Tom Stilp, JD, MBA/MM, LLM, MSC
Our first 15 Tips received positive reviews and, therefore, we have 15 more to share. These 15 Tips are on business, although applicable to other situations.
As before, I have liberally borrowed from others, but where I recollect, I’ve given credit or some attribution. Business is random and inconsistent, as are our tips (and like life, the advice is in no particular order):
- Buy Land! They ain’t making any more of it. (Will Rogers)
- No matter the business structure, always own at least 50%.
- If you “sell” 1%, remember the person you trust can be the swing vote later leaving you with 49% against 51%, and you lose.
- Don’t lose. It will cost you more than money.
- If you only follow Polonius’ advice in Hamlet about borrowing (“neither a borrower nor a lender be,” Act 1, Scene 3), you might have to wait a very long time to buy anything big, and then you might be too old to use it.
- Don’t borrow at a high rate of interest – although sometimes it works, it usually doesn’t – see debt hell.
- Avoid debt-hell. Don’t pay too much. Once you’re in debt hell, it is very difficult to get out.
- Generally, be vigilant about lenders; the lender is your friend, but that will change when the bank is acquired by a different bank which suddenly doesn’t like you as a borrower, your property as collateral, and then, you become just another liability.
- We are operating at our best when we are all going in the same direction. We might not be correct, but at least we are not confused. (Jeff Miller, CEO Documentum).
- On networking, it’s not only what you know, but who you know, and more importantly, it’s who you know that knows who. (Based on aphorisms on networking, Professor Noshir Contractor, Northwestern Univ.)
- When you enter a conference room, sit at the head of the table – that way, you will look important.
- First in a meeting, don’t say anything – just listen. You’ll sound smart (as other people like to hear their own ideas).
- To avoid “us vs. them,” don’t have all your people sit on the same side of the table; instead, sit across from people on the other side and with people – mix it up.
- As a boss, my job isn’t to do your job. My job is to help you do your job better. (Joseph Marshall III, CEO Temple Univ. Health System)
- Perception is reality; it’s not what you know, but what others think you know.Like lawsuits, business involves real people with real issues to solve. We have argued in our trials that experience is common sense. Hopefully, you will find that our common sense tips are helpful in your business.