Posts Tagged ‘business’

So in 208 B.C. in what is now part of China, a war raged. An army was pinned down and nearly starved to death when reinforcements came across the river.  The forces crossed the river and when the reached the pinned down troops they took all the supplies and destroyed them, then they burned the boats. The message was clear, retreat was not an option, the troops, in order to survive would have to win this battle. Of course they did.

Xiang Yu sent Ying Bu and Zhongli Mo to lead 20,000 men to cross the Yellow River and reinforce Julu, and they won a few skirmishes. In the twelfth lunar month of 208 BC, Xiang Yu personally led an army across the river to meet up with Ying Bu and Zhongli Mo. By the time he arrived on the battlefield, Zhao forces in Julu had been nearly starved under a prolonged siege by Zhang Han‘s deputy Wang Li. Xiang Yu ordered his men to carry only three days worth of supplies and destroy the rest, along with their cauldrons and cooking utensils, and sink the boats they used to cross the river. In doing so, Xiang Yu was sending a clear signal to his troops that they had no chance of survival unless they defeat the enemy and seize their supplies.”



This morning before coming to work I was reading an interesting info graphic about successful entrepreneurs. The graphic outlined traits that were common in successful entrepreneurs and most were expected.  Planning working hard and long and never quitting, but one was interesting and right away I thought about the burning of boats and breaking of cauldrons. Most successful entrepreneurs do not have a plan B.

It is this sense of total commitment to their idea that makes them work harder longer and have more endurance than anyone else. Now that is not to say entrepreneurs do not abandon plans when they realize they are incorrect. But there is usually never a plan B. A product usually succeeds or fails. One thing most investors will say is that companies who resort to plan B’s are simply putting off the inevitable and should let the product or service die and move on to the next.

Maybe this idea of no plan B is the missing ingredient for your success. Because you have always been able to…. you have not really tried to succeed. So today try burning the boats breaking the cauldrons and succeeding. Or   破釜沉舟

I know I will





He was once a bookkeeper

Posted: September 12, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.
-John D. Rockefeller


Well there you have it. If any man would know what it takes to be successful I think John D. Rockefeller would be the one.  John Rockefeller truly started at the bottom and worked his way to the top.  Rockefeller was the first American worth more than a billion dollars and when adjusting for inflation, Rockefeller was the richest person in history.

There is a paradigm in the United States. Go to college get a good job and be successful.  John Rockefeller broke this paradigm. At 16 he started working as a bookkeeper. By age 20 he started selling food with a business partner. He began making money then and never stopped.

Everyone wants to succeed, go to any bookstore and look through the self help section and it will be evident. John Rockefeller wanted to live to 100 and earn 100,000 dollars. He was successful with one of those goals.

I am not sure what your goals are. You may want a big family or a lot of money, a nice house or car. You may want to cure cancer or aids or develop the perpetual motion machine. No matter what your goals are I can guarantee that without effort on your part you will never reach your goal.

Potential energy accomplishes nothing it is kinetic energy that makes things happen and brings success. If you feel like your goals are not attainable take heart as long as you are moving and working you are getting closer. You may be right there “knocking on the door” behind which lies the fruition of your goals.

Do not give up! I remember reading or maybe being told about Florence Chadwick. She quit only a mile from the shore when she attempted to swim the English Channel. She tried again and was successful. She had mentioned that if she could have seen the shore when she quit she may not have quit.  She was eventually successful and a record breaker.

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If I can give any advice today it would be to work hard and never ever give up.



The world is changing. Always changing. The way we did things two years ago are not the same way we do things today. You can go to and buy a 3-d printer (for about 2 grand). You can then go to and download designs for..let’s say a microscope. Feed the printer with the raw material and design through your laptop or tablet and within less than an hour (depending on which printer you bought) you will have a working telescope.


The process which only a few years ago that took a dozen people, a warehouse and an extensive toolkit can now be accomplished at home in your garage. This example is a drastic one but not un-realistic. Because of the changing work place managers and executives have been struggling to keep up with employees and their productivity. Companies which offer managers, productivity tools have cropped up like weeds on my un kept lawn.

As I look over all the productivity tools I began to think that many tools and managers miss the point of employees. Isn’t it the employees job to make the company profitable? So much focus is on productivity today in the modern work place and office that I think not enough maybe spent on turning production into profits.

This trap of losing focus on what is important is not exclusive to business and managers. It can become a trap that many parents, uncles aunts and siblings fall into. A relationship with family members can become estranged for many reasons and most of the time these reasons are petty and small.

At work and home today I want to try to focus on what is important and less on what isn’t. Maybe I will not get left behind  the ever changing world. Maybe




I am not sure when you read this post, but if you were reading this first thing in the morning when you get to work I would say, stop, and go to your e-mail application and find someone in your contacts who has most recently helped you out, then send them a nice thank you e-mail. You may ask why  do this. I would answer if you asked because it is nice to get a thank you and it is nice to get a thank you first thing in the morning. Also this is nice for you too.

Mark Twain put it well when he said; “great people are those who make others feel that they, too, can become great.”  A simple act of gratitude can make someone feel validated and encouraged. You did that with that quick e-mail. Isn’t that great?


I am not sure about you but my day is filled with e-mails to colleagues that usually contain information about broken process and problems. It felt good this morning when I sent my first e-mail thanking someone for something. “Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life.” –Oprah Winfrey

Besides setting your day and the receivers day off on the right foot, an early morning thank you note will also grow your network. As you look for people to thank and interact with them you will quickly realize how many contacts you have. A large network is a powerful tool. Websites like Facebook and Linkedin have made a killing on developing social networks. “Rolodex power. Your power is almost directly proportional to the thickness of your Rolodex, and the time you spend maintaining it. Put bluntly the most potent people I’ve known have been the best networkers — they “know everybody from everywhere” and have just been out to lunch with most of them.” —  Thomas Peters

So this morning or tomorrow if you missed this morning, first thing when getting in fire off that thank you e-mail. You will be glad you did.  You may even want to thank me



I am sitting in the conference room with the technical instructor an five others when she introduces herself to the group and encourages everyone else to do the same. The introductions are pretty inane standard things. One of the people in the group works for WWE , another a local bank in Colarado, another a large bank in North Carolina and one for stonyfield farms.
“Now I make yogurt”. They way he says this tells you that he enjoys the company he works for a little more than everyone else and at lunch we all learn why. The cheerful worker lets us know what Stonyfield is all about.

He tells us the story about how the farm was founded as a school to teach sustainable and responsible farming techniques and financed this school by selling yogurt. It is a great story and thought provoking. So much so that later in the day I search the web to learn more about Stonyfield. If you get the chance visit the site to learn more. It is really something.
I am not sure what resonated the most for me about this story. Was it the teaching of sustainable farming(which I truly think has to be embraced world wide to avoid a food shortage)? I think it was a combination of sustainable farming coupled with the attitude on the site about community.

I hope that I can embrace in any way this mentality of being a member of the community who can flourish and help as many as possible.