Short essays by Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D., the author of TING AND I: A Memoir of Love, Courage and Devotion, published in September 2011 by Outskirts Press (Parker, CO, USA), available from outskirtspress.com/tingandi, Barnes and Noble [bn.com], and Amazon [amazon.com], in paperback or ebook formats. Please visit us at tingandi.com for more information.
Monday, October 24, 2016
REVIEW: Patrick Gruhn's GOOD BUSINESS
On Becoming a Businesswoman… Advice from Her Dad
just read that 60% of Americans hope to own their own business, but only 10%
do. Women world-wide and over 60 may be similar.
A successful European businessman,
Patrick Gruhn, recently published a fine book, Good Business, written primarily for
his daughter. Though she is not likely now over 60, his ideas apply to would-be
entrepreneurs of all ages.
Gruhn favors cooperation versus competition in
business. Believing that
women tend toward
nurture, men toward battle, he wants more women in entrepreneurial positions. Written daily over a
period of 500 days, his book seems to have over a thousand good ideas. We’ll
explore some here.
Generate Value for Others
and for Yourself
Fundamentally, business is the exchange of value for value.
"Ultimately, by creating value for others, you will create wealth for
yourself." To do so, you need to have a vision. You should have a passion
for your work. Look for the area of overlap between their needs and your
Gruhn quotes Steve Jobs, “It’s really clear that
the most precious resource we all have is time.” Jobs’s premature death only
underlines this. Allocate your time to what matters most. Pace yourself. Life’s
a marathon, not a sprint.
Playing the Long Game
“Play your life like a game of chess.” Plan
ahead. To thrive in the long run, reduce friction. Minimize unnecessary
conflict. Avoid micromanagement of others.
We are advised to hedge our bets, not put all
our eggs in one basket. However, having too many irons in the fire means none
gets really hot.
You’ll often hear, “Don’t throw good money after
bad.” Not your investment, but what your prospects are, really counts. The same
goes for your “investment” in personal relationships.
Be Prepared for the
The late U.S. President
John F. Kennedy noted, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” At high tide, it is hard to distinguish the
true winners from the others. “It is only when the tide goes out that you can
see who’s been swimming without shorts.”
Stick to it. Be
reliable in speed, quality, and outcome of your efforts. Say what you’ll do and
do what you say.
King Canute is said to have demonstrated to his fawning courtiers that even he
could not control the tides.
Heed the maxim, “This, too, will pass.” No trend
lasts forever. Stay lean. Minimize debt to reduce the risk of going broke.
Much of our limits are due to hypnosis. Clear
your mind. “When the student is ready, the master will appear, and when the
master is ready, the student will appear,” Gruhn quotes. Readiness is key.
Gruhn urges you to
stand out: “They laughed at me because I was different. I laughed at them
because they were all the same.” He advises his readers to accept advice only
from those who have truly succeeded.
Your Management Style: Hard or Soft?
Perhaps a woman will usually be more comfortable
with being relatively non-confrontational, although if you are naturally tough,
you can go with that style. However, a softer approach has its strengths and is
less wearing on its practitioner and its recipients.
Gruhn writes, “…effective leadership hinges on
your ability to make people choose to follow you.” Else, you have to rely on
command, a subset of force. With orders, you get at best what is ordered,
neither more nor less.
Work: Be Effective! Be Efficient!
Effective is getting it done. Efficient is
getting it done economically. Ideally, you’d be efficiently effective. The
adage “haste makes waste” alerts us to the tension between speed and quality.
Dig for the Words You Need to Hear
People will give compliments freely. They rarely
give criticism, especially to those above them or those from whom they hope to
get favors. Dig for the diamonds of truth. Collect information and opinions,
but weigh opinions carefully, considering the motives of those who offer them.
Building a successful business will require
making connections that are not immediately apparent. “Think of making a deal
like having a dance. Someone is going to lead and the other is going to follow,
and you better make sure that it is you who leads and be very careful not to
step on anyone's toes when you do it. The reputation of the bad dancer usually
spreads quickly, and you might find yourself standing in the corner alone with
nobody to dance with."
Sinatra Sang, “Luck, Be a Lady”
Luck plays a role in success, sometimes a big
role. But to become you’ve got to be playing in the game, “you’ve got to be in
it to win it,” as the New York State Lottery slogan goes. An unknown source
wrote, “The harder I work, the luckier I become.”
Prospered, Give Appropriately
Once you’ve got enough, be generous! Avoid the
takers, embrace the makers, doers, earners and sharers. As for your own friends
and loved ones, empower growth, don’t enable dependency.
“The paradox is that we work towards having the
good life, but then we get too busy to enjoy it,” Gruhn warns. You have to work
out the right balance for yourself.
“Life is not all about business. It’s not all about work and it’s not all
about money.” Though money is nice,
“achievement is its own reward.” Seek to be proud of the person you see in the
Questions: What business have you considered
running? What have you done to get started? Please join in the conversation.
Douglas Winslow Cooper,
Ph.D., is a former Harvard science professor. He still publishes, and he helps
others write and publish their books via his http://WriteYourBookWithMe.com. His life's central
theme has been his half-century romance with his wife, Tina Su Cooper, quadriplegic for over a decade due
to multiple sclerosis, now receiving 24/7 nursing care at home, care discussed
at their website here.