their help.

Then there are the “institutions” who prefer following bureaucratic rules over choosing to solve the problem they created for you.

And sometimes, you just screw up.

There will be days and even weeks when you lie in your own funk because of all the road blocks placed in your path by others.

The funk goes away when you change your sheets.

Find another way.  Implement plan B, or C or Y but find it.  Hang around people who have solved these problems before.  Apologize to those who you hurt.  Forgive those who hurt you.

Move on!

BloggingGazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

“The best speakers know enough to be scared… the only difference between the pros and the novices is that the pros have trained the butterflies to fly in formation.” – Edward R. Murrow

…and the only way to train the butterflies is to practice, a lot!

One thing I’ve learned about great jazz improvisors is that even though they are playing “in the moment” and it sounds like they are creating their music spontaneously, it only comes after many, many hours of practice where you develop your ear and your toolbox of technique.

Great pitches rarely happen in the moment.  The second time you give your pitch is better than the first.  So on for the tenth and the twentieth time.

Find opportunities to practice for others.  The more you do that, the more like you are to knock them out when it really counts!

BloggingGazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

“Technology must be like oxygen: ubiquitous, necessary and invisible.” – Chris Lehmann

It’s official.  I have more social technology than I can effectively use.  So now I have to have technology to manage the technology and I have to schedule time to manage the technology that manages the technology…

There is always a point where the technology begins to manage us and you have to question if it’s actually providing a return on your investment of time and energy (and dollars!)

It all comes back to understanding your customer or your audience or your tribe.  Then choose the technology that best delivers your value to them.

BloggingGazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson