Monday, May 28, 2018


I am leaving for sabbatical. During that time, I will not be blogging, nor doing any other online publishing. But, I will be back before too long.

See ya soon!

Monday, May 14, 2018


As an entrepreneur, you are a change agent. In no small measure, inducing change is what entrepreneurs do.

A big part of the challenge, with being an entrepreneur, is that people naturally resist change. Technically it is called the Status Quo Bias. More commonly, we say things like, "Don't rock the boat." Or, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

There exists an Indian yogi by the name of Sadhguru. He posses great wisdom. And, I recently heard him mention how our school system teaches us to be obedient. Don't rock the boat.

Unfortunately, you will not achieve your dreams by being obedient. So much of success is about giving yourself permission to disobey the rules and norms.

Obedience is a good thing in childhood. However, as an adult, obedience can be quite destructive. Sure, any society needs boundaries. We call these boundaries "laws" and they need to be followed. However, within the boundaries obedience can be suffocating.

I have heard it said that the key to success is to look at what everyone else is doing and do the opposite. That is a little overly simplistic but the point is well-taken.

A key element to business success is differentiation. The Harvard business school professor, Michael Porter, is considered the world's leading expert on strategy. And, you do not need to go to Harvard to understand what he is saying.

Porter says the key to business strategy is differentiation. Of course, a lot of people will not permit themselves to be different. It has been said that when people are free to do what they want, they usually imitate each other.

You need to give yourself permission to be different. To go against the grain. To stand out.

Here is are a few other ways you need to give yourself permission:

– If you are an entrepreneur, you are a salesperson. And, as a salesperson, you need to give yourself permission to interrupt people.

– We fail our way to success. So, you need to give yourself permission to fail. This is particularly difficult for perfectionists. Thus, perfectionists need to learn to forgive themselves for their mistakes.

Last week, I mentioned how lonely it can be if you are ambitious. It is the road less traveled. And, you need to give yourself permission to stray from the pack. You need to give yourself permission to not be popular (at least for a while.)

However we acquire this habit, I have found that people tend to look for permission before doing things. And, it can be a real problem. You need to give yourself permission to live your life.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Monday, April 30, 2018

You cannot teach the new dogs old tricks

The title of this blog post comes from the greatest entrepreneur of all time. I hope you can agree, it is a phenomenal quote

We have all heard the saying, "You cannot teach an old dog new tricks." And, I happen to think it is one of the more pathetic sayings in all of existence. It is so sad and complacent.

Thanks to the science of neuroplasticity, we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the human brain remains malleable throughout the life span.

For example, what do you know about Jim Arruda Henry? Here is a man who learned to read at the age of 92! (he subsequently went on to also write a book)

Most of us learned to read at an early age, so we may not appreciate just how hard it is. Perhaps a good equivalent is learning a second language. Do you speak two languages?

Now back to the title of this post, it is something Warren Buffett likes to say to his partner, Charlie Munger. Both gentleman are big fans of the concept, "Invert, always invert." Meaning, consider ideas from multiple perspectives.

We all hear people say you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. But what if the opposite were true? What if you cannot teach the new dogs old tricks? There sure seem to be something to it.

Of course, what Warren and Charlie are saying is that somethings can only be learned through time.

Here is an interesting paradox for ya. Have you ever noticed that the younger we are, the less patient we tend to be? Patience is a virtue generally learned through time, meaning, as we get older. So, the less time we have, the more patience we tend to be. Kinda crazy, right?

What about Win-Win? "Reciprocal altruism" as it is often called. Some people call it "enlightened self-interest." At the networking group BNI, they say "Givers Gain." They are all saying roughly the same thing.

However you wish to label it, reciprocal altruism is an advanced concept. And, it is seldom mastered by the new dogs. Indeed, it can be very hard to teach the old dogs old tricks.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Beware the Naked Man

There is an old proverb that says, "Beware the naked man who offers you clothes."

This idea warns us that people cannot give what they do not have.

Clothes are a good metaphor because they are tangible and visible.

Of course, much of what we have to offer is invisible.

This is an idea that came to mind based on my last two blog posts.

It is an idea that is applicable in countless situations.

For example, you cannot teach people to see through the availability heuristic if you, yourself, are incapable of doing so.

In her book, Daring Greatly, author Brené Brown is teaching people to be more courageous. She says parents cannot give their children what they do not have (which can make parenting a pretty scary proposition.)

Similarly, I have a real problem with weight loss gurus who have never lost real weight (and, since relapse is part of recovery, I prefer if they have lost weight more than once.)

Beware the naked man who offers you clothes.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Hiding in Plain Sight

I once heard it said that there are no secrets. They are all simply hidden at the library.

Another way of putting it is the following. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

Last week, I talked about the availability heuristic. AH is a mental shortcut and it can be a form of laziness.

If you want to get to the truth, you need to search it out. Do not wait for things like media reports. Or, heaven forbid, commercials!

Here is the thing. If you are willing to put in the work, what you will find is, the answers have been hiding in plain sight (ya just gotta cut through the noise.)