More – Business Is Like Surfing

Don’t surf with sharks.

  • Take lessons, learn how. – Who’s your business advisor?
  • Never surf alone – Where’s your business community?
  • Don’t surf with sharks – Make your own business rules, don’t play by others’.
  • Stay out of unfamiliar waters – stick to your knitting.
  • Ride one wave at a time – do one thing good first.
  • Watch the weather – pay attention to your market.
  • Balance well – it could all come crashing down quickly.
  • Know where you’re going – plan the next few “steps”.
  • Don’t get distracted waving for the cameras – don’t relax too early.
  • Ride the small waves first – grow into the big ones. Grow into business.
  • Let somebody else make the board – outsource everything.
  • Get advice – Just because you’re wet doesn’t mean there is surf – where is your target market?
  • Know when to jump in – time kills deals.
  • Know when to stay on the beach – big opportunities aren’t always good.
  • Change technique before you decide to quit (it’s not surfing, it’s the way YOU are surfing).
  • Never think you’ve learned it all.
  • Don’t fight a rip tide. – Roll w/ the punches.
  • Know when to go home. – Don’t bet on the come.
  • Paddling is everything – Conation – committed movement in a purposeful direction. – commitment is more important than anything else
  • MOST IMPORTANT – Paddle harder AFTER you get momentum! It’s the only way to catch the wave so you can stop paddling altogether! (see last week’s Business is Like Surfing)

He who makes the rules wins.

Make Your Own Business Rules.

As I was writing my new book “Making Money is Killing Your Business” and getting feedback on it, a lot of people told me that some of the principles in this book are things they’ve never heard before. I’ve frequently heard, “I’ve never been given permission to think that way.” Allow me to set the record straight. I’ve never had an original thought in my life and I’m pretty sure no one else has either.

Picasso said “Good artists borrow. Great artists steal.” There is nothing new under the sun and when I hear people claiming they have an amazing new way of doing something that no one else has ever thought of, it usually turns out it was all just marketing.

One of the big re-discoveries of old truths for me was that a business is supposed to throw off three things for us, time, money and significance. But for some reason we only expect it to give us one: money. And because we focus on just making money, our business never gives back time or helps us have a significant impact in the world around us. We’re too busy making money to get to the important stuff.

As a result everything is backwards. We build a business and take whatever lifestyle that business happens to throw off for us, which at best usually involves having money, but rarely a lot of time, and almost never significance. This isn’t surprising because “he who makes the rules wins,” and we too often let our business and the business world around us make the rules for us. Making Money was written to help us take hold of our business and re-make the rules in our favor so that our business finally becomes our servant to do our bidding, not the other way around.

On Monday, I’m able to head to London, Belfast, and Nairobi Kenya largely because I’ve been committed to making my business live by my rules. I have to rein it in every day of every week, but simply being committed to do so has made all the difference. Working for free with business owners in Kenya is a great reward for having made the rules in my business. I’m looking forward to a lot more time, money, and significance to come as I force my business to live by my rule: Live well by doing good.

Are you making the rules or reacting to your business? He who makes the rules wins.