"…insights for scaleups"
Jeff Bezos' Insights — this 1997 5-minute interview shows how Amazon's founder recognized a significant trend and then conceived the best business to take advantage of the current situation. This is precisely the idea behind the SWT tool (Strengths, Weaknesses, and Trends). Just the first 30 seconds is worth a watch – then let the rest of the interview flow while you read the rest of this insight and work on some email. I love when an entrepreneur understands the various levers of their business the way Bezos articulates his business model. Thank you to TicketCity founder/CEO (and author of Secrets of Swagger) Randy Cohen for sharing the love.
You Should "Slack" More — seems Malcolm Gladwell left out a significant fact with his 10,000 hours to mastery idea. The opening paragraph of this insightful Nautilus article notes:
Research seems clear that working more hours dramatically decreases creativity. And since this is our only real future advantage over AI/robots, predictions of 16-hour work weeks might just be what the doctor ordered! If you can truly put in a focused amount of time on a significant task/project/idea each day, 3 to 4 hours is max (like Olympic athletes). BTW, this is precisely how modern entrepreneurs like Richard Branson structure their days. Please take 5 minutes to read one of the most important articles written so far in 2017.
Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less – the Nautilus article is an excerpt from Alex Soojung-Kim Pang's book titled Rest. He is also the founder of the Restful Company and is a visiting scholar at Stanford. Notes Pang at the end of the article, which explains the headline from above:
So maybe it's not the 4-hour work week as much as it is the 4-hour work day. But it means shutting off the email/noise and getting some real work accomplished – and then being as deliberate in relaxing/resting. Again, please take a few minutes and read this hugely insightful article. With our move back to the US (today) I'm going to take this opportunity to rearrange my workdays accordingly and find more time for biking, tennis, piano, and magic – and will be asking my peer coach Sebastian Ross to hold me accountable to this (you have a peer coach, right?). Thanks to Gazelles coaching partner Terry Schaefer for pointing me to this article.
Two Questions to Build Resilience — it's also critical not to let the world get you down in the process. This HBR article highlights two questions to build your resilience to life's ups and downs. Notes Srikumar Rao, author of Happiness at Work and the hugely popular MBA course (called the best in the world) titled "Creativity and Personal Mastery":
The article ends with a 3-step process to cultivate a new mode of thinking about bad things. Please take 1 minute to jump to the end and review.
Michael Singer's Lesson — serial entrepreneur John Ratliff and I hosted another great group of CEOs at our CEO Boot Camp a few weeks ago. And we once again hopped on some private planes and made the trip up to hear The Untethered Soul author Michael Singer speak. Noted one of his "students" during the Q&A time – when bad things happen to you try re-scripting your mode of thinking from "why did this happen TO me" to "why did this happen FOR me." What are the lessons I'm supposed to learn? What do I need to release? For me this simple reframe has been powerful. FYI, the next CEO Boot Camp is Oct 3 – 6 (Tuesday evening through Friday afternoon) in Marathon, FL at John's beautiful retreat center – and we'll be flying up to hear Michael as well on Thursday. Bob Verdun, who just sold his firm, will be one of our guest entrepreneurs and he's bringing along one of his toys for us to play with as well!
Oops — several of you caught my mistake last week. Chris Zook's book, which I referenced, is called The Founder's Mentality. It's my other friend Noam Wasserman who has an excellent book called The Founder's Dilemmas (do you want to be "king" or be "rich"?). Noam recently moved from Harvard Business School, where he’s taught since 2003, to USC where he is the Founding Director of USC's Founder Central Initiative which researches issues and decision making faced by founders in the early stages of startups. Noam continues to contribute practical ideas to help entrepreneurs.
Back in the US of A — today is our big move back to the US after 8 years in Barcelona. My wife Julie's olive oil business and our daughter Jade's body butter business are two reasons. Plus the epi-center of the biz world has shifted back west – in anticipation of the repatriation of trillions back to the US economy, so it will mean less trips across the pond for me. We're settling in Wilmington, DE and look forward to connecting more often with our North American friends.
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