Aphorisms

By Wythe Walker

Management 101 Series

 

Aphorisms are simple turns of phrases that, hopefully, stick in the mind and say a lot in a few words.


When I first began running small businesses, I read a lot of business books, talked to a lot of business leaders, tried to learn whatever I could.


Over the years, a few simple ideas stuck with me, reminding me of what seemed to work and what didn’t.


Here are a few:


The First Rule Of Management


All businesses have similarities.


All have differences.


It’s a basic rule of thumb, often forgotten.


Forget it and you’ll pay the price.


Blind Spots Are Everywhere


Our desire for the world to be what we want it to be instead of what it is is strong.


Blindspots are always out there somewhere.


Everyone has them.


Know yours.


Expect others to have theirs.


Growing A Company From Small To Large


When a company is small, the leaders of the company have to manage the three key functions of every company: doing the work; getting the work done; steering the company forward.


As a company grows, these functions evolve into three separate, clearly defined roles: Leaders (CEOs), Managers (COOs), Workers.


It’s a rare business person who can start a company, build that company, expand it from very small (1-10) to medium-sized (75-100) to Fortune1000 size (500 employees and up) and not be booted out, or sidelined, along the way.


Many have tried, few have succeeded.


Ideas Are Easy, Execution Is Hard


Ideas are important and entrepreneurs are full of them.


But ideas alone aren’t enough.


Execution matters.

Business Are Born, Grow, Live, Die


All business models have a lifecycle just like every living thing.


Know where your business is in its lifecycle.


What’s right for a young business isn’t correct for an older one.


The leadership of a startup is different than a mature business.


A mature business has to evolve into something else or it will die.


How To Accumulate Money


There are three ways to acquire wealth in a capitalist economy.


Inherit it.


Have a unique skill that is highly paid (cardiologist, professional athlete, etc.).


Own a small business and build it up.


Of the three, the third has the greatest chance of success for most people and requires only average skill, but also hard, dedicated, concentrated work.


What Money Can And Can’t Do


Money is power.


It’s one of the greatest resources a person can have in running and building a business.


The only thing money won’t buy is more time.


If a person had unlimited time they could accomplish almost anything.


It’s surprising how much people waste the time they have on non-productive work and how little attention they pay to where their time and attention is spent.


Don’t waste it.