Win the heart, not the brain

Emotions win, not reason. Forget about the rational arguments, the scientific rationale. Appeal to emotions. Appeal to the heart. Greed, fear, love, passion, patriotism, lust, whatever. If you want to win the argument, win the crowd. To win the crowd, with their emotions. Emotions win, not reason.

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When breaking bad news, keep it simple

You have to fire an employee. Cancel a supplier contract. Report losses to shareholders. Whatever it is, keep it straight and simple. Don’t beat around the bush, don’t sugar-coat it. Don’t make excuses, don’t fiddle faddle around the facts. Say what you have to say, then keep quiet.

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High energy + low energy = low energy

When high energy folks interact with other high energy folks, then both energies go up.When high energy folks interact with low energy folks, the high energy person loses energy, but the low energy person stays the same: low energy.When low energy folks interact with low energy folks, they both remain low energy.High energy + high energy…

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Assume nothing. Repeat everything.

Do you think your team knows how your company makes money? Do you think your team knows how many people’s lives your company impacts positively? Do you think your team knows what your company rules are for dealing with colleagues and customers? Think again. Most people don’t have your history. Most people don’t know what you…

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Don’t stress about stuff that hasn’t happened yet

Worried your customer will cancel the contract? Worried you won’t raise sufficient funds? Worried your product won’t work? Worried interest rates will rocket? Don’t worry about stuff that hasn’t happened. You’ll only stress yourself twice. First when you worry about it. Second when it actually happens. By all means, plan for negative scenarios. But don’t dwell…

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Use price as a strategy, not a differentiator

Competing on price is a race to the bottom. Don’t do it. The only times you should apply lower pricing are: a) Hooking customers for other products that are more profitable (cross-subsidization) b) Driving competition out the market with the intention of pushing prices up once you have a monopoly. In other words, discounted pricing is a…

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Be humble

When you’re tasting a little bit of success, it’s easy to start letting arrogance creep in.Beware.Arrogance kills. It blinds you to learning from other people.It alienates partners, staff and customers.It attracts the wrong kind of people, ie: arrogant people.It masks insecurity.It makes enemies.No matter how successful you become, always remind yourself of how lucky you’ve been, and how many…

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Don’t be a loser

Success is not about winning. It’s about not losing.In other words, its not about increasing your odds of winning. It’s about reducing your odds of losing.There is one simple way to reduce the probability of failure.Go the extra mile.In everything you do, do a little more than expected.Need to prepare a proposal? Format it, add page numbers, spellcheck,…

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Don’t hide your mistakes

In the Japanese tradition of ceramics, broken pottery is mended using lacquer mixed with powdered gold.The idea is to treat breakage and repair as part of the history of the object, turning the cracks into beautiful golden threads rather than something to disguise.For centuries, kintsugi (golden joinery) was such a celebrated art form that some…

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Show no fear

When it comes to our basic instincts, we are no different to animals. Animals can smell fear. If you show fear, you’ll be ignored (by impala) or attacked (by lions). That’s why, no matter how afraid you are, you can never show fear. Showing fear will at best result in you losing the crowd (investors, staff,…

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You know you’re right when everyone says you’re wrong

Find the path that everyone disagrees with, but that the customer loves. You want incumbents, pundits, experts, and competitors to be sniggering behind your back. That’s when you can be sure you’ve found a possible path to success. Why? Because you won’t have any competition on the path. Whilst everyone is criticizing you, you’ll be plucking customers with gleeful abandon….

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Don’t aim for the finish line

Aim 10% past the finish line. Deadline for Friday? Aim for Thursday. Target of R10million profit? Aim for R11million. Want to wake up 6am every day? Wake up 5am. Need to 50% to pass your exam? Study for 60%. Whatever the goal is, add 10%. That way you don’t slack off before the finish line. Instead, cross the…

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