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What's the best business advice you were given? Tell Richard Branson to win a copy of his new book
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By ale5ale5 245 Pts

Image from Virgin.com

Tell Richard Branson what’s the best bit of business advice you’ve been given for a chance to win a copy of his new autobiography.


It's kind of fun to do the impossible
- Walt Disney

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  • I think that Sir Richard Brandon is really motivating.  I actually read a few of his prior books.  He has no fear and really cares about his employees and customers to create the best overall experience.  Caring about his employees and seeking out unusual people for key roles is a great recipe for success.
  • Came from the departed Kurt Vonnegut:

    From "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater,"

    I think it's terrible the way people don't share things in this country. The least a government could do, it seems to me, is to divide things up fairly among the babies. There's plenty for everybody in this country, if we'd only share more.

    "And just what do you think that would do to incentive?"

    You mean fright about not getting enough to eat, about not being able to pay the doctor, about not being able to give your family nice clothes, a safe, cheerful, comfortable place to live, a decent education, and a few good times? You mean shame about not knowing where the Money River is?

    "The what?"

    The Money River, where the wealth of the nation flows. We were born on the banks of it. We can slurp from that mighty river to our hearts' content. And we even take slurping lessons, so we can slurp more efficiently.

    "Slurping lessons?"

    From lawyers! From tax consultants! We're born close enough to the river to drown ourselves and the next ten generations in wealth, simply using dippers and buckets. But we still hire the experts to teach us the use of aqueducts, dams, reservoirs, siphons, bucket brigades, and the Archimedes' screw. And our teachers in turn become rich, and their children become buyers of lessons in slurping.

    "It's still possible for an American to make a fortune on his own."

    Sure—provided somebody tells him when he's young enough that there is a Money River, that there's nothing fair about it, that he had damn well better forget about hard work and the merit system and honesty and all that crap, and get to where the river is. 'Go where the rich and powerful are,' I'd tell him, 'and learn their ways. They can be flattered and they can be scared. Please them enormously or scare them enormously, and one moonless night they will put their fingers to their lips, warning you not to make a sound. And they will lead you through the dark to the widest, deepest river of wealth ever known to man. You'll be shown your place on the riverbank, and handed a bucket all your own. Slurp as much as you want, but try to keep the racket of your slurping down. A poor man might hear.'

  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1878 Pts
    I have never managed a business, so my comment here probably will not be very authoritative... However, I found that the following advice is one of the best ones you can receive on managing your finances in general: "Adjust your needs". 

    Now, everybody knows that adjusting our expenses is important: if I make $5,000 a month, then I probably do not want to take a loan that will have me go broke as soon as, for example, suddenly I have a toothache and need to spend a few thousands on a root canal. But what does adjusting your needs mean?

    It means understanding what exactly you want from what you buy, and making the most effective purchase accordingly. For example, if you want a bicycle that will get you to your campus and back every day, 20 minutes one way, then you might want to look at spending $1,000 on a great luxury bike - but ask yourself, "Do I need this bike's features?" If you are extremely honest with yourself, then perhaps you will realize that you don't need those 13 speeds this bike provides; you don't need the special luxurious cushion; you don't need the all-terrain tires, if you are only going to cycle on regular roads. My bike was purchased over 3 years ago for a little over $300, and I love it; had to replace the tires a couple of times and to get the brakes fixed once, but it has served me well, and I have saved many hundreds dollars compared to if I bought the bike that I "wanted", but did not really require.
    If you use this approach to all parts of your life, then you will effectively become much richer than otherwise, even if you do not make a lot of money. Now, I am not saying that you should absolutely forget about all luxurious items - but be clear with what you lose by buying them and how much you are okay with losing.


    I would imagine this translates to maintaining businesses perfectly. You are looking to lease an office and are expecting to pay $5,000 a month for it? Are you sure you really need it? Maybe you can get away with paying $2,000 a month for it while you are still getting on your feet? Yes, it will not have the latest air condition tech and will not be very roomy, but can you and your employees still do their work in it without feeling like slaves on a galley? Probably.

    This principle of separating what you "need" from what you "want" is very simple, and yet we see businesses failing over and over for the same reasons: the CEO is driving the latest version of Rolls Royce, while his/her business debts start exceeding its ability to pay the interest. I am not saying that Elon Musk should drive a salvage car from 40-s - but not everyone is Elon Musk who can throw millions around without significant consequences. If a certain purchase aimed to make your business life a little more pleasant, are you sure that this improvement is worth the expenses? Perhaps those expenses are better invested in the growth of your business, so a few years later you can afford this purchase without a significant hit on your assets?

    Awesome video on the point:

  • Rap has always been a primary source of this stuff for me in life. There's great motivational speech-compilation videos out there too but for me these three songs were among the hardest hitting, the last 2 were much more recent than the first but Hopsin is a phenomenal rapper no matter what he raps so I'm not sure he could outdo himself all the time.

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