Branson’s most important lesson?

Unless you’ve been living on the moon for the last 20 years, you’ll have read a few things about Richard Branson. Some of them you may not have agreed with. Chances are though, you’ll have some respect for what he’s achieved.

I’ve read all of his books and my eyes are always drawn to interviews with him.

I spotted this yesterday and was inspired. Again.

The first company I attempted was a Christmas tree company. My friend and I planted 400 seeds. We planned to sell trees for two pounds a tree and make 800 pounds; unfortunately, rabbits got to the seedlings before they had grown even an inch. We were wiped out!

So surely you thew the towel in then Richard?

After that I tried a budgerigar farm. To be honest, my plan to sell the small Australian parrots didn’t make any money either. But the two failed attempts gave me experience and a hunger to carry on and try to succeed in business. Afterward my friend and I began the student magazine, believing, at 15, that we could change the world!

So let’s get this right, his first two businesses were complete failures.

My first two years online haven’t been a failure – far from it, but I’m not a multi-squillionaire as yet – so as long as I keep doing the right thing, following a process and having a vision, then with a bit of luck things will go well for me. It’s too easy to throw your hands in the air and give up. That’s going to get you precisely nowhere.

Wise words from Richard.

63 lessons from 2 years as an entrepreneur

Being Smarter is 2 years old this week. After the success of last year’s summary – this year I’ve decided to mark our birthday with my very first ebook which I hope will save you hours, days or weeks of effort if you’re running your own business or looking to become more intrapreneurial if you’re in a large corporate.

There have been many influences on my business and personal life over the last 24 months – I will be writing to you separately to thank you and to let you know you’re included in this book.

One of those influences is David Meerman Scott and David, in line with your thinking – there’s no email capture on this page!

[box type=”info”]If you’d like to download the 71 page ebook – click the button below – it’s got a ton of links and thoughts in to save you time, energy and mistakes.[/box]

If you’d rather just grab the headlines – they’re below.

With that – it’s onwards and upwards – into year 3. *blows out candles.

The lessons – in no particular order.

  1. Get things right on paper before you go anywhere near a keyboard.
  2. Don’t work when your son’s making a giant snowball outside with another dad. Even if you have a deadline. You’ll regret it.
  3. Data isn’t data unless it’s in two places. Back up. Regularly. Don’t put it off until tomorrow.
  4. The Challenge is an inspiration.
  5. Visions and missions can only be developed when in transit – evolve yours over time by mainly doing as opposed to mainly thinking.
  6. Twitter is a serious business tool.
  7. Seth Godin is a genius. His writing is short and to the point and that suits me (and 000?s of others) down to the ground.
  8. Once you’ve cracked a process or system, record it and don’t fiddle with it.”
  9. Networking is still one of the most important skills ever and should be taught at school. Without it, I wouldn’t have met the wonderful Lesley Everett.
  10. Choose who you work with (if you can). And yes, you really do have a choice.
  11. Learn when to switch the PC off – it will still be there in the morning.
  12. I’ve been inspired working in subject areas I knew nothing about. You could be too. Thanks Graeme.
  13. WordPress is so often the answer, what’s the question.
  14. A green screen studio inc lights, cameras and mics can be bought for £1,500. And carried around the world.
  15. Have a VERY understanding and supportive wife or partner. (Thanks Suz)
  16. I appear to have created 170,659 files in the last 24 months. Develop an electronic filing system that works and use it.
  17. “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” (c) My Dad 1945 – current day.
  18. When was the last time you put a real newspaper clipping into a real envelope and sent it to a real person? They’ll remember you.
  19. Google Reader is an essential business tool. Learn how to use it.
  20. Never start a business without an online component. You’d be missing a trick.
  21. As the E-Myth states, focus on making your business scalable from day 1.
  22. Learn how to find out what people are searching for in Google – it’s the single best market research tool on the planet.
  23. You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.
  24. Don’t say “I can’t believe I can’t work today because it’s a Bank Holiday” out loud. Keep it to yourself – people will think you are nuts and won’t get it.
  25. Only work with exceptional people.
  26. Figure out what buyer personas are.
  27. Go out of your way to THANK people. It seems to be unusual these days.
  28. Seek advice actively from people you trust. Create an advisory board of people around you. You DON’T have all the answers.
  29. Write your eulogy in bulletpoints. Then live your business and personal life like you want to be remembered. This isn’t as weird as it sounds.
  30. Don’t get so caught up in your endeavours you forget birthdays. Use Moonpig.com.
  31. The software you want is already built. You may have to tweak it but for goodness sake don’t reinvent the wheel.
  32. Learn new stuff. All the time. Or what’s the point?
  33. ‘Tell stories and solve people’s problems’ is good advice.
  34. Become a connector – find ways to introduce people.
  35. Personalised web pages (which can be produced in 15 seconds) with a prospect’s name in the URL get 100% clickthrough
  36. Only have 5 email folders. Inbox, Sent mail, Hold, Follow up and Archive. Gina Trapani is a legend.
  37. Tim Ferris has done it and got the t-shirt. I’m a living breathing case study who’s aiming to get there.
  38. It will always take longer than you think.
  39. Today, projects should take weeks and cost 00?s. If yours is going to take months and cost 000?s you may want to think again.
  40. Firefox every time. Bye bye Internet explorer.
  41. 10 minutes a day. After 8 months of testing – it resonates. Find something that resonates.
  42. Drink beer from time to time with people who inspire. Andy Palmer – Thank you.
  43. You’ll never get every ‘i’ dotted and ‘t’ crossed. Sometimes, you’ll just need to make a decision without all the facts.
  44. SEO is bloody hard unless you follow a process. Position #10 will give you 1/14th of the traffic of position #1. Only the top 4 positions really count.
  45. It is possible to have a $10,000 day on the Internet.
  46. Working in partnership with people you trust and respect is much easier than working on your own.
  47. Some books need to be read twice – they are more relevant second time round.
  48. I may have been the last person to read Purple Cow, but I’m still glad I read it.
  49. Don’t think you know better than people who’ve already done it in a big way. Learn from them, emulate them but be original.
  50. Follow your heart, not your to do list when turning things down.
  51. Know when to turn off Twitter…
  52. You always have a choice.
  53. When middle managers say ‘yes’ in large corporations, they probably don’t mean yes.
  54. Personalised videos get results.
  55. A laser beam focus on a niche is so much more effective than floodlights on a marketplace.
  56. Meetings are toxic and other such phrases. This book is my bible.
  57. Never, ever, EVER ignore a gut feeling.
  58. Either do ‘it’ for free of for full price and accept the consequences either way.
  59. Nobody cares about your products or services, except you.
  60. Channels to market are vital to success.
  61. Learn to recognise time wasters.
  62. Be patient.
  63. Embrace your constraints.

Words of wisdom from Bill Gates

I got this in an email today and felt compelled to share it. It’s bang on in my book…

Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a high school about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school.

He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

  • Rule 1: Life is not fair – get used to it!
  • Rule 2: The world doesn’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
  • Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.
  • Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.
  • Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.
  • Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
  • Rule 7:  Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
  • Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
  • Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.
  • Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
  • Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

    How to get 2.5 million customers in 5 years without advertising

    It’s not a secret that I’m a fan of 37 Signals and how they’ve built their business. What I didn’t know until yesterday was the number of customers they have. How many of those are paying it’s hard to know – but a good proportion I bet.

    Jason Fried is the co-founder and president of 37 Signals and in his presentation below, taken from a Chicago conference last year, he outlines his company’s ethos for winning new customers.

    It’s all about Market Leadership, as Ed Dale would say.

    It’s also a brilliant case study for David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of PR and Marketing.

    [quote]The video below will make old skool marketeers shake their heads in disbelief. [/quote]

    At 12 mins ish Jason talks about a single blog post which explains the way 37 Signals have tested and implemented a flashing yellow bar to alert users to a change on the screen. This post has been read 800,000 times! How many of those hits have resulted in sales? Who knows – but a good few I bet.

    The moral to this story is give away your secrets, build trust and people will buy from you.

    If you have any interest in winning customers in the 2010’s, do yourself a favour and spend 20 mins watching this.

    Watch us Getting Real

    The Being Smarter team is pretty excited at the moment. With our various ventures all swimming along nicely, we’ve decided now is the right time to dip our toe in the water of the web applications world. We’ve been asked whether we’d like to build an online service which we believe will be a real winner.

    There are many ways of building a new online web business. One of them is to get funding, staff up, spend months developing, launch, figure out how to monetize, always be in beta and close the service after a year because you couldn’t make money.

    OR you can do it the smart way. We’ve decided to do it the smart way and are going to use the amazing Getting Real as our guide to doing it. If you’ve not heard of the book – check out the 37 Signals web business. It’s the results of their first few years in business and we think it’s going to be invaluable to us.

    As we like to do things differently, we thought it would be helpful to others as well as ourselves (when we write the book in a few years time) to document our experiences as we go from first meeting to launch and beyond.

    Play Big Brother and watch our new business develop in our online diary www.watchusgettingreal.com

    Please do forward this on!

    A blog book tour – thinking outside the box

    As regular readers to the Being Smarter website will know, we like to feature new ways of doing things. Innovation is so key in business and today, we’re delighted to be participating in an innovation called a blog book tour which fuses social media, brilliant segmenting of a marketplace and win-win for the book authors and promoters.

    We’ve been lucky enough to have Dr Karl Kapp, Professor of instructional technology at Bloomsburg University PA, USA as an advocate of The 8.45 Club‘s method of training. We were delighted when he asked us if we would like to participate as a guest blog on Day #12 of his blog book tour, to promote the sale of his excellent new book “Learning in 3D” (affiliate link).

    We thought that because 30 other people will be talking about the book itself, instead, let’s talk to Karl about this blog book tour concept, find out what such a thing actually is, how it’s being used in this context, and most importantly, how YOU could use it yourselves to promote your next publication. Guess what, it could be applied to any product or service with a bit of thought – so even if you’re not an author – keep watching…

    So make a coffee – sit back and watch Dr Karl, live by satellite…

    White Wednesday

    Yesterday was quite a day, and so I’ve had to give it a name. I learnt three big lessons and wanted to share them – so here goes with my story…

    White Wednesday

    12.01am Finished a Skype call with the excellent Guru Bob from the Thirty Day Challenge – he was being his ever helpful self – thanks Rob.

    12.05am My wife and I were up late – watching the snow settle.

    12.06am After a couple of weeks of indecision, because I was waiting for multiple things to be confirmed, she persuaded me that a) I can’t please all the people all the time and b) you can’t wait for everything to come into alignment before making  a decision. You can however make one decision and that will help everything else align.

    12.12am Thud. Weight of snow (yes it was seriously sticky snow) brings down the phone line and the broadband with it. Obviously the out-of-use line was still going strong…

    12.15am On hold to BT.

    12.40am Fault reported.

    12.50am Mobile broadband clearly couldn’t get through the snow on the local base station.

    1.00am Went to bed without booking the flight to Australia my wife had persuaded me to book 55 mins ago.

    7.00am Awoke with a start. Schools and nursery closed. Phoneline curled around cars in the drive. Ripped up plans for the day.

    10.00am Went to my neighbours to fix their wireless, and then settle down there for the day. Booked the (last seat at the right price on the) flight, did the essentials.

    12.05pm Remembered lesson #2 from this post and got thoroughly soaked playing in the snow with the children.

    1.00pm More neighbours joined. Lunch was brought to us… working from home was attempted by a few.

    2.00pm Did some more essentials

    5.00pm Opened a bottle of red. Work fizzled out for all the neighbours. The 8 children who had been playing together all day continued (great to watch).

    6.00pm Dad’s went down the pub. Yes on a school night. Except surely school would be shut tomorrow wouldn’t it?

    7.00pm Dad’s experienced what the aftermath of armageddon would feel like, as we walked through the snow to a shining light that was the curry house like the three musketeers. Saw about 1 car.

    8.00pm Enjoyed a wonderful meal.

    10.00pm Thought it was time to go home, carried the kids through the snow and put them to bed.

    So, what has this got to do with Being Smarter? What did I learn?

    1. Accept when you have a problem, accept when it’s not fixable and do something about it. Don’t spend hours complaining about it.
    2. Make decisions which are informed. Accept that every ‘i’ is never going to be dotted. Don’t not make a decision (you’ll pay an extra £500 on your flight ;-))
    3. Make time for your family and friends. Business is NOT everything. Some things really can wait. Some things (like trudging through the snow for a curry in the dark and throwing snowballs at your son) can’t.

    What business lessons have you learnt recently from a memorable day?

    Yesterday was quite a day, and so I’ve had to give it a name. I learnt three big lessons from the day and wanted to share them – so here goes.

    12.01am Finished a Skype call with the wonderful Guru Bob from the Thirty Day Challenge – he was being his ever helpful self – thanks Rob.

    12.05am My wife and I were up late for us – watching the snow settle. After a couple of weeks of indecision, because I was waiting for multiple things to be confirmed, she persuaded me that a) I can’t please all the people all the time and b) you can’t wait for everything to come into alignment before making  a decision. You can however make one decision and that will help everything else align.

    12.07am Thud. Weight of snow (yes it was seriously sticky snow) brings down the phone line and the broadband with it. At least the out of use line stayed put…

    12.10am On hold to BT.

    12.40am Fault reported.

    12.50am Mobile broadband clearly couldn’t get through the snow on the local base station

    1.00am Went to bed without booking the flight to Australia my wife had persuaded me to book 55 mins ago.

    7.00am Awoke with a start. Schools and nursery closed. Phoneline curled around cars in the drive. Ripped up plans for the day.

    10.00am Went to my neighbours to fix their wireless, and then settle down there for the day. Booked the flight, did the essentials.

    12.05pm Remembered lesson #2 from this post and got thoroughly soaked playing in the snow with the children.

    1.00pm More neighbours joined. Lunch was brought to us… work was attempted by a few.

    2.00pm Did some more essentials

    5.00pm Opened a bottle of red. Work fizzled out for all the neighbours. The 8 children been playing together all day.

    6.00pm Dad’s went down the pub. Yes on a school night.

    7.00pm Dad’s experienced what aftermath of armageddon would feel like as we walked through the snow to a shining light that was the curry house like the three musketeers. Saw about 1 car.

    8.00pm Enjoyed a wonderful meal.

    10.00pm Thought it was time to go home, carried the kids through the snow and put them to bed.

    So, what has this got to do with Being Smarter? What did I learn?

    1) Accept when you have a problem, accept when it’s not fixable and do something about it. Don’t spend hours complaining about it.

    2) Make decisions which are informed. Accept that every ‘i’ is never going to be dotted. Don’t not make a decision (you’ll pay an extra £500 on your flight ;-))

    3)

    My 5 days with Ed Dale

    So, first things first, this is not a sycophantic rant about someone I have admired for afar for a while… this is going to be a 4 part series of articles explaining what I’ve learnt over the last few days from a man who’s been there and got the t-shirt in many ways. I hope you pick up something from the wisdom.

    You may not know who Ed Dale is. He’s the architect behind www.thethirtydaychallenge.com which simply put, is a free 30 day online video training guide on ‘how to make your first dollar online.’ It runs every August as live, but is available all year round for the price of your email address. 80,000 people went through the process last August.

    It’s the course I stumbled upon about 18 months ago when looking for the next ‘thing’, and being frank, I’ve not looked back since. It may be over the top to call it a life changer, but it’s not far off, as it changes your view on the Internet Marketing world (for the better) and explains in detail the principles behind it and how to do it. Ed’s not the only one in front of the camera. He’s assembled a great team who’ve helped research the principles and then go on to present it.

    I’m delighted that Ed has now partnered with us here at The 8.45 Club and so we spent some time together filming, had a very nice lunch and followed that with a three day seminar we recorded and so I got quite an insight into the guy…

    Business can be fun

    Ed brings humour to most things he does… he records a lot of video (as we did together) and humour is a key element. Not humour for humour’s sake – it’s appropriate and injects personality into everything he does. He passionately believes in making business fun. The  three day seminar was based around the FUNdamentals of business. Think about it.

    • If you are doing something repeatedly in your day job which is potentially a chore, for goodness sake, make it so it’s easy and fun. (Have you read FISH! ?)
    • If you are not doing, creating or writing around a subject you enjoy, then it is not going to be fun. You’re never going to excel in that space until you change your subject matter or role.
    • Have fun and celebrate success with your teams. He’s made that mistake of not doing that before and won’t make it again.

    Newton’s 3rd law is an essential rule of business

    Newton’s 3rd law for those of you who hated physics at school is simple.

    For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction.

    It was a superb piece of advice someone gave me 10 years ago which I value and Ed is a prime example of someone who embodies this law.

    • He’s a self-made man who’s taken action throughout his life. He’s created and sold businesses and created quite a following. You don’t do this by prevaricating and sitting on the fence. You don’t create a following (eh Seth?) without taking action, without expressing opinion, without helping people.
    • So – taking action is all about making decisions… and making them quickly. Don’t take 3 months to write a technical spec. Sketch it on a side of A4 and review as you go.
    • Don’t spend months trying to create a brand and spending thousands on an agency to do it for you… keep working on the content behind the idea and the brand will come. (Sometimes in the shower or on a tube train – true story).
    • You will make mistakes, regret actions (or inactions) and there will be disappointments along the way. Dust your selfdown – take a day out and then get on with it again. Even if that decision cost you millions, you can’t get it back – so go find another way to make it back.

    You can be a good human being and still ‘make it’

    This is an interesting one. So often in business, you come across successful people who have sold their own grandmother at least twice to climb to the top of a greasy pole. You don’t have to – and I’ve seen this a few times now – which is really rather good news for us all don’t you think?

    • Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Be YOURSELF.
    • Live your values – and stick to your principles. If you don’t believe something is the right way to do things, despite many others doing it to further themselves – then find another way. A way you believe in.
    • Go out of your way to help others… give something back. Good karma will come around. Eventually.

    Tomorrow – what I’ve learnt from Ed and his team on how to get your web business started.

    By the way, you could do a lot worse than following @ed_dale (oh and @ME of course…)

    Update (March 2010)

    You can see the results of the photo above at www.ed-ucationonline.com

    10 lessons from James Caan’s Real deal book

    One of the many ways to ‘Get better at business’ – Being Smarter’s mantra – is to be inspired and emulate people who have been there and bought the t-shirt. Thanks to the BBC’s Dragon’s Den, James Caan is now a household name here in the UK. His relaxed style and friendly nature towards nervous entrepreneurs in the Den has made him one of the favourite dragons to do business with.

    I was intrigued by him and wanted to learn more. James Caan’s autobiography tells quite a story. It is of course rags to riches – as with all good inspirational reads, however he has got there not through being all ‘Alan Sugar’, banging the desk and trampling over others to get to the top of his game, he’s got there through gritty determination, smart thinking (that bit I really like) and with a smile on his face as he inspires others around him.

    It’s an excellent read and tells a good story. I’ve picked out the ten lessons I learnt from James’s story below:

    1. James encourages everyone to “Observe the masses and do the opposite” – it’s the only way to make it big, keep ahead of curves and stand out from the crowd.
    2. “Successful businesses are about successful relationships, not about successful transactions.” He actually asks partners and suppliers whether the deal they’ve just struck works for them… he doesn’t want to see them going away unhappy, as he argues it won’t work in the long run. Smart advice.
    3. “There is little point in hard work if you can’t take time to enjoy the rewards…” learnt from his father. Do you enjoy the rewards?
    4. “I would have nothing but cornflakes until pay day” is not a great lesson as such – But shows you how far you can come when armed with nothing but tenacity and passion for what you are doing.
    5. “If you’ve got nothing to lose, it’s amazing what you can get away with”. Think about that – always ask yourself what do you have to lose…
    6. “If you don’t have a Unique Selling Point – you’re dead in the water” – simple, sound advice anyone reading this should ask themselves.
    7. Constantly “put yourself in your customers’ shoes.” Make yourself feel what they are feeling and react accordingly. He did this, changed his strategy and literally created a (multimillion pound)business from nothing. Page 106 is inspirational.
    8. “It’s amazing how changing your state of mind can change everything else.” Positive mental attitude and thinking outside the box are so key to running a successful business.
    9. The 1992 recession taught James not to put all of his eggs in the same basket – he became close to being wiped out and promised he’d never do that again.
    10. Throughout the book, James talks about asking questions… he’s asked lots of them and by asking the right ones has found angles and opportunities to exploit.

    If you’ve got some time – it’s a great way to spend £5…

    51 lessons learnt in year 1 as an entrepreneur

    Being Smarter is a year old today. A year ago to the day, I sat at my desk with a blank canvas, a very small amount of money and a clock ticking. It’s been a fascinating journey – The 8.45 Club was born, I’ve met some great new people and learnt so much.
    I wanted to share the (at least) 51 things I’ve learnt so that I can potentially help you as well as acknowledging the folks who’ve helped me…

    1. Get things right on paper before you go anywhere near a keyboard.
    2. Don’t work when your son’s making a giant snowball outside with another dad. Even if you have a deadline. You’ll regret it.
    3. Data is not data until it is backed up. Regularly.
    4. The Thirty Day Challenge is an inspiration.
    5. Visions and missions can only be developed when in transit – evolve yours over time by mainly doing as opposed to mainly thinking.
    6. Twitter is a serious business tool.
    7. Seth Godin is a genius. He writes in 8.45 Club style – short and to the point and that suits me (and 000’s of others) down to the ground.
    8. Have a testbed for software. Once it’s working, don’t fiddle with it. Ever.
    9. Networking is still one of the most important skills ever and should be taught at school. Without it, I wouldn’t have met the wonderful Lesley Everett.
    10. Choose who you work with (if you can). I’ve been blessed with great clients in the last 12 months. They’re great because they do what they say they are going to do and value me. Do yours?
    11. Know what your USP is and ensure it’s remarkable as Seth says.
    12. Learn when to switch the PC off – it will still be there in the morning.
    13. An A3 pad is a great asset when you are about to start a new project.
    14. I’ve been inspired working in subject areas I knew nothing about. You could be too. Thanks Graeme.
    15. WordPress is the answer, what’s the question.
    16. A green screen studio inc lights, cameras and mics can be bought for £1,500. And carried around the world. Want to see what you can do with a green screen?
    17. Personalised webpages (which can be produced in 15 seconds by a technophobe) with a prospect’s name in the URL get 100% click through. You can do this too now!
    18. Have a VERY understanding and supportive wife or partner. (Thanks Suz)
    19. David Meerman Scott and I have something in common – we both love practical examples to demonstrate concepts. The difference between us is that he’s on top of his game and I’m still working on it.
    20. I appear to have created 131,928 files in the last 12 months. Develop an electronic filing system that works and use it dilligently. Use a networked hard drive.
    21. “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” (c) My Dad 1945 – current day.
    22. When was the last time you put a magazine/newspaper clipping in a real envelope and sent it to someone. They’ll remember you.
    23. Google Reader is an essential business tool. Learn how to use it.
    24. Appreciate it when clients actually look after you when on their patch. I’ve never been looked after like my new friends in New Jersey did / do.
    25. No one should start a business without an online component to it, or you are missing a trick.
    26. As the E-Myth states, focus on making your business scalable from day 1. I have an org chart with my name in every position which I’m slowly going to backfill. Do you?
    27. Learn how to find out what people are searching for in Google – it’s the single best market research tool on the planet. Ask me if you don’t know how.
    28. Don’t spend hours trying to save a few $£’s – it’s not efficient use of time.
    29. Don’t say “I can’t believe I can’t work today because it’s a Bank Holiday” out loud. Keep it to yourself – people will think you are nuts and won’t get it.
    30. It’s actually really good to stop and pick the kids up from school. But it’s also OK to be doing emails whilst cooking tea for 6 children. Fishfingers are pretty resilient.
    31. Figure out what buyer personas are.
    32. Go out of your way to THANK people. It seems to be unusual these days.
    33. Losing hours or days because you can’t solve a problem is OK. Bodging it is not OK. Giving up is not OK either.
    34. Seek advice actively from people you trust (here’s one). Create an advisory board of people around you. You DON’T have all the answers.
    35. Understand when to let go and when to get an expert involved.
    36. Write your eulogy in bulletpoints. Then live your business and personal life like you want to be remembered. This isn’t as wierd as it sounds.
    37. When you finally take a holiday don’t let your daughter get chickenpox or you’ll need another holiday straight afterwards.
    38. Don’t get so caught up in your endeavours you forget birthdays. Use Moonpig.com.
    39. The software you want is already built. You may have to tweak it but for goodness sake don’t reinvent the wheel.
    40. Learn new stuff. All the time. Or what’s the point?
    41. Nick Spooner you are right – ‘Tell stories and solve people’s problems’ is good advice.
    42. Be generous with your time and show people how to do items 1-51 on your list.
    43. Become a connector – figure out ways of introducing people.
    44. Only have 5 email folders. Inbox, Sent mail, Hold, Follow up and Archive. Gina Trapani is a legend.
    45. My prediction is that www.elance.com is going to be indispensible to me over the next 12 months. It could be to you.
    46. Tim Ferris has done it and got the t-shirt. I’m a living breathing case study who’s aiming to get there.
    47. It will always take longer than you think.
    48. In 2009, projects should take weeks and cost 00’s. If yours is going to take months and cost 000’s you may want to think again.
    49. Firefox every time. Bye bye Internet explorer.
    50. 10 minutes a day. After 8 months of testing – it resonates. Find something that resonates.
    51. And finally – drink beer from time to time with people who inspire. Andy Palmer – Thank you.

    Here’s to the next 12 months.

    Follow me on Twitter if you’d like to stay in touch.
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