I have been in business since 2002, and I'm still not sure I've completely got the hang of it.
However, having seen some pretty big ‘ups' (£5m valuation, meeting my idol, semi-retiring at 33, and being named as one of the '42 Most Influential Entrepreneurs under 42′), I have also seen my fair share of downs (being bankrupt, losing my house and living on someone's sofa).
That said, no matter how good it is or how bad it is, these are 24 things that I strongly believe:
My 24 Core Beliefs
1. Always do what you say you'll do.
2. You need clarity at all times. (Concentrate on just one big, scary goal at any one time, and chunk it down until you have a task you can complete today).
3. Manage your micro-environment. (After all, you can't control the macro-environment).
4. Be bold. (Don't ask for permission, beg for forgiveness).
5. Ignore the masses. (Study carefully what everyone else is doing and test the complete opposite).
6. Be cautiously reckless. (Never take a risk that you cannot bounce back from).
7. Don't give up. (If it was easy then everyone would be doing it).
8. Don't read the news. (It's never going to improve your mood).
9. Say no to most things. (It should be a ‘must-do' list not a ‘to-do' list).
10. Get experts to optimise, not innovate. (Don't worry about getting an idea 100% right at first – just launch it).
11. You're probably not that clever. (If you think you've found an untapped market, you've probably found an unprofitable market).
12. Business is 90% marketing. (Great marketing can save a poor product but poor marketing will kill a great product).
13. Don't be the first to market. (Unless you've got deeeep pockets, let your competitors find & educate your market first).
14. Be proud. (If you aren't proud of your work, stop & do something else).
15. Small hinges swing big doors. (Most big results come from very small changes).
16. Take holidays. (How many times have you said, “I come up with my best ideas on holiday“?)
17. Never stop innovating. (No matter how successful you become, never assume you've cracked it).
18. Ship early & often. (As Mark Zuckerberg always says, “Done is better than perfect”).
19. Be honourable. (Offer the right solution for the customer, not the right solution for you).
20. Always share the credit. (Even if it was all you).
21. Trust your gut. (If you have an uneasy feeling about someone, walk away – you're almost always gonna be right).
22. Test e-v-e-r-y-thing. (Create a hypothesis for every idea/change/innovation and test it – this allows you to pivot at any point in time without losing face).
24. Be measured. (It's never quite as good as you think it is, but then it's never quite as bad as you think either).