Quirky Business Advice from Guy Kawasaki
Best known for his contributions to Apple’s 1984 “evangelistic” marketing of the Macintosh, the co-founder of Alltop.com and popular business author/blogger Guy Kawasaki is frequently turned to for unexpected but profound business advice. When it comes to originality in his memorable tweets or his best-selling books, Kawasaki rarely disappoints.
Here are few of the quirkiest (but wisest) bits of business wisdom from Guy:
“Way too much money is worse than too little.”
Say what? That’s right, he said it. And with good reason. You see, when you have a small amount of money, you are less likely to waste it on things like overpaid executives, fancy offices, and secretaries who aren’t actually necessary. You choose your spending wisely on what really matters, you choose people who are passionate enough about what you are doing to work for reasonable rates, and you are as intimately involved in your business as you can be, because you don’t want to waste your money on anything you can do yourself and have time to do yourself.
“Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.”
The bottom line is that we are all going to get impatient now and then. With a project. An invoice. A person. But it’s what we do with that internal instinct of impatience that will impact our business. Work off your steam out of the office, in a gym, through yoga, in a hot tub, through your religion — just find a way to handle yourself, so that you don’t ever come across as lashing out or losing it. Your reputation speaks volumes about you, so work at it! It’s worth it.
Wow. Guy brought this up at a graduation speech, but we think it’s worth repeating — and it’s a common thread in his business advice. In fact, when he was asked on a different day what business schools should be teaching more of, this was his answer: “They should teach students how to communicate in five-sentence emails, and with 10-slide PowerPoint presentations. If they just taught every student that, American business would be much better off.” Okay, Guy. Less is truly more. Enough said.
“Deliver bad news early.”
We have a tendency to save bad news for the last possible minute. (Myself included.) Late on the deadline? Let them know sooner, not the night before. Project go horribly awry? Let the investors and the team know immediately, so they don’t hear it from someone else. Delivering bad news early means you get to be the one who shares it, so you control what is communicated. It also builds people’s trust in you. If they are confident that they’ll hear from you if something goes wrong, they’ll be able to sit back and relax, knowing things are in good hands.
Has Guy said anything else you think deserves repeating? Any other business gurus you want to hear from? Tell us in the comments below.
Tamara Rice is one of several freelance writers on the oDesk Blog team. She joined the oDesk marketplace in 2009, after more than six years on staff at an award-winning national magazine.View Tamara Rice’s other articles