uncomfortable inspiration

Inspiration is uncomfortable. Not the actual outcome. The process itself, leading up to the inspiration and the moment of clarity, tend to be slightly irritating.

The main issue is timing. In many cases, good ideas come at inconvenient moments, right before falling asleep or while waking up in the middle of the night.

Sleep definitely plays a significant role. Salvador Dali, for instance, knew this. The artist allegedly sat down in a chair while holding a spoon. Right underneath, a metal plate was positioned so that when he would enter a so-called hypnogogic state. When dozing off, the spoon would slip out of his hand. The clattering sound would then wake him up, presumably leaving him very inspired.

If inspiration is indeed plentiful while being inconvenienced, it would be possible to reverse-engineer. The question is, how much are you willing to sacrifice for inspiration?

turning points

In every business, there is at least one turning point. A point, once reached, where evolving to the proverbial next level brings about lots of change.

It could be revenue, customers, market penetration, or any other appropriate parameter. Depending on the industry in which the business operates, some turning points are well-known and predefined. Others might be particular.

What happens after the turning point is just half of the story. These turning points could easily be considered milestones. Clearly expressed, unambiguous goals that everybody within the company can live up to.

Making the path towards the turning point easy to measure makes it at least equally interesting as the actual turning point or what happens after.

More importantly, in essence, a measurable path towards a turning point provides a foundation for a strategic roadmap.

disconnected emotion

This is business, it isn’t personal. A phrase commonly heard after suffering some kind of entrepreneurial loss.

The phrase could be considered as another way of saying; disconnect emotions from business.

Even though it could be considered smart to limit emotional reactions in many cases, there is still a need for an emotional connection.

Running a business is hard. If not for passion, where do entrepreneurs find the fuel to fight every day?

There definitely is a place for emotions in business.

lessons learned

After suffering a defeat, becoming demotivated isn’t abnormal, especially when that defeat renders an entire vision obsolete. Up in smoke, in an instant.

Sometimes, the hunt is sweeter than the kill. When we live up to a specific moment with high hopes, the level of excitement fuelled by expectations can be pretty powerful.

Until we draw the short straw.

When (feeling) defeated, the way to deal with it is rather binary. Wallow in (self-)pitty or brush that dirt off your shoulder and move on to the next.


On the verge of a potentially life-changing decision, one, presumably, aspires to make that decision as well as they possibly can. Depending on what frameworks and methodologies are being applied, somewhere down the line, a decision matrix could be built, helping you to come to a conclusion.

Jeff Bezos once wrote the following in an annual shareholder letter. “Most decisions should probably be made with somewhere around 70% of the information you wish you had, if you wait for 90%, in most cases, you’re probably being slow.”

What happens when 70% is unattainable, but the decision has to be made swiftly? What if the parameters can’t be plotted in a matrix, rendering your decision unmatrixable.

Involve as many people as you can, and trust you’ll do the right thing.

blending in and out

If we are the product of the five people we spend most of our time with, it could be challenging to connect with people outside of your hemisphere.

Suppose somebody is fortunate enough to grow up wealthy and healthy. In that case, they might perhaps struggle meeting – and subsequently connecting with less fortunate people, and vice versa.

The ability to blend in, to connect with people in all layers of society is a potent asset.

What’s true of individuals is also true of businesses. Depending on the (variety of) products and services sold, the ability to level with your audience is crucial.

meet the committee

One of the most overlooked aspects of business-to-business marketing is the so-called buying committee.

The person you target with marketing initiatives might not be the person who decides whether to buy your product or not.

That means you have to help your end customer to convince their buying manager.

The customer who ends up using and the buying manager will likely have different pains. Consequently, your marketing should highlight different gains for each of these personae individually.

tools to the people

Tools should serve people. A hammer in and by itself isn’t really useful. Until somebody picks it up and requires the hammer to serve its purpose.

Sometimes, in large corporations, (digital) tools have become so complicated that people seem to serve the tools. Keeping everything updated while managing complex workflows. When using a tool increases the pain, as opposed to the gain it was supposed to bring about, either the tool isn’t the right one, or it’s used in the wrong way.

Tools and processes should serve people, not the other way around.

survival instinct

When you cut off a branch of a mint plant, put it in a glass of water, about ten days later, roots start to appear. The plant isn’t contemplating on whether to grow roots or not. It just does so by any means necessary.

From the plant’s point of view, it has no other choice. If the conditions are suitable, meaning enough water and light, that’s basically all the plant knows. To propagate.

While running a company, sometimes there are too many liberties, which seems odd. Who wouldn’t want a whole bunch of liberties? The fact of the matter is, when a company spreads itself too thin, engaging in (too) many initiatives simultaneously, survival chances diminish — resulting in possibilities paralysis.

Focus on survival.

ambition dependence

Building an enterprise requires ambition. To conceptualize something that doesn’t exist yet, subsequently motivate yourself and others around you to achieve that goal. That’s where an ambitious drive comes in handy.

The downside is, in the end, we can’t control what we can’t control. All cogwheels, in and outside of the enterprise, have to click in place.

If somehow they don’t click precisely into their place, there is a risk of becoming a victim of our own ambition. Our ambition may turn against us.

Suppose an airplane set out to fly across the Atlantic in ten hours. Due to heavy headwinds, the flight will now take eleven hours. There is no use in turning back.

Use ambition as fuel, not as a brake.