October 31, 2011

You Better Do More Than Just "Find" Yourself!

"It is always the same; once you are liberated you are forced to ask who you are."

Jean Baudrillard
20th century French socialist and philosopher

For companies too.

Moreover it is not enough to simply offer a product or service; companies must also define what that is supposed to mean to those they wish to sell to, along with how they will do it.  

Just "being" may be fine in philosophical terms but it doesn't pay the bills in business.

October 28, 2011

Who Do You Trust?

"It is an equal failing to trust everyone and to trust no one."

English proverb

With the sweet spot coming when you determine who falls into which group.

How do you do that?

October 27, 2011

(Even) If It Ain't Broke, Fix It

"Hesitation increases in relation to risk in equal proportion to age."

Ernest Hemingway
20th century American author/adventurer

We all know this is true in our personal lives; the older we get the more risk adverse we become.

But in business as well.

The more successful a company, the longer it has been around, the less likely is management to consider and try new ways.

And in that are the seeds of its downfall.

October 26, 2011

Everyone Says It's A Sure Thing

"In economics the majority is always wrong."

John Kenneth Galbraith
20th century Canadian/American economist

You know what this is saying don't you?

The foundation for your financial business planning more follows minority thinking than it does majority.

Don't go against the grain just because, but at the same time don't follow it for that reason either.

October 25, 2011

The Business of Optimism

"If pleasures are greatest in anticipation, just remember that is also true of trouble."

Elbert Hubbard
19th century American author/editor/publisher

You will get beyond whatever is ahead, good and bad, just as you have every time before.

Every sunny day turns to night, every storm eventually ends. 

Prepare, have faith, keep going.

October 24, 2011

Sooner Is (Much) Better

"Don't wait for your ship to come in, swim out to it."


Another exhortation to be proactive.

And staying with the "ship" analogy, I would add be looking for it before you see it.

You know, early birds, worms and the like.

October 21, 2011

Just A Little More!

"The only failure a man should fear is failing to cleave to the purpose he sees as best."

 George Eliot
19th century British writer

And right behind that would be failing to recognize the need to let go.

But between the two, Mr. Eliot is right; whether it be a professional or personal goal, people give up much to easily.

You want it?  Work for it!

October 20, 2011

Where Will I Find You?

"If we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find we have lost the future."

Winston Churchill
20th century British statesman

This is true on many levels.

If you focus too much on what has been or is, can you possibly be thinking enough about what you would like in the future?

Learn from the past, don't live there, and enjoy the present while anticipating and planning for the future.

October 19, 2011

How Much?

"You get what you don't pay for."

Bill Matthies
Planning consultant, Business Wisdom guy, serial entrepreneur

I was thinking about quality and the role price plays in our purchase decisions.

(Please forgive the personal indulgence; with more than 800 posts and only this one from me, I thought it wouldn't hurt.)

How much something costs is important but only in relation to value, which in turn does not correlate 100% with low price.

October 18, 2011

You Can Do It!

"There can be no great courage where there is no confidence or assurance, and half the battle is in the conviction that we can do what we undertake."

Orison Swett Marden
19th/20th century American author, founder of "Success" magazine

In all things including life's challenges.

Get the facts, set your course, and execute in confidence.

October 17, 2011


"Don't tell me that worry doesn't do any good; I know better.  The things I worry about don't happen."


When worry leads to thoughtful, purposeful action, I believe it can do good.

But worry for worry sake?


October 14, 2011

Wanting To Is Not Enough

"He who is firm in will molds the world to himself."

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
18th century German poet/author

A poetic argument for being strong-willed, but what this doesn't mention is the equally important need for power to back up your conviction.

And it also doesn't take into account that one can be both strong-willed and wrong at the same time.

Just beginning your career, or maybe wondering why 10 years into it, you're not getting promotions as are your peers?

Think about your will power, ability to reason, and power to influence others, in concert with each other as opposed to being separate entities.

Too much of one, too little of the others and you won't get where you want to be.

October 13, 2011

You Could Go Naked But . . .

"Logic is the anatomy of thought."

John Locke
17th century English philosopher

And in business, planning is the clothes you should put on the anatomy resulting from the thought.

October 11, 2011

The Art Of Business Change

"No art can be noble which is incapable of expressing thought, and no art is capable of expressing thought which does not change."

John Ruskin
19th century English art critic

Business is, above all, about expressing thought.

Done well, which is not always the case, business is art.

And those companies that do well at both experience more positive change than those who don't.

October 10, 2011

I Don't Even Know You!

"Long engagements give people the opportunity of finding out each other's character before marriage, which is never a good idea."

Oscar Wilde
19th century Irish poet

Given a 50% divorce statistic, I'm not so sure.

And the same logic applies in business too where there are more failed mergers/acquisitions than successful ones.

October 07, 2011

Less REALLY Is More! No Kidding, REALLY!

"He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I've ever met."

Abraham Lincoln
16th president of the United States

As one who has occasionally been guilty of this, I've tried to make Business Wisdom just the opposite.

But it is hard isn't it?

You have so much to say that would be of benefit to those who will listen.

Now if you've got a few hours let me tell you why.

October 06, 2011

Thank You Steve, RIP

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything -- all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. ... Stay hungry. Stay foolish."

Steve Jobs

October 05, 2011

What Do You Know?

"Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes."

Peter F. Drucker
20th century American author/educator/business consultant


If your last "knowledge update" was completion of your undergraduate or post graduate degree 5, 10, 15, or 20+ plus years ago, you are out of date.

But it's never too late.

There is little value in an "educated person", whatever that is, but great value in one who is constantly being educated.

Which are you?

October 04, 2011

There's More Than One Door

"The back of one door is the face of another."


Rejection and failure can be seen as either the end of something old or the beginning of something new.

If one door closes, look for another to go through.

October 03, 2011

It's Not About You

"To know how to hide one's ability is a great skill."

Francois de la Rochefoucauld
17th century French writer

Particularly in business.

Your company will only achieve through the efforts of many.

As capable as you might be your real task is to make sure you channel the collective ability of others rather than attempting to do everything yourself.