full-contact sport

Entrepreneurship is a full-contact sport.

You need a lot of warming up and permanently train for strength and stamina. Unfortunately, not everyone fights fair, so blows below the belt will be dealt.

Get knocked down seven times, crawl back up eight times.

bumpy road

When you expect a smooth road, you’ll feel every bump.

En route to a successful business, many bumps, potholes, deviations… are bound to show up. Anticipating and hoping for a smooth trajectory will not only cause disappointment but the difficulty with which roadblocks should be dealt with increases.

Expect a bumpy road.


Once upon a time, a farmer had a horse, until one day, his horse ran away. When his neighbors found out, they passed by, expressing their sympathy, saying, “such bad luck.” The farmer replied, “maybe.”

The following day, the horse returned with three wild horses. “Fantastic!” The neighbors said. The farmer replied, “maybe.”

The next morning, the farmer’s son rode one of the wild horses, fell off, and broke his leg. The neighbors passed by, offering once again their sympathy for the farmer’s misfortune. The farmer replied, “maybe.”

The following day, military officials passed by the farm to draft young men into the army. Given the farmer’s son’s broken leg, they passed right by him. The neighbors congratulated the farmer. The farmer replied, “maybe.”

For ancient Taoist farmers and modern-day business leaders alike, life will throw you curveballs. There are no two ways about it. You can fight against it or accept and make the best out of every situation.

short term toxicity

Positions are held increasingly shorter. Whether those positions be stock trades or jobs… In the past couple of decades, the average position held has decreased significantly in duration.

It’s tough for humans to think beyond our lifetimes. Worse, sometimes it’s even hard to think beyond the next couple of years. Politicians often aim for short-term gains within their tenure, neglecting long-term results.

There are no quick get rich schemes. Once more, for the people in the back, there are no quick get rich schemes.

There is smart work and perseverance. The ability to see it through and the willingness to put in work, lot’s of it. That’s it.

brain massage

Suppose a brain cramp is a real thing. Furthermore, suppose that quitting or taking a break isn’t an option when the cramp manifests itself, much like a marathon runner who cramps up in the final meters.

Undoubtedly, the results of that forced endurance will be felt afterward. Likely, the marathon runner will find it (more) difficult to walk. The brain cramp may result in a reduced ability to think straight.

What’s the way out? For muscles, a massage seems fitting. Perhaps applying alternating hot and cold pressure alleviates the pain? If so, what’s the alternative for a brain? How does one massage it?

What helps muscles is moving them in the exact opposite direction. To recover from a figurative brain cramp, does one need to stimulate it in the opposite way of what caused the cramp? Refrain from stimuli altogether?

Given the complexity of the brain, a single, correct answer is unobtainable. Doing nothing can be strenuous.

brain train

Every day a different muscle group. That’s what it takes to train muscles. Train them to become larger and more powerful.

Training the same muscles within 24 hours has a detrimental effect. The muscles need a day to restore. Training within the timeframe the muscles require to rest has an adverse impact. It makes the muscles smaller or less powerful.

What is true of muscles is perhaps also true of the brain? Provided that excessive use leads to cramps, how does one train the brain?

What’s the ideal balance between doing something every day to become better at it and resting sufficiently, again, to become better at it?

suffer on purpose

Owning property is “fun” until something breaks, and there is no landlord to call. Sometimes we suffer because of something we forgot we asked for in the past.

Many entrepreneurs suffer tremendously. Always on, never not working. Long days and short nights. Heavy-weighing pressure with people depending on the entrepreneur. The list goes on.

Obviously, (almost) nobody asks for extra distress. Entrepreneurs choose to suffer on purpose temporarily to create a better outcome down the road.

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.

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.

defying rationality

Sometimes, it all comes down to one thing. One person who is willing to risk it all and leave everything on the table. One person, who, even after their entire entourage made it clear they stopped having faith, refuses to give in. One person who simply doesn’t back down.

Even after all of the numbers have been crunched, KPI’s reassessed, and targets extrapolated. At a time when every fiber screams, don’t do it. When it becomes blatantly obvious that, from a rational point of view, survival chances are zero to none. That’s when this person rises to the occasion.

Clinging on to hope. Trusting that, when one or two things click in their place, it’ll be all right. Those are the ones Steve Jobs referred to when he said: “the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.”

Cherish those heroes.