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Catchphrases for entrepreneurs

A collection of catchphrases I try to adhere to:

“Make it happen” that we used at Axis when things got a bit too slow. The jury is out on whether I actually “invented” it, but I sure used it. Similar to “Get stuff done”, “Act, don’t talk”, “Just do it” etc.

Ideas on paper are worthless, unless your business is to write books. If you write something as a basis for a business, focus on the business, not what you write. A business plan is useless the day after you’ve presented it to investors. Then reality ensues.

“Be out there.”

Don’t let your developers go on for years without qualifying your offerings on the market. Also, provide early offerings that you can build a financial base on.

“A business man never invests his own money.”

This is a very important one, as you are to run a business, not demolish your private economy and life. The business is not you, it’s your outlet for your ideas and your source of income.

Related is “Separate business/work from your private life.”

Very hard for many entrepreneurs, but thoroughly recommended.

“It’s better to do first and ask permission later, instead of the other way around.”

This provided you actually know what you are doing. If you are a CEO, it’s your damn job to not ask for permission, even though you might have to behave as if you did.

“Follow your instincts” is valid here too.

“People don’t understand new concepts until they see them working, and meanwhile they will work against you.”

Long for a catchphrase, but at least it’s my own, based on experience.

“Lack of money is never a good thing when running a business, not even during the start-up phase.”

Also my own. On one hand you might think lack of money is good for sharpening your wit and economic chops, but the problem is that you get nothing done or too late, as you can’t afford to do things fast, and the founder team spends time discussing money all the time. Speed and headroom (creative-, competence- and financial-wise) is everything.