free lunch

There is no such thing as a free lunch. There are, however, very cheap lunches that, in theory, could be very costly.

Smart people, and the ability to be surrounded by them, have the potential to save your business or take it to the next level.

Imagine spending two bucks on pizza slices, one for you and one for your meeting partner. If you then calculate a reasonable hourly fee that you’d otherwise have to spend on consultancy, you end up with a lot of money saved.

Being surrounded by smart people is a privilege. One that should be cherished and nurtured. Additionally, the quest for adding said people to your circle is always rewarding.

A good mentor is priceless.

power of random meetings

Meeting people randomly has really taken a plunge lately, in part due to the pandemic. Offices and co-working spaces are typically fertile grounds for random meetings but less frequented due to work-from-home initiatives.

Sometimes, the people with whom you strike up a conversation on the street or public transport might turn out to be great business connections. You might be one conversation away from meeting someone who knows someone who could provide a breakthrough for your business.

Random meetings are of a dying breed. Most of our (new) connections are artificially brokered through social media.

Say hello every now and then to strangers.

value plus value

Different cultures have slightly different takes on collaborating professionally. Some cultures are more welcoming and actively look for collaborations, whereas others tend to keep more to themselves.

One person alone can only do so much. Obviously. What’s true of people is true of businesses as well. One company, in and by itself, can only create limited value.

Think of your smartphone. A plethora of different parts are involved, sourced from various manufacturers. Some automobile makers purchase engines from competitors to put into their vehicles.

In his book “24 Assets“, Daniel Priestley writes: “There is no one thing that creates a valuable business. Value is created in the ecosystem of assets.”

To grow a business, collaboration has to take place.

availability cascade

The simpler an idea can be represented, the faster it will spread. Especially true for initially very complex ideas.

Collective beliefs gain popularity precisely because someone straightforwardly translated a particular complex process at some point in time.

Once the idea starts spreading, there is no stopping it. Network effects kick in. In the proverbial blink of an eye, the idea is now everywhere and became a collective belief, almost overnight. This phenomenon is often described as an “availability cascade.”

Fantastic if the idea is factually correct. Dangerous if it isn’t.

Water running down in cascading waterfalls can’t be physically made to flow the other way around. The concept of availability cascade, though, can, in theory, be reverse-engineered.

The easier you make a real-world problem, the bigger the likeliness you can leverage the availability cascade. Whether that problem is a concept that’s tough to grasp, a process that’s hard to guide, or a task that’s tough to perform.

Looking back at heroes who are walking or have walked this earth. Concepts like gravity and relativity are incredibly complex by nature yet have been made easy to understand for a broad audience.

Make things as easy as you possibly can for your customer.

minimal individual

Sometimes the job gets lonely — first one in, last one out. At the top, you have a clear overview because you’re far away from everything.

Entrepreneurship rewards individualistic behavior. Tread carefully. Go too far down that rabbit hole, and there will be nobody left to pull you out. Individualism is heavily influenced by society and (sub)culture. Rewarding individualistic behavior doesn’t mean collectivism is penalized. They aren’t mutually exclusive.

Smart people will save your business. Another plea for networking, you say? Yes, indeed. While it’s crystal clear that networking is an essential aspect of growing as a person as well as growing your business, the tenser the circumstances grow, the easier it is to forget. Similar to getting plenty of sleep and eating healthy food. When the going gets tough, these are among the first things out the window.

If you haven’t yet, make a recurring reminder, task, or appointment to network every week.