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Words of wisdom from your Uncle Ralph. And other Rules of Life & Business.

Words of wisdom from your Uncle Ralph And other Rules of Life & Business If you’ve been following me at LearningEntrepreneurship.com, you’ve probably already seen my frequently repeated slogans:   Don’t do it the hard way. Have a purpose. Have a plan. Be better. Do better. “A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. Only a fool insists on making his Continue Reading

Words of wisdom from Charlie Munger

Words of wisdom from Charlie Munger Gone but not forgotten    “If I can be optimistic when I’m nearly dead, surely the rest of you can handle a little inflation.” Charlie Munger’s many incisive one-liners are being shared on news coverage and media feeds worldwide for us all to remember the wise words of the legendary investor, vice-chairman and business Continue Reading


DON’T DO IT THE HARD WAY Food for thought    With more than thirty years of experience as an entrepreneur, management consultant, and advisor to entrepreneurs I’ve made a lot of mistakes, learned important lessons, and had some good fortune and big successes. It occurred to me that I should share those experiences and write a book on the theme Continue Reading

Sympathy for the Boss?

Sympathy for the Boss? Somebody has to do it    Management is not getting easier. Although managers do not get much sympathy, they are increasingly overloaded, stressed, burnt-out, harassed by demanding employees and distracted by the constant buffeting of rapid changes in economic conditions and the technologies that they depend on to get their jobs done. It’s a lot to Continue Reading

Hermit consumers

Hermit consumers We may never meet    It seems our customers and clients have learned to avoid personal contact in the real world. Trained to work, play, and shop in isolation using online services hunched over our computers during the deadly Covid pandemic, we’ve discovered we never really need to meet in the real world. The Economist (October 28th, 2023) Continue Reading

Looking back. Or looking forward?

Looking back Or looking forward? As we approach the end of another year in the post-pandemic era its timely to reflect on the past year and start looking forward and planning ahead. In looking back, I re-read my article in the 2020 Edition of DONT DO IT THE HARD WAY, and discovered nothing has changed. The consensus seems Continue Reading

To tip or not to tip?

To tip or not to tip? Its a good question You know the difference between a Canadian and a canoe, eh? A canoe tips. I enjoy destroying that myth. Sharing the wealth and adding a generous tip is a pleasure for me and may improve the day for somebody else. It feels like a gesture of solidarity and support Continue Reading

Lying is not Marketing

Lying is not Marketing Is misleading OK? Lying and misinformation are such prominent tactics in self-promotion, advertising, politics, and social media that its becoming increasingly difficult to know who to trust and what to believe. We are all becoming more skeptical and more selective of who and what we listen to. Checking the facts on every claim is not easy Continue Reading

In defense of Capitalism

In defense of Capitalism If its Enlightened Entrepreneurship You never win playing by the rules. Give em what they want. Those were the slogans of organized crime some of the most successful capitalists in the world if you judge success by whos making the most money. Turning to crime and breaking all the rules was a lesson learned Continue Reading

Celebrity CEOs versus competent management?

Celebrity CEOs Versus competent management? You know who Im talking about, so Im not going to mention their names. They already get too much attention. Ego driven, self-obsessed, supremely confident, exceptionally ambitious, and particularly adept at keeping their names in the news and in front of us through every media channel available. They may even be the visionary leader, Continue Reading

The history of computers

The history of computers As I know it This book review in The Economist (September 7th, 2023) reminded me of my own short story, published as a Blog post almost a decade ago now. Maybe I should have written the book myself, Ive been there for most of the last 60 years of computer history. It started with the Continue Reading

Brand Management. Needs a cult leader?

Brand Management -Needs a cult leader? Some brands seem to create a cult-like following of loyal customers, fans and supporters. Im thinking of Apple, Tesla, Nike, Rolex, Porsche, and Amazon or Walmart, (you may be thinking of others) and wondering how they got there. Do you need to have an obsessive, domineering, cult-like leader in the style of Steve Continue Reading

Getting political – Part 2

Getting political -Part 2 Last weeks newsletter and Blog post on Getting Political got a stronger than usual response from readers and pretty much confirmed my point that once youve declared your politics you may have to decide whether you can stay friends and business associates or you have to terminate the relationship. Talking politics is unavoidable, but arguing about Continue Reading

Getting political. Its unavoidable

Getting political Its unavoidable It has always been important to be aware of the values and beliefs of the people were doing business with and theyre usually made clear from listening to what they say and observing how they behave. In doing business however, it used to be standard practice not to discuss politics or religion the relationship might Continue Reading

Reduce the risk. Take more shots.

Reduce the risk Take more shots Its pretty much generally accepted wisdom that the top scorers in any sport Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, choose any superstar you like they all shoot a lot to score a lot. That means they miss a lot. (Not Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy in golf, of course, every shot counts and Continue Reading

Books @ $0.99! & Other News

Books @ $0.99! & Other News From your Uncle Ralph Special summer reading prices @ $0.99 for E-book editions! Ending soon, so buy now, read later. Both books are available everywhere at your favourite online bookstore. DONT DO IT THE HARD WAY How to avoid the seven biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make. The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans Continue Reading

Use your brain. It needs the workout.

Use your brain It needs the workout Too much technology makes us lazy. We stop critical thinking, questioning and evaluating - accepting the first easy, obvious answers that we get from Google or our preferred newsreaders, analysts, or commentators. Our brains arent getting enough exercise. And now were relying too much on artificial intelligence apps to do our thinking Continue Reading

Better marketing?Keep it simple.

Better marketing? Keep it simple Sometimes the old clichs are worth remembering; sometimes new perspectives help keep them fresh. Heres a short summary of good marketing advice with thanks to all my favourite gurus including Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki, Tom Peters, Henry Mintzberg, and your Uncle Ralph: Be authentic and sincere. You cant fake it if you dont Continue Reading

Artificial Intelligence?Its not that smart. Use it responsibly.

Artificial Intelligence? Its not that smart All the business buzz these days is about AI Artificial Intelligence. It seems everybodys using it or worrying about how other people are using it. Will we lose control of it? Will it replace human intelligence? Could it take control of us? Lets not get carried away with nightmares of the coming apocalypse. Continue Reading

Learn from the criminals?

Learn from the criminals? Be careful with that idea My grandson, studying business and finance at UBC, gave me two books to read, Gang Leader for a Day and The Wolfpack, about drug dealers in Chicago and gangsters in Canada not textbooks he says and Bloomberg Business Week just published its annual heist issue; so apparently we can Continue Reading

Whos your Guru?

Whos your Guru? Are they still relevant? You probably have a favourite go-to-guru to help you with ideas, inspiration, words of advice and strategic tips and tactics for continuing to achieve success in your life, career, and business. I have my favourites and Ive been following some of them for more than thirty years. Tom Peters, for example, the co-author Continue Reading

Manage like a pro

Manage like a pro In golf and business There are no easy rules or simple paths to follow. Just do whatever it takes to win without cheating. However, there are some good guiding principles from the best in golf to consider applying to your business. Here's a short list: Dont try to compete against the best in the world until Continue Reading

Too proud of your stuff? Be careful.

Too proud of your stuff? Be careful. Success and self-confidence can deteriorate into arrogance and complacency. Sometimes success goes to your head and can make you a little crazy. You start to forget how hard it was and how much luck had to do with it. You started with humility, now you think you should be respected like the genius Continue Reading

Hire a consultant? Hell no!

Hire a consultant? Hell no! You can do it yourself. A favourite old joke among consultants is that clients always ask, "What do you specialize in?" and "How much do you charge?" The appropriate qualifying questions from an intelligent consultant are, of course, "What's your problem?" and "How much can you afford?" So clients need to be sure they need Continue Reading

Business Transition Challenges

Many entrepreneurs are at the later stages of their careers and business plan and working on exit strategies. They are discovering that the exit is just as difficult as the start-up. I recommend that the plan include three steps: Determine the current valuation of the business and the steps required to improve on it. Start working on management transition to Continue Reading

Two Questions. Who? And why?

Two Questions Who? And why? If youre here, Im assuming its either because youre curious and just clicked on this link, or youre a regular reader and subscriber to my mailing list, or a follower, associate or friend on my website or one of my social media platforms LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube. You can understand thats Continue Reading

Business is like Golf – In Six Simple Words

Business is like Golf In Six Simple Words My advice to entrepreneurs, based on thirty years of experience and explained in four published books with a total of about 650 pages, can actually be boiled down to six simple words. The same words apply to getting better and achieving success at golf: Have a plan. Avoid the mistakes. There is Continue Reading

Business is like Golf

Business is like Golf Sharing the same principles for success As Your Uncle Ralph, writing for entrepreneurs at LearningEntrepreneurship.com, I have often used the analogy that business is like golf. It seems timely to revisit some of those themes and you dont have to be a golfer to recognize the similarities and the shared principles for success. Business is like Continue Reading

Remember PDT – A motivating mantra for success

Remember PDT A motivating mantra for success   As a parent and coach Ive often repeated the mantra of PDT Power, Determination, and Technique to focus on the three key elements required in any development program to achieve superior performance in a chosen sport, career, or business plan. You may have your own key words or acronym to Continue Reading

Have a purpose. And a plan.

Have a purpose And a plan Follow your dreams, pursue your passion!Thats the usual useless clich offered by successful superstars as advice to people who want the same level of success for themselves. Its not helpful! Its better to tell them to stop dreaming, get to work! Learn what you need to know and apply your passion to getting better Continue Reading

Hard-ass Management

Hard-ass Management Doesnt work anymore The players wanted a change. His style wasnt working anymore.Those were the parting words from management when Darryl Sutter was fired as head coach of the Calgary Flames hockey team at the end of a losing season, just one year after being named Jack Adams Award winner as the NHL's top head coach. Apparently tough, Continue Reading

Economics & Business – Disconnected

Economics & Business Disconnected Hows business? Fantastic! But I thought we were going into a recession? The economy may be going into recession, but not my business. Its a bit like asking why the weather is cool and damp when the trend of climate change says we should be hot and dry. Many small parts in the ecosystem may be Continue Reading

Play by the rules

Play by the rules And you cant win? My first crime fiction novel about an enlightened entrepreneur fighting crime and corruption was called, NO EASY MONEY, with the subtitle You never win playing by the rules. It was based on my own experiences and many entrepreneurs seem to agree that both sentiments are true - making money is not easy Continue Reading

What’s an Enlightened Entrepreneur?

What's an Enlightened Entrepreneur? Unsung heroes I've known a few and was recently re-introduced to the concept of "enlightened" entrepreneur by some unsung heroes who get it. In their own way they consistently demonstrate that successful entrepreneurship means taking care of people and the planet while taking care of business. All my business books and crime fiction novels for Continue Reading

Biggest Entrepreneur Mistake #7 – Getting too personal

Biggest Entrepreneur Mistake #7 Getting too personal (An extract from DONT DO IT THE HARD WAY Avoid the Seven Biggest Mistakes that Entrepreneurs Make.) Im NOT your mother! Personal issues that can interfere with the success of your business: Are family members in or out of the business? Should employees be treated like family? It can be complicated to Continue Reading

Biggest Entrepreneur Mistake #6 Lets do it again

Biggest Entrepreneur Mistake #6:Lets do it again Maybe not. (An extract from DONT DO IT THE HARD WAY Avoid the Seven Biggest Mistakes that Entrepreneurs Make.) You may have thought, or heard other entrepreneurs say, I already built one successful business and now I have the time and the money to start something new and do it again. I Continue Reading

Biggest Entrepreneur Mistake #5: Marketing is NOT Everything

Biggest Entrepreneur Mistake #5 Marketing is NOT Everything (An extract from DONT DO IT THE HARD WAY Avoid the Seven Biggest Mistakes that Entrepreneurs Make.) Marketing is not everything. But it is the first important step in a three-part process to deliver satisfied customers who keep coming back for more. Thats the primary objective of every business: building loyal, Continue Reading

Buy the Brand. Before the product.

Buy the Brand Before the product Apparently, the current economic conditions of high inflation and high interest rates are a result of the current frenzy of consumer spending as we come out of Covid pandemic restrictions and catch up on our spending plans. The economists and financial analysts have described it as YOLO thinking You Only Live Once, so Continue Reading

Stop complaining. But we’re not done yet.

Stop complaining But were not done yet. My mission in writing for entrepreneurs and about entrepreneurs is to promote enlightened entrepreneurship ethical, responsible business leadership that is sensitive to all the issues affecting employees, customers, business partners, communities, society and the planet and to help entrepreneurs to be better and do better, and to generate more sympathy, understanding Continue Reading

Biggest Entrepreneur Mistake #4 – Neglecting Key Relationships

Biggest Entrepreneur Mistake #4 Neglecting Key Relationships (An extract from DONT DO IT THE HARD WAY Avoid the Seven Biggest Mistakes that Entrepreneurs Make.) The key relationship for any business is the one between management and staff. Effective two-way communication in that relationship is essential to providing strategic leadership, receiving constructive feedback, and ensuring that management and staff are Continue Reading

Biggest Entrepreneur Mistake #3 – Focused on Profit

Biggest Entrepreneur Mistake #3 Focused on Profit Being focused on profit doesnt seem like a mistake. After all, isnt that the whole purpose of running a business? No, actually its not. If you accept the principle that the fundamental objective of any business is to build sustainable business value through loyal and profitable customer relationships, then focusing on short-term profitability Continue Reading

Entrepreneur Mistake #2: Neglecting strategic leadership

Entrepreneur Mistake #2 Neglecting strategic leadership The Entrepreneurs Biggest Challenge: Strategic Leadership + Management Effectiveness The Entrepreneurs Biggest Mistake #2 Neglecting strategic leadership Its a non-stop challenge for every entrepreneur to continuously balance the demands for strategic leadership and management effectiveness. Its easy for any owner-manager to become pre-occupied with operating issues and short-term problem solving and neglect to Continue Reading

Entrepreneur Mistake #1. Too entrepreneurial.

Entrepreneur Mistake #1 Too entrepreneurial. My recent book of advice for entrepreneurs, DONT DO IT THE HARD WAY, has the subtitle, Avoid the Seven Biggest Mistakes that Entrepreneurs Make. In working with entrepreneurs for more than thirty years, I concluded that Mistake #1 was being too entrepreneurial. How can a business owner be too entrepreneurial? The same characteristics that can Continue Reading

Marketing is Storytelling. Do you have a good story?

Marketing is Storytelling Do you have a good story? Seth Godin and I agree on a lot. Not everything, but a lot. Seth wrote the book on Permission Marketing and All Marketers are Liars.You'll notice he decided that title was unnecessarily provocative and also incorrect. He revised it to more correctly state that all marketers are storytellers and I agree. Continue Reading

Keep it simple. Focus on the fundamentals.

Keep it simple Focus on the fundamentals. Canadian tennis hero, Felix Auger-Aliassime, at the Australian Open this week came back from losing the first two sets in a five-set match to suddenly overpower his opponent for the next three sets and win the match. What happened? I decided to keep it simple, he said. The first two sets I was Continue Reading

So far, so good? Or too soon to tell.

So far, so good? Or too soon to tell. Were only into the second week of 2023, so its too soon to tell if were making progress on our plans yet, but lets check that were off to a good start. Presumably, we have defined our reasonably ambitious goals and objectives for the year and we have a plan to Continue Reading

Brave New Plans for 2023

Brave New Plans for 2023 Find a new comfort zone After two years of living with pandemic restrictions and one year of navigating through an apocalyptic world of continuing health risks, social disruption and discontent, geopolitical conflict, climate disasters, and humanitarian crises, its time to make brave new plans for 2023 to find our place among our fellow passengers on Continue Reading

Creativity – The secret sauce

Creativity The secret sauce As I regularly change hats from business advisor to writer of crime fiction, Im constantly reminded of the power of creativity to achieve better results. A creative mind is one of the many traits that entrepreneurs and artists have in common, but its probably the most significant distinguishing factor for those whose performance excels against other Continue Reading

Choose & Use Wisely

Choose & Use Wisely Professionals can help Twenty years ago, I wrote an article titled, Consultants: How to Chose, Use, and Not Abuse Them, based on my own experience as a management consultant and as a client of other consultants, accountants, lawyers, and other professionals. The article offers tips for effective professional relationships and has retained its relevance for a Continue Reading

Consultants: How to Choose, Use, and Not Abuse Them

Consultants: How to Choose, Use, and Not Abuse Them Help them, help you Since my first consulting project over thirty years ago, I have learned a lot about how to successfully manage consulting projects and the client/consultant relationship. Here is my advice, which I am sharing again to help you with your consultants (and your lawyers, accountants and other professionals): Continue Reading

Trust nobody. Or trust everybody?

Trust nobody Or trust everybody? Rule #1: You may know the story of the shopkeeper who decided it was time to teach his young son about the business. He told him to climb up the ladder to the top shelf, then jump down into his arms. Dont worry, Ill catch you. Trust me. The boy jumped, his father stepped Continue Reading

Fragmented or focused?

Fragmented Or focused? In discussing politics and social issues these days, there is a lot of debate around fragmented media both traditional and online and the negative consequences of people remaining in their bubble of commentators and audiences, who all seem to agree on shared ideologies and opinions. These bubbles are too often abused and manipulated to reinforce Continue Reading

Aim lower. Not global

Aim lower Focus on small targets Globalization is dead. Think small. The global tendencies protecting national interests, the multinational impact of America First policies turning toward isolationism, Covid-19 supply chain disruptions and the economic sanctions resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine are all restricting international trade and reducing the benefits of global economic co-operation to local economies and restricting Continue Reading

High tech still needs high touch

High tech Still needs high touch Sometimes artificial intelligence is too artificial and not that intelligent. Just another robot trying to think faster than we do and anticipate what we want before we ask or try to do it for ourselves. When do we get to talk to a real person? When do we get to ask the robot to Continue Reading

Storytelling. With a purpose.

Storytelling With a purpose. It may seem odd that Im writing business advice for entrepreneurs at the same time as Im writing crime fiction novels about an entrepreneur, but its actually quite consistent with my lifetime passion for telling stories to share ideas, information and inspiration in a memorable way. Different stories, different audiences; same purpose. Its an important Continue Reading

It’s just business. Never personal.

It's just business. Never personal. I recently completed my fourth novel about an entrepreneur and his crime-fighting buddy, called Bad Boys in Boston. The sub-title was, It's just business, never personal.However, its about a young woman in the family being kidnapped into the sex trade and its very personal. In business too, it often is. But you have to know Continue Reading

Democracy still works. But in your business?

Democracy still works But in your business? Around the world we are seeing democracies at work; not always the way they were intended to work and not always giving us the results we wanted or expected, but still delivering the decisions and making the choices the people were asked to vote on. Too frequently, we are seeing democratic processes used Continue Reading

Sorry! Really?

Sorry! Really? We Canadians have a reputation for always saying sorry. Sorry, we're just too polite, I guess. (At least we've stopped saying, "eh," as often as we used to. Sorry if you were counting on that identifying trait. "Canadian, eh?") It seems like everyone has picked up on the quick apology now, though in personal relationships, political exchanges, Continue Reading

Christmas Gifts in September?

Christmas Gifts in September? Yes, you deserve it. Summer holidays are over, the kids are back at school, and youre back at work trying to navigate away from health risks, climate disasters, and the political and economic turmoil around you. Looking forward to your next break? Lets leapfrog past Halloween and Thanksgiving and avoid the stress of Christmas shopping in Continue Reading

Good branding? Or a good first impression?

Good branding? Or a good first impression? It is an important distinction: Are we building a brand based on exceptional customer experience over the long-term; or, are we trying to get their attention with a glitzy logo and a catchy slogan? The long-term experience and the first impression have to be consistent. Not initial false promises raising unreasonable expectations resulting Continue Reading

Losing customer loyalty. It happens fast.

Losing customer loyalty It happens fast It is an important principle, in my opinion, that the primary purpose of any business is to build profitable, loyal, long-term customer relationships.Every strategic plan, policy statement, and operating decision should support that essential business objective. Customer loyalty is not easy to earn and retain. It requires consistent customer service that builds on Continue Reading

Exploiting a crisis

Exploiting a crisis Be careful how you do it. I wrote this article a few years ago and it has been a useful reference many times evenbefore the pandemic crisis, a Russian invasion of Ukraine, rapidly rising inflation and punishing interest rates.It advises of appropriate management tactics to survive and thrive through challenging times, but use them with caution. Continue Reading

Managing in Difficult Times

Managing in Difficult Times Ignoring or avoiding a difficult business environment is simply not possible. It will happen, sooner or later. A credit crisis, stock market meltdown, or a looming recession all affect the attitudes and actions of consumers, employees, investors, lenders and business managers. What are some helpful ideas to respond effectively? Stay focused Avoid being distracted by the Continue Reading

Food for thought. Are you getting any?

Food for thought Are you getting any? Where do you find new ideas for information and inspiration? How do you learn to be better and do better? When I started writing business commentary and advice over fifteen years ago, that was my objective to provide ideas, information and inspiration for entrepreneurs. The original objective of my website, LearningEntrepreneurship.com, my Continue Reading

Dont be too perfect

Dont be too perfect Or too precious.Youre not that special. In occasional attempts at false modesty or humble bragging we might admit to being too much of a perfectionist. In fact we have probably already learned that perfectionism is not only the enemy of good, but it also pisses people off. Nobody wants to be driven to pursue the impossible Continue Reading

Its hard to be humble after a big win

Its hard to be humble after a big win Are you still your toughest critic? After a big win its hard not to bask in the glow of success; enjoy the applause and rave reviews; share the news on all your social media channels; smack the high-fives and accept the toasts to how wonderfully talented you are. But when the Continue Reading

Talent is not enough

Talent is not enough Commitment to your best effort makes the difference If youre competing against the best in world, everyone is talented. To be a winner youll have to do more than demonstrate your talent. Youll need to commit to extraordinary effort and apply it constantly and consistently. Then you have a chance. Whether youre watching the NBA finals, Continue Reading

Results are all that matter? Wrong. Character matters.

Results are all that matter? Wrong. Character matters. This commentary was originally posted in 2019 when the whole world was watching and worrying about the true character of well-known figures like Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, and President Trump. It also appears in Dont Do It the Hard Way 2020 Edition. Sometimes we learn more than we ever wanted to Continue Reading

Are you an Activist CEO?

Are you an Activist CEO? Leading with your values? Its no longer an option. It's now expected, by your employees and your customers. They have choices to make who to work with and who to buy from. Thats the new reality in todays hyper-sensitive, highly politicized, and widely publicized world. Or are you a politician, avoiding the issues and Continue Reading

What does R&R mean to you?

What does R&R mean to you? Do it regularly, dont wait until its urgent R&R is originally a military term referring to soldiers taking time for Rest & Recovery. You may have your own version to describe taking time to get away from it all; my preference is taking time off to Reflect & Renew. There are lots of Continue Reading

Celebrity CEOs.What do they know?

Celebrity CEOs What do they know? I remember my investment broker telling me years ago, making money doesnt make you smart. Maybe youre just lucky. Or maybe all that talent and education and hard work finally paid off. And maybe these celebrity CEOs can tell us how to do better for ourselves and our businesses. They seem to be rich Continue Reading

You think its futile?

You think its futile? Dont give up too soon. No sign of progress does not mean no progress. Dont look for excuses to give up. Patience and persistence may still be rewarded. Keep checking the feedback and listen to the critics, especially the people who are usually your cheerleaders, even if you think theyve got it wrong and youre sure Continue Reading

Manage like a Hockey Mom

Manage like a Hockey Mom But in a good way (An extract from Uncle Ralphs Random Ramblings in Part V of DONT DO IT THE HARD WAY 2020 Edition) Hockey games are always exciting and entertaining, whether its the NHL or kids in minor hockey, and they often provide inspiration and ideas applicable beyond the hockey rink. At a Continue Reading

Resilience – Fighting fatigue and frustration.

Resilience -Fighting fatigue and frustration. What is resilience? Its not just bouncing back after a major setback or getting through difficult times. Its not only about celebrities and superstars recovering from serious injuries or illness and returning to top performance again; its also about business owners getting back to work, serving customers and providing a boost to employees and the Continue Reading

It looks simple

It looks simple Obviously Its usually a bad start to a productive conversation if your opening comment starts with, It looks simple enough to me, or Obviously, they should, or Why dont they just. Youve probably now confirmed that you really dont know what youre talking about. You may have already heard me quote the genius scientist and mathematician, Continue Reading

Pay yourself first. Profit is not a dirty word.

Pay yourself first Profit is not a dirty word. It may seem inappropriate, but its not. My advice to entrepreneurs is always to align your business objectives with your personal objectives. Its the best way to ensure your ongoing commitment, patience and persistence through all the roadblocks, detours and setbacks. Like making a career choice; find out what youre good Continue Reading

Learn to live with it. Doesnt mean ignore it.

Learn to live with it Doesnt mean ignore it. We keep being told we have to learn to live with it. It seems to me a useless clich, whether its applied to the continuing risk of Covid variants, to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, to the humanitarian crisis in Europe or to the threat of escalating military conflict into WWIII. Continue Reading

Managing Business Risk – How are you doing?

Managing Business Risk How are you doing? An often-neglected section in many of the business plans that Ive seen from entrepreneurs is the risk management section. What can go wrong; what will you do about it? And like all the sections in your business plan, it needs to be regularly reviewed and revised to ensure that it is still appropriate Continue Reading

You always have a choice

You always have a choice Usually a multiple choice. A simple yes or no would be easier. And sometimes thats good enough. Yes, thatll do. Ill take that one. Its right there in front of you. Dont make it complicated. Just do it. But maybe it's not so simple. As Einstein or some other genius has been quoted as saying, Continue Reading

Management science? Or an Art.

Management science? Or an art. I was in engineering at UBC when I discovered that management was much more appealing to me than engineering. I didnt ever enjoy the study of vector analysis or rock mechanics and I have zero mechanical aptitude, but I was hooked immediately after taking two optional courses Economics 101 and Psychology 100. Thats what Continue Reading

Theyve already decided

Theyve already decided Dont waste your time Early in my career, I learned an important lesson about the ability to change minds with facts and logical reasoning. Based on my original degree in mining engineering followed by an MBA, I was recruited by an international firm to do management consulting often for mining companies. One assignment during a labour Continue Reading

The light is green

The light is green Coming out of the dark tunnel According to the experts in pandemics and public health we are approaching that light at the end of the tunnel and its not red! Of course, only the politicians who dictate the rules of play can decide if were actually out of the dark tunnel of restrictions on our businesses Continue Reading

Check your assumptions. Before you decide.

Check your assumptions Before you decide You may be off to a bad start, and getting it wrong When we make decisions we always have a set of assumptions in mind, usually in background, not always recognized or made explicit. Heres a short list of starting assumptions to check-off before you finally decide: Am I the right person to be Continue Reading

Writing Projects & Plans for 2022

Writing Projects & Plans for 2022 Any suggestions? This early in the New Year we are still taking time to look back and plan ahead for 2022. That usually means reviewing performance over the past year or two and learning what we can, or should, do differently for better results in the future. Given the pandemic that has affected so Continue Reading

Be Better. Do Better. Every day.

Be Better. Do Better. Every day Once a year is not enough Its the start of a new year and were all expected to have prepared our New Years Resolutions for 2022 and be working diligently on them now. Whats the plan, the goals and objectives? How are we going to be better and do better this year? The process Continue Reading

Enduring another pandemic year-end

Looking back, planning ahead. Enduring another pandemic year-end           We should be getting better at this by now. The pandemic environment and public health rules have changed everything we do, but sound principles and processes still apply. The year-end process hasnt changed. We should still take time to look back and plan ahead. But lets try Continue Reading

This is the new normal. Get used to it.

This is the new normal Get used to it. Like the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, twenty years later, has changed everything and I think we have to accept that we have arrived at the new normal for our lives and our businesses for the near future. From now on we will be applying Continue Reading

Thoughts for the day

Thoughts for the day Be Better. Do Better. Hello{First Name}, Thank you forjoiningus to shareIdeas for Entrepreneursand for supporting and promotingEnlightened Entrepreneurship. DON'T DO IT THE HARD WAY Ive often suggested that all my business advice can be summarized in just six words: HAVE A PLAN. AVOID THE MISTAKES I would prefer, of course, that you bought my most recent Continue Reading

Becoming a More Humane Leader

Becoming a More Humane Leader Or more Enlightened? I was recently sent a Harvard Business Review article that presented research to prove the obvious wise and compassionate leaders have more productive employees. Maybe not obvious? Its worth reminding ourselves what style of leadership is most effective for delivering better results. The authors describe the wise and compassionate humane leader Continue Reading

Build, Buy, or Franchise?

Build, Buy, or Franchise? Had your Subway yet, today? The original co-founder of the Subway sandwich chain, Peter Buck, died earlier this month at age 90. He was a 34-year-old nuclear scientist (and expert in subway sandwiches, apparently) when, in 1965, he loaned $1,000 to a family friend, 17-year-old college student, Fred DeLuca, to start a sandwich shop called Petes Continue Reading

Best Advice Ever

Best Advice Ever In only three words And it still applies - Dont Waste Time! One of the bizarre side effects of the economic shutdown and being told to self-isolate and work from home is that the pressure to be productive and meet deadlines seems to have evaporated. The sense of urgency has dissipated. Everybody is preoccupied with the pandemic Continue Reading

Cultural sensitivity. Tread carefully.

Cultural sensitivity Tread carefully It seems to be a pandemic side effect. Everyone has exhausted their tolerance with all the minor annoyances and the reaction on bigger issues may be exaggerated or extreme. Tread carefully. Nerves are exposed, fuses are short, anger and frustration are bubbling close to the surface. You may think its over reaction or hyper-sensitivity Continue Reading

Recommended reading for entrepreneurs

Recommended reading For entrepreneurs In the recent 2020 Edition of DONT DO IT THE HARD WAY, I included my updated list of recommended references and books for entrepreneurs, to manage themselves and their businesses better. (See Part 6. Page 231) The full list is available at below: In order to help you be better as an entrepreneur, leader, manager and Continue Reading

Coach, Critic or Cheerleader?

Coach, Critic or Cheerleader? You get to chose It doesnt matter whether youre giving or receiving. Which are you going to be, and which do you need, right now? Coach, Critic or Cheerleader? Choose one. Its an important distinction and a choice of role has to be made. In every relationship: manager & employee, coach & player, teacher & Continue Reading

Lessons from Lamborghini

Lessons from Lamborghini Build a better tractor Neighbour has a nice car . I wonder if he'd take me for a ride. Maybe my next car, after I sell the 2nd million books . As Anthony Robbins would say, have a goal in mind and give yourself rewards as you pass the milestones. Do you know the story of Continue Reading

The Enlightened CEO

The Enlightened CEO Obviously Most outspoken critics of CEOs are lazy. They find an easy target in the stereotypical greedy, selfish CEO, and they shout their loud accusations. Unfortunately, some of those CEOs are easily found and they are equally lazy about explaining or defending themselves. As my mother used to tell me, Dont confuse them with the facts, Continue Reading

Basic principles still apply

Basic principles still apply Stay calm & carry on As we near the end of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is lots of talk of the new normal. The world has changed, and we need to do things differently. Now what? Its worth remembering the old normal and the basic principles that still apply. Here are a few reminders: Look before Continue Reading

Abuse of loyalty

Abuse of loyalty Lost to arrogance and greed Consumers can be fiercely loyal to a brand. Beyond rational explanation and impervious to persuasion to try the alternatives. Until theyre feeling abused or taken for granted. Even the best of brands make the mistake occasionally. Losing their integrity and showing a lack of respect for loyal customers and fans because somebody Continue Reading

Pandemic notoriety: Naughty or Nice?

Pandemic notoriety: Naughty or Nice? Which list are you on? (This article is based on the ideas in Uncle Ralphs books for entrepreneurs,DON'T DO IT THE HARD WAY & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans.) Awesome! What a profit opportunity! Probably not what you will be reading in the press releases. It will be all about the socially responsible Continue Reading

A test of loyalty

A test of loyalty Time for a change? (This article is based on the ideas in Uncle Ralphs books for entrepreneurs,DON'T DO IT THE HARD WAY & The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans.) In times of economic crisis, we are faced with difficult choices in a stressful new environment. Loyalties are tested and were wondering if its time for Continue Reading