Tag Archives advice

Learning to be a bit deaf…

Learning to be a bit deaf…

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s advice for success in marriage, the Supreme Court, and everything in between is based on two wisdoms she received from her in-laws. Here she is at Stanford Rathbun Lecture 2017 delivering those wisdoms:

Man do I need this advice, especially the first part.

I sometimes have ugly anger management issues that flare up for (what I subsequently realise) the most mundane and insignificant things. I always end up hating myself for those anger bursts which could have been negated had I just breathed, become a bit deaf and just simply walked away.

But no. I have to have the last word, and even if my intentions are good in that I want to inform, teach or impart wisdom, of course, all of that is flushed away because the delivery was in anger. And who would listen to advice shouted at them?

Ginsburg said: “Collegiality is crucial to the success of our mission,” Ginsburg said. “We could not do the job the Constitution assigns to us if we didn’t—to use one of Justice Scalia’s favorite expressions—‘get over it.’”


Goodness. I do need to get over it. Get over myself. And just get on with life.

I just turned 55 a few days ago, and rather than enjoying that moment of happiness, I chose to lose my temper on yet another insignificant situation which I wrongly determined then as a slight on my character.

Now, a week later, and listening to Ginsberg’s address, I am yet again disgusted with myself.

Yes, I know I was right. However, rather than retaliating with anger, I would have served the issue better by just turning momentarily deaf, walking away, and then much later, trying to convey my point of view calmly. That, I feel now, would have delivered even a life lesson much better than shouting and stomping off in a temper.

Never again.

Does anyone have an experience with a good therapist I can borrow for a few weeks?


Running after the money

Running after the money

running-after-the-moneyOne simple but powerful mantra I’ve followed that led to many of my successes is “don’t run after the money, it will always run away from you; do your job well, and money will come running after you.” This advice was given to me by my late father, may he rest in peace. I must confess that I dismissed it at first, not fully understanding its significance. Now, several years later and after its been proven time and again, I actually live by it.

It’s a universal truth. If one concentrates on doing their job well, use their passion, creativity and diligence to make something useful, they’ll ultimately be amply rewarded. Money, after all, is a by-product of success and it’s never the other way around. At least, not in a sustainable fashion.

How has it been for you? Did you receive a poignant advice that you found quite effective and now live by?


10 ways to murder your company

Sound advice from FT.com on the top 10 ways how to massacre a company, big or small, and believe me I have copiously sinned at various points in my business career as I can identify with a number of these points.

1. Take on too much debt. Companies usually go bust because they owe the bank too much. If you have no borrowings, you can survive a lot. We have lived through an era where it made sense to borrow and buy if you could; now everything has changed, and certain lenders are taking no prisoners. If there are problems looming, move early to raise capital. If you leave it too late, there may be nothing left to save.

worriedguy2. Choose the wrong business partner. Plenty of companies hit the wall thanks to disputes between owners. It happens even between siblings. If you go into business with someone, be cautious before taking the plunge and have a proper subscription agreement – and keep communicating, even if you disagree.

3. Become overdependent on one customer. Most small non-consumer businesses have just a few clients. If they lose a big one, they are likely to fall into sharp loss. The answer is to diversify if you can, and try your best to be an irreplaceable supplier so that you can never be dumped.

4. Get ill. Many small businesses sink because the founder gets sick or injured, and therefore can’t work. So take exercise, eat sensibly, drink in moderation, stop smoking, buy insurance and try to plan management cover in the event of an accident or other enforced absence.

5. Make a mess of a major IT project. I have seen companies hit the rocks because they spent fortunes on computer systems that did not function properly. I’m not suggesting you never invest in technology, but make sure you take expert advice, and embark on such a move only when the time is right.

6. Get into a price war. Companies frequently undertake suicidal contests with rivals in a desperate attempt to seize market share. This tends to be a zero-sum game that benefits customers only, and leaves the operator with the least cash broke. I prefer to sell on quality or other differentials. Discounting is a dangerous pursuit.

7. Sign a burdensome property lease. I have witnessed many professional services companies go under because they signed a long-term lease on too much office space at the wrong rent – and then revenues collapsed. It must be the main reason for accountancy, law and architecture firms having to dissolve. Now would be a great time to start such a business if you can generate the orders.

8. Forget your customers. I am constantly surprised at how often one experiences poor service, especially in competitive fields. Almost everything is a repeat business, and if you are treated badly by someone, you don’t purchase from them again – and you tell your friends not to go there too.

9. Never evolve. Successful companies can fall into the trap of saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” to every innovation that comes along. They grow complacent and allow newcomers to eat their lunch. Long-term winners are always improving, questioning, adapting. No commercial formula lasts for ever.

10. Don’t bother investing. Certain proprietors strip their business of every penny of cash, starving them of capital. But every undertaking requires maintenance and refreshment – otherwise the facilities grow tired and inefficient, and new product development evaporates. If you dividend everything out, you will eventually discover that you own a wasting asset.

By Luke Johnson – FT.com · heads up by Guy Kawasaki

Let me add an 11th point which I am currently suffering from and am actively seeking advice to redress:

11. Don’t have an HR policy. Treat every employee differently, put them on arbitrary pay scales and use haphazard methods of evaluation.

I am convinced that every company, no matter how small, must have an HR manual or written set of procedures and regulations so that employees know what they could expect from a company and know without a shadow of a doubt that they are being treated fairly with a good chance of progress.

I’m sure there are many more factors too like not investing in staff training, not being communicative, not being fair etc, but the 11 points above I think are the most important.

Do you have any others you can contribute?


Want greener grass? Pee on it!

manneken_pis_boy_peeing_urinating_outdoor_garden_water_fountain_pondThat’s not too far from the truth actually, urea in the human body carries waste nitrogen out of the body in urine, it’s the same chemical component that releases nitrogen where it is most required, the stuff is packed with nitrogen! I normally spread urea on my lawn after cutting it once every summer and it almost instantly turn luscious green.

Well, the gardeners at a National Trust property in Cambridgeshire, UK, are urging men to pee outdoors to help gardens grow greener – and as no flushing is needed, they reckon they spare 30% of their water usage in every single day!

But, they caution, men’s pee is much more sought after than women’s, the latter’s stuff is much more acidic that it might do damage rather than good 😉

“The pee bale is excellent matter to add to our compost heap to stimulate the composting process; and with over 400 acres of gardens and parkland to utilise compost, we need all the help we can get.”
BBC News

Now do excuse me while I go do my part to green my neighbour’s garden!


Got 20 minutes?

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Then click here, right now. Don’t delay. You can thank me later.

Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard

The Story of Stuff
From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

Thanks to my friend Sami ben Gharbia for the heads up


Car help please!

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I need to buy my daughter a car, it should be nice, reliable and be not more than around BD10k. She’s seen the Chevy Lumina and seems to like it. The alternative (for her at least) is a Mustang GT 2008 or Chevy Camaro 2008 (bumble bee from transformers, says she) but you know I love her too much to give her either of the latter, so she has to wait a bit to get either.

Anyway, what do you think she should consider?