I’m posting more (I think we’re nearly through the incoming email) skills, insights, strategies, and life lessons that SJN Sales staff, our clients, friends, vendors, and colleagues have shared since the original series of stories ran in SFChronicle, and was picked up by several other fine publications. If you missed the stories, the links are here:
The essence was that the youngest successful entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are willing to proudly describe their preference to hire from amongst their own twenty-something generation, and their belief that real movers and shakers, creative, innovators, and “smart people” are young like them. Mark Zuckerberg really went all out and added severally factually false examples of how “chess masters are all young” (you were off by decades, Mark), and a stated belief that young people are better at building companies because they’re not distracted by families, and houses, and stuff.
Mark just bought four houses, so I hope his focus holds up. In any case, here is the list, to date. As before, feel free to send along your own additions. We’re equal opportunity employers here at SJN Sales, so feel free to send along your resume as well. We are hiring.
70. Energy drinks are soda pop with better branding.
71. Sleep is under-rated.
72. The middle seat is worth avoiding in direct proportion to the length of the flight.
73. There is no way to make firing someone or being fired pleasant. But for the love of Mike, don’t text, email or otherwise weasel out of the duty.
74. Blame is a bad way to manage.
75. No one wins all the time
76. Car insurance is a must. Everything else requires due diligence to find out if it will pay for any losses.
77. You can hire out anything for a reasonable fee if you already know how to do it yourself. This is true of IT projects, changing tires, installing stereos, and painting rooms. And most anything else you can name.
78. Offshoring your job is stupid and lazy. It will also come back and bite you in the …
79. “Nothing” is a good plan, for an hour or a day. We are all over-scheduled
80. If you’re not religious, pretend and no-one will begrudge your time off for related holidays and events.
81. Avoid people who ignore your limits on when and how you are available. They will take advantage in other ways later.
82. References and recommendations were always over-rated. Now they are generally a waste of time.
83. You are not more important than anyone else. Ever.
84. The proper way to refer to the president is by his/her full name and title, “President Obama,” your CEO Ed Smythington, etc. whether you like them or not. Never settle for last names only.
85. You can avoid most meaningless meetings by scheduling a task that is revenue related.
86. Your worst boss will still teach you something.
87. There is no such this as a job for life. Always stay in touch with the world outside your company.
88. Don’t shoot the messenger
89. If you don’t like the message, delete, change channels, walk away, or tune-out.
90. Don’t punish people for doing their jobs. Salespeople and even bill collectors may be back in your life when you need their help.
91. Don’t set mottos, missions, and goals that you can’t or won’t keep. Don’t be Evil is exactly as powerful as your willingness to turn down the evil opportunity.
92. Kids need little failures to avoid big failures. Don’t fix everything for them
93. If your parents made everything go smoothly for you, don’t assume that anyone else is on the planet to do the same.
94. Get some B’s.
95. Evaluate opinions others share by looking at how they behave between expressing their opinions
96. Girl Scouts who liked selling cookies, will sell better than anyone other new hire you can pick.
97. Burnt out is not an age group.
98. Some businesses fail after doing everything right
99. Dry heat is still heat.
100. Sooner or later it will be you who needs help.
101. Networking is not job hunting
102. Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. are not sales calls
103. Screaming is rarely the right choice.
104. You can change any behavior or habit in 30 days or less.
105. Paying your bills late is not a cash-flow strategy that is likely to get you great service or extras.
106. Weekly sales meetings are more expensive than they are worth
107. No matter what you know, how you say it will determine your next raise and promotion
108. Every new productivity tool, training, and acronym based system under the sun has something of value, but probably not much more than you learned at your first Xerox or P&G sales training.
109. If high school or college was the best part of your life, you’re not looking hard enough for life.
110. If your mother in law asks, you should probably say yes.
111. Self-employment is a great way to get balance in life. If you’ll let it.
112. Big companies are not automatically more stable than little companies.
113. Bringing your dog to work is not likely to be a good idea.
114. Family is more important than work. No exceptions
115. Health is a gift you will eventually appreciate. One way or another.
116. Everything is temporary. So is everybody.
117. Do overs are good.
118. Nothing posted, emailed, voice-mailed, or texted after 10:00 pm is likely to make the situation better.
119. You’re going to be 50 or 60 anyway if you’re lucky. Write it. Apply, snorkel, invent…
120. Your kids hear everything. Say what you want to hear them say.