8 Entrepreneurial Words to Live By

By Travis Lee

You may be familiar with George Carlin’s bit on the 7 words you can’t say on television.  It’s a dirty, but classic bit that just about every comedian or aspiring comedian can recite, or, at the very least get close.  In the entrepreneurial world we have something similar.  Words that we should live by, words that every entrepreneur should know, recite daily and work towards.  I have eight instead of seven, and we’ll go over those here over the next few marketing tip.

Self Help

You have to be into information gathering.  Ask questions, read books, listen to helpful CD’s.  The fact that you read these weekly tips, and likely others like it, tells me you’re already on your way in this regard.  Resourcefulness goes hand in hand with self-help.  This includes time, people and skills.


From Dale Carnegie:  “The man who, in his secret thoughts, sees himself superior to other men, is bound for wealth.”  Dale is probably more known for his touchy-feely, make you feel good quotes, but he was right on with this one.

You have to be a little cocky and be sure of yourself.  That’s not to say you need to walk around, puffing your chest out and slapping yourself on the back.  But you’ve have to be confident, because, after all, if you’re not confident in yourself, no one will be.


You need to be tough on yourself, as well as others.  Hold yourself to a higher standard, and lead by example.  If you screw up, own up, and make it right.  Do mistakes happen?  Of course they do and they rarely cripple a business.  But repeated mistakes of the same kind will.  A book worth checking out on this topic is Broken Windows, Broken Business.  The chapter on obsessive and compulsive business owners is especially worth checking out.


The biggest thing to understand about speed, and getting things done quickly, is it always creates chaos.  Success happens in a dirty kitchen.  You need to be willing to have a mess, and have someone there to pick up the pieces.

At first the person cleaning up can be you.  But as you move along and get things done even faster, you’ll likely need someone else there to clean up.  After all, you can’t create if you’re cleaning.  Many people can’t handle the chaos and the mess it creates.  But if you learn to deal with it, and use it to your advantage, you’ll find you create opportunities seemingly at will.

You want to be working on projects, campaigns, etc. simultaneously, not sequentially.  Don’t sit around and wait for project A to finish before you start project B.  It’s a tough habit to break, as we’ve been taught our whole life to do things in order.


To steal a line, “they call it work for a reason.”  People are often amazed at the rich, and wonder how they got there.  Almost all of them work their butts off to get there.  It’s the work you don’t see, the behind the scenes stuff, that sets up the payoff.  Most people would fall over exhausted if they tried to keep up with Donald Trump for a week.

The best ‘work’ you can is that in which you lose track of time because you enjoy what you’re doing so much.  The hardest part of this is working without interruptions.  I’m as guilty about this as anybody.  When it’s time to get down to brass tacks, turn off the cell phone, close the email, unhook the phone and get to work.  It’s amazing how much I can actually get done when I follow my own advice on this.

Try working in blocks of time.  At first it will be hard, but get in a routine. Start with a timer if you must.  Set it for 30, 40 or 60 minutes and work constantly until the alarm sounds.  Take a 5-15 minute break, then start again.  Do this throughout your day and you’ll start seeing a huge difference in the amount of work you can get done.  Incidentally, you’ll also start losing track of time as we discussed above.

Change, Constantly

One of the biggest reasons we started the 3D Mail Inner Circle (besides helping entrepreneur’s like you!) was we wanted to constantly be creating.  Constantly be on the lookout for “what’s next” in direct mail, and in particular 3D Mail.  What’s working now won’t work forever.

We need to constantly be tinkering, changing, adding, subtracting, finding what works and using it in our businesses.  It would have been very easy to create a bank of 25 products and be done with it, sell what we had, and hope for the best.  But since we’re constantly coming up with new ideas for you, it forces us to answer the question our clients always have, “what’s next?”

So what’s next in your business?  What are you adding, and subtracting?  In sports terms, every professional team sport has a yearly draft, because they know what they have now won’t last.  Who or what are you drafting into your business?


This goes hand-in-hand with change.  We know we should change, and we should instigate our own change, but we also need to deal with sudden and unexpected change.  How to deal with it and control it is very important.  As an entrepreneur, you need to be generally optimistic about life and work.  But that doesn’t mean you sit back and ‘hope’ for the best.

For example, you’ll want to have two of everything in your business to make sure stuff still get’s done.  Two vendors, two suppliers, two outlets, two computers in case one dies, two printers/copiers/faxes, etc.  It’s not a matter of if something happens; it’s only a matter of time.  If you’ve put all your eggs in one basket, you’re sunk.

Intellectual Curiosity 

This is similar to self-help, but I’ll help you try and see the difference.  In self-help, you’re looking for things that specifically help you grow a skill or set of skills.  You may buy a book on sales from Zig, or a Kennedy book on marketing.  Intellectual curiosity is a general seeking of knowledge, no matter the subject matter.  When you get home from work, do you turn on Modern Marvels on the History Channel to see how they make that big plane fly?  Or do you watch Entertainment Tonight to see what big plane Brad and Angelina took to the movie premiere?

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