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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Bus Lessions from Encyclopedia Britannica?

Some months ago a determined lecturer, A. J. Jacobs, decided to read all 30,000 pages to see what history revealed about the traits of successful entrepreneurs. What he discovered was 6 universal aspects that are worth noting and using in your everyday business life. Here they are:

1.    Engage in strategic chutzpah! You’ll never get your big break spending time at home. Take advantage of every opening, every opportunity that you find in your daily interactions. A door only opens when you push or pull.

2.    Take ideas from outside your field! Be bold. Be like Bill Gates, if you will. When he takes a vacation he stokes up on books of wildly divergent topics. We can never know enough and we should never stop learning or being open to different ideas. Hey, that’s how the “Pet Rock” got invented.

3.    Keep presentations short! The Gettysburg Address lasted just two minutes. The words will endure forever. Whatever you do, don’t exceed 20 minutes for ANY presentation, and remember to time it and test it at home first.

4.    Embrace rejection!  Well, you don’t have to love it, but you’ve got to expect it.  Even Chester Carlson, the inventor of the Xerox machine, was turned down by over 20 companies before he finally sold his idea.

5.    Being first is over-rated!  You don’t have to be first. You’ve just got to be better! Starbucks sure stung Dunkin’ Donuts, didn’t they?

6.    Adapt or die! Even the venerable Encyclopedia Britannica had to stop printing those beautiful volumes and go completely online in 2012. Tech and trends change almost overnight. Stay tuned at all times!


Martin Kahn is a Counselor with SCORE South Palm Beach (

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