10 Commandments of business success in the new era

1. There is no substitute for action. Not strategy, not luck not money, not connections or skill or even passion. Action is the King of Achievement Hill.

2. Bias, prejudice and fear may be disguised as experience. What is required for future success is not the same as what made you successful. As soon as you find yourself relying on your experience, consider that a warning bell.

3. Being focussed and specialised and better than anyone else at something (even very small) means you have to rely on partners, alliances and consultants to support your business objectives. The ability to get along with people and communicate effectively is paramount.

4.  Honesty is a very expensive gift; do not expect it from cheap people. (Neil Patel). Advisors, even trusted ones, are inclined to tell the person on the receiving end of the advice what they want to hear. It is hard to be honest if you anticipate the honesty might lead to your downfall. (Imagine all the debates in the Labor caucus.) When you do receive advice, consider the source very carefully. When you receive unsolicited advice, ignore it freely.

5. It is a lot easier to say NO than it is to say YES. Parents do that all the time. The teenager wants to go out somewhere and parents say no because they think they keep their kids safe when they really just could not be bothered to do what is necessary to make it possible. Companies do the same by saying NO to projects that are risky because not doing it will get no one fired when doing it might. That is why all companies eventually fail.

6. Resilience is not the opposite of fragility – but being antifragile is. And the aim of a business is to become antifragile in the face of risks and stressors. Learning how to benefit (not just cope) from turbulence is the aim.

7. Familiarity breeds ignorance. Consulting is an easy thing to do - simply because the distance from the problem gives a clear perspective. The people in the room struggling with the problem are breathing their own exhaust fumes and are disorientated easily. You can see when a friend is trying to reconcile with his ex that it would be a mistake because you are not involved. Distance gives perspective.

8. The hardest thing to open is a closed mind. (Neil Patel).

9. Your routine is your destiny. This applies on a personal level as well as on the business level. The things that are systematised in your business are the things that will build the foundation of a successful business. Those routines allow you the freedom and the opportunity to experiment and innovate.

10. Success comes most swiftly and completely not to the greatest or perhaps even to the ablest men, but to those whose gifts are most completely in harmony with the taste of their times. (Vox Popoli). Success is not about luck or about hard work alone. Timing is crucial. Some ideas are ahead of their time but mostly they are too late. People more readily will claim “I know that” or “I thought of that” than they would lament “I never knew”. Timing is more about action than it is about luck.

Have fun


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  1. Place making for a town centre (using the internet of things)
  2. Target’s curated commerce strategy, including smart use of social media etc. (Read this for some background.)
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