the week in review

June 15-June 19, 2020 


a look back at this week’s essays… 


If You’re Trying to Impress Me, Don’t Do This 

He had been strongly recommended for the job. And so I was expecting a sharp, take-charge person. Instead, when I took his call, I got this…

Click here to read more.



Tribal Dynamics in Business 

In The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell looked at several anthropological studies of primitive societies that showed an interesting pattern…. Contemporary research shows that a similar connection exists in the modern workplace.

Click here to read more.



Are You “Privileged”? Yes? No? So What? 

“Privilege” is a hot topic today – around the dining room table as well as in the mainstream media. One thing that I’ve noticed is that the people that have the strongest feelings about it seem to have the most trouble defining it.

Click here to read more.



quick quiz 


  1. How much do you remember about this week’s “Words to the Wise”? Use each of these words in a sentence: 


*  feign (6/15/20)

*  proxemics (6/17/20)

*  deference (6/19/20)


  1. Fill in the blanks in this week’s quotations: 


* “Don’t expect others to listen to _____ unless _____ is interesting to others.” – Michael Masterson (6/15/20)


* “The person who knows HOW will always _____. The person who knows WHY will always _____.” – Alanis Morissette (6/17/20)


* “Tradition has it that whenever a group of people has tasted the lovely fruits of wealth, security, and prestige, it begins to find it more comfortable to believe in the obvious lie and accept that it alone is entitled to _____” – Steven Biko (6/19/20)


  1. Are these statements True or False? 


*  Tug of War was an Olympic sport from 1900 to 1920. (6/15/20)


*  A Venn diagram uses arrows to visually represent the relationships between things or concepts. (6/17/20)


*  Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. (6/19/20)



recommended links from this week’s blog 


* Click here to read the June issue of AWAI’s Barefoot Writer.


* “Homeless guy spits some truth”



* Two interesting videos about Venn diagrams – one on how they work … and one on how to use a Venn diagram to choose your career.


* “How Morals Influence If You’re Liberal or Conservative” Here


* BalletX – “100 Days” by Calii Quann Here


* “Words Used by Nabokov Quiz”  Here


* “Befriending Her Shooter” – a moving story. Here





Your Question: 

I have always had an interest in starting my own business and have dabbled here and there, but not with much success. Only thing I seemed to be successful at was spinning my wheels.

Aside from succumbing to the “shinny object/oh that looks cool” syndrome, I have discovered what the true momentum-draining behavior is. I  call it “Control Freak Syndrome.” This is when instead of outsourcing/delegating activities, you waste time trying to learn how to do everything yourself.

However, even if you recognize the problem, there is still a conflict for the bootstrap start-up, and that is money. How do you delegate if you can’t afford to pay someone else to do it?

– A.M.


My Answer: 

 I’ve written about this problem and solutions to it so often that I hesitate to talk about it again. My impulse is to direct you to any one of dozens of essays I’ve written on the subject. Or, better yet, to recommend that you read Ready, Fire, Aim, an entire book that I wrote on the subject.

But here is the short answer to your question…

It’s not about being a control freak. I am sure it feels that way, but the real problem is ignorance. You don’t know how to get the cash flow going. You aren’t really sure how to initiate a marketing program that can start bringing in actual customers that have opened their wallets to you.

You think you should know because you have read volumes about product creation, marketing, and sales. But your subconscious keeps whispering: “You have no idea.”

And that scares you.

Many pundits call this the fear of failure. I don’t think that’s right. I think it’s the fear of going forward blindly. It’s a perfectly rational fear. I have it myself every time I try to start a new business. I know that the most important piece of knowledge I need to be successful in that business is invisible to me. I call that knowledge inside knowledge. The knowledge you’ve been acquiring is outside knowledge – even if you are getting it by reading the recommendations of experts.

The only sure way to acquire inside knowledge is through experience. But since you don’t yet have the specific experience you need, you keep learning new things. And you keep acquiring new skills. Anything but taking the terrifying step of making that first sale.

You could gain the inside knowledge you need by getting a job in the marketing department of a successful business that is already doing what you intend to do and spending a year or two learning exactly how they do it.

If you don’t have the time or patience for that, you can follow these three steps:

  1. The first step in overcoming the syndrome you suffer from is to recognize that you have it. You’ve done that. Congratulations.
  2. The second step is to understand that there is only one priority for the Stage One entrepreneur: making that first sale. You must spend at least 80% of your time working on making this happen. And by 80%, I mean 50 hours a week. (It is nearly impossible to launch a new business unless you are prepared to spend 60 to 80 hours a week on it.) And that means ignoring 80% of the “work” you are doing now.
  3. The third step is making that first sale. If you follow Step 2 for a month or so, you will discover that the fear you now have will be gone, along with the compulsion you have to master and control all the other aspects of business that are currently absorbing your interest.

You will actually be eager to make that sale. And that means you are ready. Ready. Fire. Aim. Make that first sale. Experience the high of making a sale. Become addicted to it. Once you have cash coming in the door, you can figure out all the other things. There will be plenty of time to “aim “your business later.


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For a look back at the stock market, click here