December 31, 2014

DON'T FORGET TODAY


"A man's delight in looking forward to and hoping for some particular satisfaction is a part of the pleasure flowing out of it, enjoyed in advance. But this is afterward deducted, for the more we look forward to anything the less we enjoy it when it comes."

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) German philosopher

New Year's Eve; the day we reflect on the past while looking forward to the future. However, don't forget today itself.

Yesterdays are to be remembered not relived, and tomorrows will come on their own soon enough.

But you can only live today, today.

I'll be wishing you a happy new year, starting tomorrow.




December 30, 2014

ALL THINGS IN MODERATION, INCLUDING DESIRE


"We never desire strongly, what we desire rationally."

Fran├žois de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680) French writer

Our rational mind moderates our desiring mind, a good thing.

December 29, 2014

THE ONLY SURE THING: THERE ARE NO SURE THINGS


"What men want is not knowledge, but certainty."

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) British logician/philosopher

And no men (women too) want this more than venture capitalists whose job it is to invest in as sure things as possible.

If you're looking for institutional investment, don't worry; they know there's no such thing as a sure thing.

However, they want to know you know that too.

December 23, 2014

IT'S UP TO YOU


"Man is made or unmade by himself."

James Allen (1864-1912) British-born American essayist

This doesn't mean your fate is not affected by others and events outside your control. 

You are.

But no matter what others do and whatever events you encounter, what you do and become is up to you.

December 22, 2014

EITHER WAY, YOU'RE A CHARACTER, BUT WHICH ONE?


"Talents are best nurtured in solitude. Character is best formed in the stormy billows of the world."

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832) German poet/novelist/dramatist

Those "stormy billows" occur when others are evaluating what you see as your talents. 

Sometimes you'll win, other times not and your character will show to be good or bad depending on which.




December 19, 2014

YOUR BUSINESS, YOUR LIFE?


"I do not believe a man can ever leave his business. He ought to think of it by day and dream of it by night."

Henry Ford (1863-1947) American industrialist

You would expect Henry to say that, being the workaholic he was.

And at times you do need to eat, drink, sleep your business, that or lose it.

But not always forever.

Deciding when, how much, for how long, that's the hard part.

December 18, 2014

NOT NECESSARILY


"The philosophy of one century is the common sense of the next."

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) American politician

Not unless the root of the philosophy actually is common sense.

And it's the same with your ideas.

Just because you have them doesn't mean everyone will immediately or ultimately think they're good.

They actually have to be good.

December 17, 2014

SOMETHING IS TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING


"Every calamity is a spur and valuable hint."

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) U.S. poet/essayist/lecturer

But only if you recognize it as such.

Many, maybe most things happen for a reason.

Do your best to learn what that is and then plan to deal with it.

December 16, 2014

AND RUINS THEM TOO


"Fortune befriends the bold."

John Dryden (1631-1700) British poet/dramatist/critic

I don't advocate being risk averse nor so certain you will succeed you fail to acknowledge you well could fail.

Planning will reveal how close you are to each.

December 15, 2014

PAY ATTENTION START-UPS


"You believe easily that which you hope for earnestly."

Terence (195/185 BC-159 BC) Roman Republic playwright

The more you want something the more you should question the validity of what makes you want it.

It may be real, often it's not.

Be sure which it is.


December 12, 2014

LESS REALLY IS MORE


"The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do."

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) Third president of the United States

Disclaimer: I've often been guilty of being anything but to the point, so to some extent this is do as I say, not as I've always done.

But I have tried to follow the "less is more" dictum here in Business Wisdom.

And you?

December 11, 2014

SELF IMPOSED BLINDNESS


"We are least open to precise knowledge concerning the things we are most vehement about."

Eric Hoffer (1902-1983) American philosopher/author

And we are often most ignorant about things we are most vehement about.

Easy to fix.

Simply train your knee-jerk reaction to be "what else might be true?" rather than "what I think is true is true."

Do that and you'll be surprised how much more you learn.

December 10, 2014

TODAY AND TOMORROW


"Only man clogs his happiness with care, destroying what is with thoughts of what may be."

John Dryden (1631-1700) British poet/dramatist/critic

I'd like to tell you this doesn't apply to me but I'd be lying if I did.

And it's true for everyone I've ever known although some much more than others.

You need to be concerned with what may be, that is at the heart of planning.

Just not at the expense of living today.

December 09, 2014

HERE'S WHAT YOU DO



"Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom."

Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) German philosopher

The best advice is that based on real experience.

Trust that coming from those who've been where you want to go.

December 08, 2014

THERE ARE LIMITS TO YOUR GREATNESS . . . WHO KNEW?


"The first requisite for success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem incessantly without growing weary."

Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) American inventor

Counter intuitive to self proclaimed multitaskers.

Few have the luxury of doing only one thing at a time, however there is a finite limit to how many things you can do equally well all at once.

Know what that limit is.


December 05, 2014

CHEAP CAN BE VERY EXPENSIVE


"All good things are cheap: all bad are very dear."

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) American naturalist/poet/philosopher

Not all but certainly a lot.

"Good deals" are often the most costly.

Concern yourself with cost, don't buy what you can't afford, but understand the most expensive will often end up being the least costly.

December 04, 2014

WE CAN'T BE BEAT?


"We feel and know that we are eternal."

Benedict de Spinoza (1632-1677) Dutch Jewish philosopher

People maybe, companies definitely not.

And still many management teams act as though their company will never die.

And when they do that is the beginning of the end.



December 03, 2014

WHAT WILL YOU DO?


"It is the first of all problems for a man to find out what kind of work he is to do in this universe."

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) British historian/essayist

Arguably the biggest of all problems because if you get that wrong, all else that follows will only be worse.

Choose your career carefully.

December 02, 2014

YOU NEED TROUBLE?


"People need trouble -- a little frustration to sharpen the spirit on, toughen it."

William Faulkner (1897-1962) American novelist/short-story writer

Whether or not you need trouble depends on your aspirations.

No one I've known, including me, was born prepared to accomplish their most ambitious goals.

We become so after seeing we did what we once thought undoable.

December 01, 2014

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT


"Thought is free."

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) British poet/playwright

And yet it sometimes seems there's too little of it or that which is thought was not thought carefully with full consideration for what would follow.