What are the best-kept secrets of successful business people?

Have you ever known someone who seems to be able to get everything they want? The ones who seem to breeze through life effortlessly, making up their own rules as they go along, unaffected to the mundane realities of everyday life? 

Are some people just “luckier” than others, their roads already smoothly paved, helping them achieve their goals? And others are “unluckier,” with barriers cropping up for them out of nowhere, preventing them from achieving their goals? 

It’s a slight variation on the age old question: Do we create our destiny, or are we victim to it? 

As most age-old questions go, the answer isn’t simple, and more than likely lies somewhere in the middle. But no matter your lot in life, you can make the most of what you have by not letting what you can’t do interfere with what youcan do; and by taking note to some of the habits of the ‘lucky’ people in our lives.  Are there skills or attributes that enable some of their good fortune? 

These people clearly have an ability to effectively court the opportunities and relationships they want in their lives, and when observed closely they do seem to use similar strategies and principles in their pursuits. 

These Principles of Courtship can apply equally to both personal and professional endeavors. Whether you’re looking to land an amazing career opportunity, a key client, or that amazing friendship or relationship, following this basic set of principles will help you court the right opportunities, both in 2014 and beyond. 

Principle 1: The Art of Pursuit 

Effective pursuit is about observation, assessment, and calibration. Any good pursuit begins with doing your homework. You must know your goals and standards before you can hope to live up to them. 

For example, if you see a company you want to work for, learn as much as you possibly can about the company’s history, current status, and future goals. This knowledge will give you credibility as you engage with the company and its network. The more detailed and thorough your effort at this initial stage, the stronger the foundation you will have built for the rest of your capture plan.  Inadequate effort in this stage is why thousands of interview candidates each year fail to effectively answer the simple but critical questions of “What do you know about our organization, and why do you want to work here?”. 

Similarly, before you consider starting a relationship (serious or casual),  you should know who you are getting in bed with (pun intended), as those choices directly impact your health and safety. ‘Luck’ or success in this case is defined as a relationship in which both parties want the same things from one another and are adding positive energy to one anothers lives. 

First, focus on activities you personally enjoy. Then, branch out and try new activities you might find interesting.  By focusing on yourself you’ll increase the possibility of meeting someone and you’ll likely learn more about yourself through the experience. Once a potential trustee emerges, check for red flags: Pay close attention to the nuances in their behavior, as well as their reputation among others and how they treat people close to them. In these details and subtleties often lay the keys to making your pursuit successful. 

Observe the situations closely, assess yourself and the surrounding context, calibrate your capture plan accordingly. 

Principle 2: The Impact of Energy 

Confidence is the closest thing in this world to magic. 

The human brain is amazing. Its complexity and magnificence is unquestioned in science and religion alike; it synthesizes complex information and seemingly unseen cues to make dozens of decisions each instant without any awareness from us.  These unconscious interpretations made by one human brain, in turn, become unconscious signals which impact the awareness/brains of others around them, setting off profound but nearly invisible domino reactions in every human exchange. 

What drives these unconscious decisions? The same force that drives the rest of the universe: Energy. 

A person’s energy impacts her mind, both conscious and unconscious, in profound ways. That energy is conveyed in everything about her being, and that energy has a profound impact on every human being she encounters. You’ll notice that many of the people we see as “lucky” share this commonality: They are confident in themselves and their cause, and that belief allows other people to feel drawn to believing in them as well. 

The best way to alter our subconscious impression of energy is to consciously increase our confidence level. Confidence is not just a feeling, but rather reflects on our internal, core perceptions of ourselves — specifically, our value and competence as human beings. Confidence is a self-fulfilling prophecy. To become a more confident person, you cannot continue to what you’re already doing; something has to change. 

Even the world’s best public speakers did not come out of the womb knowing how to speak. They challenged themselves, took risks, and got scared. But instead of backing away from uncomfortable (but good) opportunities, they walked into them, fear and all. 

Conversely, those who live with self-doubt also form a self-fulfilling prophecy with their internal negativity/darkness translating to their life and relationships; and many times they focus on blaming outside factors. Outside factors are inherently out of your control, so by placing blame there, this prevents a person from ever truly progressing to a healthier state. 

Leaders are just normal people who habitually seized opportunity. You’ll gain expertise only when you step confidently into new territory. Act confident to become confident. Eventually, the more we practice at things, the better and more confident we become. We all have fear, and we all have causes we believe in. It’s our choice which one we allow to win in the end.

Another important key to confidence is remembering to  take care of yourself! If a sports team fails to nourish and support its star players, it certainly shouldn’t expect to win any championships. Likewise, if you’re not taking out time to nurture the person who looks back at you in the mirror, then it will be more than just you who will suffer.

So before you start your path to a new career or new relationship, stop to do a gut check and find out where your confidence is coming from. Find out what truly defines you, why you are here, and whether you’re capable of doing what you came to do.  By taking to to nourish your body and to know who you are, your energy and confidence will grow, preparing you for and more joy in professional and personal relationships alike. 


Principle 3:  The Wisdom of Surrender.

Never use the good to chase the bad. 

Take time to re-evaluate every so often, not only on how you are making progress on achieving your goal, but also whether your goal is worth the long-term investment.  During the first few weeks and months of any new engagement, the first months of a new job, a new client, or a budding romance, it’s critical to stay aware of your larger-scale needs and goals. Relationships or engagements where you are slowly being drained of energy in the early stages are not likely to blossom into the kinds of situations that lead to long-term prosperity. 

Do not ignore red flags. Your time is one of the most precious resources of your life. Ensure that you’re getting what you need from all engagements, and those engagements are actually adding value/energy to your life. Your most closest relationships should leave you feeling both energized in your confidence level and challenged in your own character development. If it’s not, then if the problems are not identified and addressed, that relationship will have a negative on impact on your life. 

People who value themselves don’t stay in relationships that deplete them of energy and joy. As human beings, we are limited. As with money and time, we have only a limited amount of energy to give. In order to have the greatest impact on the world, we must guard our energy, keeping on eye on how it is spent and how it is replenished.

Principle 4: Be the Driver of your Success. 

To achieve success in personal and work relationships, define what success is. Then, bend the world to match that definition.  

Set measurable, transparent, and, more importantly, agreed-upon goals for the relationship. You must be able to define and articulate what happiness or success would be, so that all parties are moving toward a common place. Any relationship without clear, on-going communication from each party doomed to never achieve it. It is crucial to express to one another and understand one another’s expectations, needs, and definitions of success in the relationship.

Let’s say you started a new job. After the first few months, you’ve decided you like the team and organization, and you want to continue to invest in the opportunity. In this case, you should take some time to identify where you’d like to be 12 months into the role, and should have professional, and on-going dialogue about it with your superiors. A good leader’s job is to enable your success, and unlock your potential, but they can only do so if you know your goals, and if you are taking active steps in achieving those goals as they align with the company. 

In a new personal relationships, be direct about what you want. If you are looking for casual fun, great — make sure your partner know. If you know you’d like to be married within the next couple of years, great — make sure your partner knows. Having all parties understand (or better yet, agree upon) one another’s goals is a requisite to any healthy relationship. 

Define success in your own terms, and then actively drive others toward that definition of success. 

Principle 5: You Get What You Give. 

In a highly interconnected world, the foundation you build today will define your success tomorrow. 

Look for ways to provide value to everyone you can on a daily basis. Theseactions, if consistent become behaviors which are highly desirable and never go unnoticed forever. People who create value for others accumulate goodwill and respectability. That goodwill and respectability translates to introductions, which build your network over time. Your network, in turn, opens the door for introductions and opportunities for you to pursue. n personal relationships, especially as as social media blurs the line between our personal and public lives, reputation is more important now than ever. The world is large enough that, if you’re honest about what you really want, chances are you can find someone else who wants the same things. Honesty and respect are what most people want in relationships, so in order to get it, we must be ready and willing to give it. 

We all face personal and professional challenges, and regardless of what we see in the lives of others, none of our roads have been paved perfectly smoothly. Those who appear to be “lucky” in their lot in life are usually those who see every challenge as an opportunity, and consistently seek out ways to turn weaknesses into strengths. It is the energy with which they approach these challenges that begets their success.

By understanding these principles of courtship we can all have a better shot at making the most of the opportunities we have today, as well as pave the way for the opportunities of tomorrow.

Do most startups fail because of a bad idea or poor execution

There is no such thing as a bad idea. The reason you say the idea is bad is because it didn’t work out. Based upon my experience, I feel that any organization(succesfull startup) is the result of three thing - 

  1. Base Idea(X) - This is the idea on which a person thinks about starting a company. Since it is his idea, he is fairly confident about it and he starts out to study the market. If he is entering an unknown market, he has to be supremely confident as well as rich enough to cover the potential loss he may make. As he gains more knowledge about the market, he refines the idea. This is an iterative process and may take some time. Finally it becomes some thing(X’) that in his perspective is quite executable.
  2. Vision(Y) - Based upon your and your co-founder’s personality(vision and core values), your idea is then transformed into a business plan. In other words you can say that your very basic business plan B = Y(X’). Thus, your business is now ready to take off.
  3. Execution(Z) - You start your business and the business plan now undergoes some more changes. This changed business plan B’ along with other factors like your and your team’s persistence, market situations, your situation, etc finally changes the path of your execution.


Thus, the condition that your startup fails or becomes a success is directly proportional to Z(B’) + Other factors. As you can see, there are lots of factors that decide the success or failure of a startup. And getting these three things right is the ultimate goal of any company.
Also another thing I’ve found as an outsider is that it is nearly impossible to point out the real reason for the failure of a startup. However, it is fairly easy to point out the reason for the success of a startup.

Entrepreneurship Mistakes

I have more, but here are 10 scars I continue to wear from the 13 different businesses I have started:

  1. Failing to realize the importance of cashflow not just profit. i.e. “That cashflow is more important than your mother
  2. Failing to realize that the world was not starving waiting for you to open. i.e. “You still have to acquire your customer base, one way or another”.
  3. Failing to realize that it is likely to take 18mths to 3 years to break-even on your brilliant idea, let alone make profit. i.e. So you need more capital than just enough to cover infrastructure costs. You also need working capital to fund the losses during this period until your idea is financially sustainable.
  4. Failing to realize that successful corporate approaches are inappropriatefor small business startups. i.e. You are in a fight for survival not just playing your part in a management committee decision making activities. A startup is not just a small version of a corporate enterprise.
  5. Failing to realize that real margins are not just buy for 1 and sell for 2 (100%) but rather buy for 1 and sell for 10. i.e. You need greater profit margins than you originally think to cover the costs required to fund a sustainable business.
  6. Failing to realize that you need to be very good at everything not just be an expert in one field. i.e. You need to be the generalist rather than the specialist.
  7. Failing to realize that you need to build a secure ‘beachhead’ in the market before striking out for the main prize. i.e. do everything to get traction in the market first - however small.
  8. Failing to realize that you are more likely to succeed creating an adequate product with brilliant marketing and distribution … rather than the other way round.
  9. Failing to promote benefits over features. i.e. customers buy what’s beneficial  to them and are blind to the exotic, outstanding and competitor-beating features that may have become your obsession.
  10. …. and finally, failing to be lucky when it counted most.

What are the best means to get feedback from your workers that you are or are not a good manager

Ans 1: Is your actual motto to get Honest Feedback or Fake feedback as Good Manager?

Honest Feedback?

  1. Best honest with your colleagues & counter parts
  2. Follow Work Ethics
  3. Be friendly but do not favor against work
  4. Treat everybody equal
  5. Respect and Trust everyone
  6. Be a Lead by example-r
  7. Be a though leader
  8. Have helping mind
  9. Give other space


If you follow all these characteristics, you will definitely get honest feedback.

But if you want a Fake feedback as Good Manager

  1. Do favor to each and everyone against work ethics
  2. Have Fake Smile & Act on their face

Ans 2:

The best way to get positive feedback is being a good leader. Yeah, that doesn’t help much. So, here are a few things to do:

  1. Give them feedback, especially the positive kind. Recognition is a powerful motivator.
  2. Ask for them to give you negative feedback too. Everyone can improve, so can you.
  3. Don’t freak out if they give you negative feedback. Listen, don’t defend yourself. Ask clarification questions if you didn’t understand.
  4. Agree what you are willing to do to adress the negative feedback you received. AND ACT UPON IT.
  5. Keep your word. If you say you will do X by Y time. Do it.
  6. Don’t waste time with pointless meetings. Make meetings useful by having a clear agenda. Each item in the agenda should have a clear goal to a) inform; b) discuss and/or c) decide.
  7. Protect your team from corporate bullshit. Take a dive on the bureaucracy grenade as much as you can, so your employees don’t need to deal with it.
  8. Take the blame for everything wrong. Give out praise for everything right.


So much to do…

How do I stop myself feeling low when I think of people who have achieved so much in life

Stop taking so much notice of how you feel. How you feel is how you feel. It’ll pass soon. What you’re thinking is what you’re thinking. It’ll go too. Tell yourself that whatever you feel, you feel; whatever you think, you think.  Since you can’t stop yourself thinking, or prevent emotions from arising in your mind, it makes no sense to be proud or ashamed of either. You didn’t cause them. Only your actions are directly under your control. They’re the only proper cause of pleasure or shame.
 
Let go of worrying:
The more you think about something bad, the more likely it is to happen
 
Stop being concerned what the rest of the world says about you. Nasty people can’t make you mad. Nice people can’t make you happy.  Events or people are simply events or people. They can’t make you anything. You have to do that for yourself.
 
Don’t let others use you to avoid being responsible for their own decisions. To hold yourself responsible for someone else’s success and happiness demeans them and proves you’ve lost the plot.  It’s their life. They have to live it. You can’t do it for them; nor can you stop them from messing it up if they’re determined to do so. 

Answer 2: Helen Zhang,

Start creating and producing. Find your passion and pursue it. If you’re motivated by other peoples’ admiration of your work, share it online. Start a blog, share things with your social media, make a website. Join an internet community of like-minded individuals.

It’s easy to consume; it’s easy to watch TV, play video games, devour books/drink/food/music all produced by someone else. You can carry on your whole life without contributing anything notable to society. The people who made those things for you to enjoy are probably leading extremely fulfilled lives! Are you?
It’s hard to create; it’s can be mentally exhausting and frustrating at times, but engaging in the production process is extremely satisfying. At the end of the day, I have something I’m proud of. Achievement is subjective.

Focus on self-improvement. Set goals for yourself. Maybe you want to get stronger, faster, or fitter. Maybe you want to be kinder to others. What’s important is that you are warding off stagnation. Remove the focus on how others are doing in relation to you, and instead concentrate on how the you of today is better than the you of yesteryear (or yesterday). It’s okay to be selfish, it’s okay to be internally motivated to succeed, and it’s absolutely okay to compete against yourself rather than others.

Be thankful for what you have. Reflect on what you’re fortunate enough to have in your life (great friends, family, a roof over your head, your limbs, your senses, access to the internet), and the negatives will seem insignificant.

I struggled with feeling inadequate throughout high school because my peers were knocking out 1550s and 1600s on their SATs (back when the max score was 1600 - mine was 1370). While I was a pretty good student, by normal standards, I was failing to reach the absurd levels of genius my peers made look easy, no matter how hard I worked. I think I finished 76th out of 400 students in my class, with a GPA of 4.12 (weighted). When I started discovering talents and hobbies outside of doing well academically, I became a much happier, fulfilled human being. I re-evaluated what was important to my life (it’s notabout getting a perfect score on a test, or filling my bank account with ludicrous amounts of money, or even owning any furniture, or having a remotely presentable household). Making art became my raison d’être, and now I do it for a living. I am so grateful every day I can survive off what I love to do.

Do what you love, and love what you do.

This would typically be an age related thing. Of course it can happen at any of the age brackets if you measure it against ones peers. But your post suggests you are dissatisfied with self.

Your work is what you do for society to earn money. Most people in the world do not like the work they do. They do it to survive.

That is where you round out your life by not making work who you are, its just what you do.

It’s why people have hobbies, friends, sports, music, art, and a myriad of other things, to give their life value. Your dissatisfaction is your own inner system saying it is time to get exploring. So many people sit and wait for life to happen for them. They simply react to what is. 

When I was in Korea, I did all kinds of things, where most of the guys seemed to feel they were wasting their time and just drank and whored around. I designed a gravity fed shower for a orphanage. I designed and built a two room recreation area for our company; complete with 2 pool tables, a ping pong table, TV lounge,  and trophy case, I designed and built furniture for myself. I designed the front of battalion headquarters. I traveled from the DMZ down to Taegu. I made model airplanes and broke a 4 year old international speed record. I had the president of Korea put awards around my neck. All this, except for the few months I worked on the building, was on my own time. I still had my normal missile communication job. And through all that, met some wonderful people I have never forgotten.

You stop feeling low, by stop waiting. History is full of people who did remarkable things at every age. Become yourself. 

There is a great ancient Tibetan saying. 
You have to stand on a mountain,
A long time, 
with your mouth open,
Before a cooked goose flies in it.

Answer:3 Cameron Boehmer 

Your expectation, not your observation, is causing you pain. You read or hear something about someone who has accomplished much, say, Steve Jobs. You bring to mind your own accomplishments and use society’s yardstick to compare the two. Unless you’re a Nathan Myhrvold or a Ghandi, you fall short. And that hurts, right? Not so fast. It’s not observing that one’s accomplishments are inferior to another’s, it’s the unmet expectation that your accomplishments should be other than they are that causes pain. And that’s an unreasonable expectation — you are here, now, as you are, for reasons beyond knowing. It only took all of time since the Big Bang for you to come about as you are, and wishing that things had gone differently is only throwing good money after bad.

To stop feeling low, you’ll have to change your brain, and in order to change your brain, you have to change your mind. You have to change your belief that not having accomplished as much as others is a bad thing. It’s probably the truth in some cases, (probably not in others), but it doesn’t have to be bad — it can just be thing. If you can get on board with that, then all that’s left is rewiring your brain circuitry, your mental habits that keep producing an emotional reaction to the comparison you’re making. This is like weight lifting — it requires that every time you notice this habit in action, you simply watch it without tensing up and trying to force it to stop, and without wallowing in the sadness that follows, because the sadness will probably keep cropping up for a while. If you can, it will help to relate to your thoughts and your feelings as neutral aspects of your experience — sometimes pleasant, sometimes unpleasant, but never you. You are not your thoughts or your feelings, and it can be fun to watch them even when they are negative or uncomfortable. 

To stop feeling low, you’ll have to change your brain, and in order to change your brain, you have to change your mind. You have to change your belief that not having accomplished as much as others is a bad thing. It’s probably the truth in some cases, (probably not in others), but it doesn’t have to be bad — it can just be thing. If you can get on board with that, then all that’s left is rewiring your brain circuitry, your mental habits that keep producing an emotional reaction to the comparison you’re making. This is like weight lifting — it requires that every time you notice this habit in action, you simply watch it without tensing up and trying to force it to stop, and without wallowing in the sadness that follows, because the sadness will probably keep cropping up for a while. If you can, it will help to relate to your thoughts and your feelings as neutral aspects of your experience — sometimes pleasant, sometimes unpleasant, but never you. You are not your thoughts or your feelings, and it can be fun to watch them even when they are negative or uncomfortable. 

Mindfulness and meditation will help. I had a truckload of mental habits like yours for a long time, and over the past two years I’ve put miles of highway between myself and the pain they’ve caused me. Meditation strengthens the circuits in your brain that allow you to be aware of what you’re thinking (most of the time we’re not consciously aware of our thoughts — we think we are our thoughts, and thus we experience pain when thinking painful thoughts), and also the circuits that allow you to observe neutrally rather than experience reactively. 

Resources. I highly recommend you check out some literature or videos on mindfulness and meditation. Jon Kabat-Zinn has awesome religion/spirituality-free talks on YouTube, as does Eckhart Tolle, although Eckhart might evoke some skeptical reactions if you’re woo-woo averse. There’s a free e-book floating around on the internet called Mindfulness in Plain English, but if you’re more science/technically minded, I recommend Mindsight by Dr. Daniel Siegal, a psychiatrist and researcher at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center. There’s also Buddha’s Brain, which goes through the neuroanatomy of psychological pain and meditations that ameliorate it, and YouTube videos by Philippe Goldin, a Stanford neuroscientist, on anxiety, mindfulness and the brain. 

You’re not alone. Good luck.

What are the most valuable things everyone should know

1. Time is your most valuable asset. As you grow older you’ll realise this. In fact, if you’re in your 20’s or 30’s, I believe that youth is your greatest asset. So don’t waste time and use it wisely. Beware of time thieves- Those who steal your time doing nothing you feel is productive or doing negative things.
Give your time to people who you feel is worthy of your time. Do the things you love and like. Try something new for a change. Step out of your comfort zone. All it takes is just 15 seconds of courage to just do it and you won’t regret it later on. Be fearless. Explore the world. Meet people different from you. Learn a new language. Make use of your time.

2. You don’t turn your backs on family, even when they do. This is a movie quote from Fast and Furious 6. I don’t think I need to elaborate much on this point. Blood is thicker than water.

3. Being confident and being positive is being very appealing to others. Many people think it’s all about looks and outer beauty. Ask yourself this, if the world was blind, how many people would you impress? What do you want people to remember you as?
Which leads to..

4. Asking the right questions. I firmly believe in asking the right and specific questions. And the answers will reveal itself.

5. Only say and do the things you believe. No creative big lies. You may have a list of values that you value and practice. Make integrity one of them. By saying and doing only what you believe creates trust. Trust creates more valuable relationships in this world.

What would you do to be a little smarter every single day

  • Come up with 10 ideas a day (I do this until I feel my brain sweating to exercise the “idea” muscle (Read James Altucher “Choose Yourself”
  • Read a book a week, or more if you can. I read when I am commuting or listen to audio books
  • Do something that is scary to you every week, public speak, do an online meeting, or a live meeting, or anything involving others.  Getting out of our comfort zone always makes us wiser
  • Write 400 words a day on things that you learned every day
  • Make an I DID list to show all the things you, in fact, accomplished
  • Make sure you suround yourself with smarter people than you, you will always learn that way
  • Give yourself a difficult challenge like contacting someone you really admire and giving them a valid reason to meet you (think adding value to their lives)
  • Learn to and play chess.  Study games.
  • Play scrabble with no help from hints or books
  • Sit in silence daily to get inspiration

How does one cultivate a positive attitude

  • Stop complaining.  Because complaining is a rushing flow of water down the toilette that leaves you drained
  • Exercise the gratitude muscle every day and for small things at first, like being able to read this, you will see how then you start noticing bigger things to be grateful for
  • Keep an “I did” list rather than to do, so you see how much you actually get accomplished in a day
  • Ignore and let go of people who are abusive of you and drain your energy or criticize you all the time
  • Instead surround yourself with loving and supportive people that want to see you thrive.
  • Help others get exactly what you want to get
  • Offer to volunteer once in a while to see how the world is much bigger than we see it in our minds
  • Attend a 10 day Vippasana meditation retreat, they are BRUTAL, but, you do learn to sit for at least one hour at the time and observe the workings of your mind.  They are also free by the way…
  • Smile at strangers on the street. A recent NYTimes article talks of a study done where people who get the free smiles feel loved and cared for and what we put out comes back to us
  • Let go of envy.  Realize that envy kills… and that all envy does is point to the good we see in others that we want for ourselves. So cultivate that good in you, weather it be a new line of work, or something else
  • Pray daily . I love this prayer : Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.
  • Be kind.

What 5 rules would help me become successful if I applied them to my life

By Jane Chin,

1. Nothing happens until you act. You can be the smartest most incredible reservoir of potential the world has ever known and this potential will die with you unless potential energy becomes kinetic energy.

2. Your ability to heal, to help, and to harm intercalates with the stories you tell yourself about who you are, why you exist, and the nature of the world you believe you live in. [I want to use a different word than intercalating but I am not yet decided on which is cause and which is effect, which is chicken which is egg.]

3. Your true personal power grows not from what you will do once you have arrived, but what you have been doing all the way along the journey, especially the really shitty parts where you imagine everyone’s booing you and laughing at you and betting on you to quit or, making this life a perverse game indeed, betting on you to stay until the bitter deadly end instead of quitting while you’re ahead.

4. There is a reason why the word “fulfillment” is written as “FULfillment” and not “FILfullment”: you must identify what you already hold in full (abundance) and give this away as readily as you exhale your breath. Same goes for why the word “generous/generate” is stitched into the word “regenerate”: you become renewed the more you gift of what runs through you, inexhaustible.The more you give to take from others, the more exhausted you become in giving. The more you give that comes from a place of “you cannot help but to give of this, as this is how you express yourself to life”, the more you are given in return.

5. There is a critical lesson that the most favored Psalm in the world teaches, regardless of religious affiliation (I posit a similar lesson resonates in other religious texts only I’m not scholarly enough to know them) — “even though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil.” notice how the song does not speak of “the valley of death” but instead inserts a seemingly clumsy extra appendage “shadow” as in “valley of the shadow of death”. This is because we become afraid more of the shadow, which creates the valley, than of death itself, which we cannot know. But we who live all learn to know fear. Thus my final lesson is, correctly identify the shadow, and please do not mistake the shadow or equate the shadow for death itself. We fear the fear of death more than we can truly fear death.

How important is branding to early stage B2B SaaS startups

Siddharth DeswalI do SaaS marketing at Visual Website Optimizer

Focus very strongly on branding, but in a different way.

Your question is about the visual aspects of branding, but a brand is simply something with which people associate your company and product. You could also call it the thoughts that come to customers’ minds when your name is mentioned.

Right now, make customers associate you with a product that just works. This is best done by, well, creating a robust product that solves the problem it is supposed to solve, and does that with minimum fuss.

The visual aspects of a brand look cool, but no serious B2B customer will ever recommend you because you guys look sweet. They will certainly recommend you if they trust you and know you’re reliable. Also, am sure potential investors will prefer glowing reviews from current customers over a sexy brand.