Number 1 is never to get in over your head. Not having staying power will prevent you from reaping the benefits that occur on those small number of businesses you own that need just a little bit more before striking the gusher.

Number 2 is never under any circumstances accept an offer out of the clear blue sky for your share of the business that seemingly is good, but where the party offering you the buyout knows much more than you do. I have lost millions on many occasions by accepting a quick profit in a deal where it turned out if I waited a year or two or three, I would have realized a tremendous windfall.

Number 3 is not to mix romance with business. Romance should come out of business not business out of romance. The romantic aspect will cause a strain and make you look foolish too all your colleagues.

Number 4 is not to have 3 person partnerships as too many coalitions can form, and you will be involved in diplomacy rather than business.

Number 5 is to keep your business consistent with the idea that has the world in its grip. Give your customers what they want, and give returns and the customer is always right.

Number 6 is to be sure that you are aligned with the forces in Washington that control so much of life these days, and have so much in perks and profits to give to their cronies.

Number 7 is to associate yourself with good partners, and good friends, and good employees whose loyalty goes beyond the dollar or the clock. An ounce of loyalty and integrity is worth more than a pound of immediate profits. When the going gets tough, and it always does in business, you need to have the loyal ones. Certain groups and certain belief systems are aphoristic and proverbial for their disloyalty and tendency to deceit and they should be avoided.

Number 8 is to always remember that when dealing with a family business, the loyalty of the family members is to themselves but not to you. The worst short term frauds and cons, and some of the worst long term cons, I have been victimized in had a father and son working in concert to deceive you into giving them your chips.

Number 9 is to associate yourself with people that have a record of success in their family, previous career, or athletics. Those who tend to fail in one thing will bring you down in the other.

Number 10 is to work hard and keep good records so that you will learn from your mistakes and be able to jump in with full force on the good opportunities when they occur. Keep a reserve for such. I know there are many more. And some of mine aren't sharp enough. I tried to memorialize business tips that are directly applicable to markets, and number 2 for example can be quantified for very good reward to risk.

Which ones would you correct and how would you add to this list with market implication?

Russ Sears adds: 

11. Be aware of the competition, learn from them and have a strategy to compete. Perhaps the reason athletes do well is because they are aware of the competition and develop a niche or strategy to beat or compete with them. Likewise for successful family, there are few things more powerful and motivational than common goals and team-work within a clear framework for utilizing each individuals diverse unique talents and self interest. A successful family man has shown that he is capable of uniting such a competitive group.


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