business

Focus on the road, not the wall

“When someone learns to drive a race car, one of the first lessons taught is that when you are going around a curve at 200 mph, do not focus on the wall; focus on the road. If you focus on the wall, you will drive right into it. If you focus on the road, you follow the road. Running a company is like that.”

~ Ben Horowitz, The Hard Thing About Hard Things

This is a page from my book, “A Survival Guide for New Consultants”

It takes a team

“Things derive their being and nature by mutual dependence,
and are nothing in themselves.”

Nagarjuna

I mentioned earlier that when you’re building a business, you should hire well, and this is true across every aspect of your business. A “secret” that I stumbled onto when I started Mission Data is that you have to be strong everywhere: Marketing, sales, accounting, the service you provide, and you even need to have a good lawyer.

This is a page from my book, “A Survival Guide for New Consultants”

Hire well

“I thought you were a blind dog, but I see you are a keen-eyed lion.”

Zen Master Seung Sahn

One of the most valuable lessons I learned when I created Mission Data was to hire well. Phrases like this have become more popular recently when people learned of the Steve Jobs quote, “A players hire A players, and B players hire C players,” and other similar quotes. Guy Kawasaki, who was there during the early Apple days, expanded on this quote with his own thoughts:

This is a page from my book, “A Survival Guide for New Consultants”

Being a good person is good business

“The best way is to know the strict rules of karma,
and to work on our karma immediately.”

Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki

For anyone who knows me, I'm the high-paid consultant who accidentally unleashed a virus/worm on one of my customer's networks, and wreaked havoc on their business one day. To say the least, it wasn't one of the better days of my consulting life.

This is a page from my book, “A Survival Guide for New Consultants”

How I started a multi-million dollar consulting firm

“When it’s time to be a general, be a general.
When it’s time to be a monk, be a monk.”

(Author unknown)

A friend of mine is currently unemployed, and as I've talked to her about ways to approach her situation, I'm reminded of how I started Mission Data.

This is a page from my book, “A Survival Guide for New Consultants”

How I started my consulting career

“The beginner’s mind should never be lost.”

Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki

If you're a new consultant thinking about going to work for a small consulting company, I'd like to share what I went through in the first three years of my consulting life, in particular my thought process about the revenue I was trying to generate. Hopefully there are some valuable lessons in what I went through way back then.

This is a page from my book, “How I Sold My Business: A Personal Diary”

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Somewhere along the way I managed to look at the calendar for the wrong year: This year April 28 was the last Friday in April, and also my last day with the company I founded so many years ago. As I'm getting ready to leave town this coming Tuesday, this last week was filled with very little work, and many goodbye visits with former employees, clients, and other friends outside of the business.