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05 DECEMBER 2016
The single best piece of business advice you’ll ever get

by Mike Stopforth: Entrepreneur and investor. Sometimes writer and speaker. Exploring how we lead, and how we should lead, in an increasingly complex world.

I posed the question of what’s the single best piece of business advice you’d ever received to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn recently. There were some great answers, so I’ve collated and listed here. Sorry if I didn’t manage to capture them all. Enjoy!

“Don’t charge less than your your time is worth.” – Sheena Kretzmer

“When someone shows themself to you, believe them the first time!” – Helen Nicholson

“Everyone’s replaceable.” – Cindy Visser

“Pick the one thing in the world that you can be the best at. Focus on doing that.” – Warren Moss

“Surround yourself with people smarter than you.” – Lebo Sekere

“It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.” – Candice Burin

“Business is a contact sport. Translation: it’s about relationships.” – Rosella Dingle

“Integrity is everything.” – Annie Brookstone

“Start as you intend to finish” – Juliet Hazell

“Don’t die.” – Aaron Marshall

“It’s worth what someone will pay for it.” – Jo Eyre

“Decide what you’re not going to do.” – Templar Wales

“Don’t just lead people, take them on the journey with you.” – Amanda Sevasti Alves

“Get everything in writing.” – Sue Rutherford

“Foster the relationship first.” – Lisa Cohn

“Just start.” – Leisl Algeo

“The reason you don’t like it is because you’re not the target market.” – MJ Khan

“Focus on what you are doing, not what your competitors are doing.” – Justin Sampson

“Choose the right partner!” – Gina Pocock

“The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you succeed.” – Amy Johnstone

“Don’t make assumptions, be obsessively curious! – Brad Shorkend

“Start with what you have.” – Lauren Winchester

“Everything sells eventually.” – Stuart Goodwin

“Never burn your bridges.” – Margaret Allison, Karen Heydenrych

“Know what business to say ‘No’ to.” – Prudence Spratt

“Business would be much easier if it wasn’t for staff and customers.” – Pierre Cassuto

“Be so good they can’t ignore you.” – Heidi Custers

“Measure twice, cut once.” – Thomas Otter

“Be careful of the heads you stand on on the way up because they’re attached to the ass you’ll be kissing on the way down.” – Goodwill Moyo, Tyrone Selmon, Lee-Ann Shepherd

“Customers buy from people, not companies.” – Jonathan Miller

“Trust your gut.” – Tami White

“Write a contract assuming you will end in acrimony … then put it in a drawer and hope you never have to use. Contracts are for the breakdown of a relationship not the managing of one.” – Raymond de Villiers

“Do what you love. We all choose to work and where we work so you might as well enjoy it.” – Heike Meyburgh

“Know what you don’t know.” – Nick French

“Bite off more than you can chew, then chew it.” – Nick French

“Don’t have an open door policy with closed ears.” – Candice Holgate

“Each word matters, pay attention to them in everything you do, from emails and public talks, to conversations.” – Erik Hersman

“Simplify to amplify.” – Charlene Meltz

“Everything is a sale.” – Ulrico Grech-Cumbo

“Only we can make we.” – Motheo Moleko

“Your competitors margin is an opportunity.” – Steve De La Cour

“If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.” – Lauren Hamilton

“Remember to have a sense of humour about these things.” – Fred Roed (via Louis Janse van Rensburg)

“If you are the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” – Conway Buckle, Rob Fenner

“Never come to a meeting with just problems. Always have at least two of your own solutions to spark a positive conversation / outcome.” – Cliff Drysdale

“Your people are your business. Look after them.” – Cherise Rogers

“Do you really want to work with these people?” – Grant Fleming

“Stop talking.” – Fred Baumhardt

“When you listen, don’t formulate a response. Formulate the response when the person is silent.” – Jonathan Hoch

“If you can’t be early at least be on time, but never be late, because you know what they say about the early bird.” – Gerhard de Wet

“Find out how your client’s boss is measuring your client, then work with your client to meet it.” – Giuliana Schoeman

“Always be curious.” – Allen Shardelow

“Great leaders serve their team – it is not the other way round.” – Mark Dodds

“Remove barriers for your team to allow for their own success. You will build unwavering trust and credibility as a result.” – Allan Hoffmann

“Breathe.” – Marcia Garcia Eugenio

“Hire for aptitude and get out of the way.” – Ross Saunders

“Be yourself.” – Derek Abdinor

“The deal is not done till the money is in the bank!” – Allen McClinton

“Receiving advice is more important than giving advice. Always.” – John Noakes

“Don’t take things to personally.” – Herman Degener

“Perfect is the enemy of done.” – Dasia Lutova

“It’s not a great business if you give it away.” – Jonathan Beare (via Stephan Pretorius)

“You can’t get better, if you don’t get going.” – Justin Sanan

“Hire for attitude first.” – Jessica Matthysen

“Everything takes twice as long and costs three times as much.” – Chris Wishlade

“Listen carefully and ask your client what is their biggest challenge?” Alan Morrissey

“Working SMART is knowing when to work HARD.” – Xolani Mdoda

“When you have to choose between malice and ignorance, always choose ignorance. People are too busy doing their jobs to mess up yours; always assume the best intentions.” – Maggie Fox

“You can never learn from what you don’t do, so do it and learn!” – Thato Nhlapo

Cerebra is an integrated strategic communication agency that builds, engages and activates communities around brands. Visit our InfoCentre or website.

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