Doug Bruns

Posts Tagged ‘business’

Bullet Point Number 2: Imagine “What if?”

In Business, Creativity on February 18, 2013 at 6:00 am
Book Series: Inside the Minds

Book Series: Inside the Minds

I contributed a chapter to a business book a few years ago. The book was part of a series called, “Inside the Minds” (Aspatore, 2002). My contribution, specifically, was in a book called, The Entrepreneurial Problem Solver. Other Inside the Minds books focus on venture capital, economics, personal success, and so forth. For a reason I’ve yet to fathom, I am now transcribing the chapter. Perhaps why I’m doing this will become apparent at some point–to me, I mean. Regardless, I close the chapter with a list–and we know how much I like a list. I thought I’d share it with you.

  • Be creative
  • Imagine “What if?”
  • Challenge the status quo.
  • Train for the summit every day.
  • Quest for leadership where it is not apparent.
  • Where leadership is apparent, strive to make it better.
  • Do not give up until it is physically impossible to satisfy a business need.
  • Fill the organization with complementary talent.
  • Be lean and never spend more than you have.
  • Honesty will earn trust.
  • Expect more
  • Have fun

It is obvious to me now that my business life was not significantly different from my current, non-business, life in the important particulars. Specifically, as an entrepreneur I was, by definition, not part of the herd; rather, I built a tribe. The ruling mantra, particularly during the early start-up, was that of creativity. In fact, my chapter had the clunky title, “Did I Say Entrepreneurialism? I Meant Creativity?” And, like much I think is right about how to live, starting a business and growing it is an exercise in vision, simplicity, and discipline.

In a significant way, business never provided me the degree of satisfaction I observed it often provided others. That restlessness is constant; it was then and it is now, and circles back to the question of imagining “What if?” If there were to be any wisdom a person might impart it should be close to this.

Thanks for reading. And to my last point above, Have fun!


Lies We Tell Ourselves

In Philosophy on February 12, 2013 at 6:00 am
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

Under the heading: “Lies we tell ourselves” –this quote:

“Google’s not a real company. It’s a house of cards.”

That’s Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. He’s a super smart guy, so we chuckle in that superior and satisfied way  (as I type on my Apple Air Notebook). I came across this quote recently, did a bit of research and believe he really said it. (“The problem with internet quotes is you don’t know if they’re true.” ~ Abraham Lincoln) I can’t find an attribution date, but will give Big Steve the benefit of the doubt and assume he made this observation when Google was still a nascent upstart, not the monolithic giant we now recognize. But still, Big Steve should, I think, know better what is lurking in the shrubs, waiting to steal his Power Rangers lunch pail.

So, what lies are we telling ourselves? In business we might, à la Steve Ballmer, proclaim some notion of invincibility–and believe it to be so. That didn’t work out so well for Steve. The same might apply to any and all aspects of life. I don’t want to belabor this notion, but the quote brought me up short.

What, I wonder, have I told myself and “believe” that will, at some future date, prove to be ridiculously wrongheaded? Do you ever ask yourself this question? You should–I’m just say’n. I’ve tried to divest myself of cherished notions and beliefs, attempt to take everything at face value as much as possible, try not to infuse experience with notions preconceived. But in a twisted way, even these exemplary motives seem qualified as “lies I tell myself.”

I cannot escape the recursiveness of such thinking. “I am lying.” That is one of the word-games philosophers sometime play. If I say I am lying, then am I lying in saying I am lying, which would mean I am telling the truth? But I said I was lying. Get it?

Word games. So painfully frustrating. But words are all we have. Really? “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent,” said Wittgenstein.

Okay, time to move on. I’ve always wished to be an old philosopher and sometimes I can’t help myself. At least I’ve accomplished one out of two.