The Ten Commandments of Business

Keep 'em and Prosper.
by Bill Purdin

  Think Straight. 
Maintain a wide perspective through many non-business experiences and activities. Study. Exercise. Nurture equanimity and forgiveness in all things and for everyone, including yourself.
  Keep It Simple.
Limit the levels of management and the number of people to be pleased on the way to important decisions. Conflict is debilitating. People fuss while decisions are waiting to be made. In the quiet of your beginnings, remember the simplicity of purpose and commitment that led to your early successes.
  Remember Your Customers.
In the final analysis, a business makes money by satisfying its customers. There is no other road to commercial success. Let your fastest growing customers define your business for you, because in the end they will anyway, whether you know it or not, by staying with you or going to your more alacritous competition. Always sell what your customers want to buy.
  Write It Down.
Before it is written down, the best idea is just a seed with no soil. Writing things down allows them to move toward action and implementation. Never underestimate the power of the written word. Keep a journal and reread it while you're on hold. Write down all your promises and cross them off when fulfilled completely.
  Hire People You Like.
People do what they like to do. People who like each other work better together. A company full of people who like each other is a happy company. Experience, after all, is a relative term, so don't hire experience, hire attitude. Typically, genuine good attitudes come wrapped in a person you're going to like. Hire that one.
  Pay Well.
Success occurs when people do more than they need to do before they're asked to do it, not because they're asked to do it -- but because they want to do it. The first step in achieving that situation is to pay and benefit generously. When you think about it, it is the only way. Underpaying is a tragic error causing good people to not apply or not to accept. Paying well avoids that, and just possibly may inspire an ordinary person to achieve extraordinary things.
  Focus Your Resources.
Specialization breeds mediocrity, so when you focus your resources, remember what your resources really are: your people (don't waste them on frivolous ventures and bad clients); your finances (use them to enhance but never to impress), your ideas (remember the inexorable relationship between hard work and innovation), and your genuine commitment to truth (equivocation and exaggeration destroy trust, which is, at the end of the day, your most valuable resource of all).
  Always Build Cash.
A rich company can achieve more things. The difference between rich and poor companies is the usuable cash in their bank accounts. Credit is like cash, but it is not cash. The balance in the checking account, not a rosy financial statement, determines your ability to grow. Cultivation of financial resources is an enduring leadership duty of nearly biblical proportions. This may be the foremost commandment of business, and the next one is like unto it.
  Be Not Greedy.
Optimism is not greed. Growth for growth's sake is greed. Put others first and greed will never find a home in your company. Seek your growth in the growth of your customers. Help them because that is why they came to you. Think first of service, then of profit and all things shall be added unto you.
  Always Try New Things.
The past is gone forever. The demands of today are sufficiently challenging to test you and your company's willingness to embrace change, to be an agent of change. Some ideas will succeed and some will fail, but the successes will overwhelm the failures in magnitude and importance. Keep up with your changing world, no matter what it takes, and then take the lead happily when your time comes. No one can drive a business looking in the rear view mirror. So, look ahead. Anticipate. Innovate. Experiment. Question everything amicably. | Search | Ask | Archives | Online Store | Contact Us
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