Keep calm and carry on

The startup of Hercules Trophy in Montpellier and some fantastic meetings in Brighton inspired me…again 🙂  Always happy to share some thoughts with you.

I read Playing The Enemy. It’s about Nelson Mandela’s conquest of the hearts of white South Africa. This one says it all: “Don’t address their brains. Address their hearts.”

Then I read the new Paul Coelho. Result: I’m following this guy on Twitter now. I was already impressed by his columns in Happinez, but now I’ve become a fan. This guy combines excellent storytelling with great insights into what it is to be a human being. The Zahir is next.

In Brighton I stumbled on some good advice for hard times. The slogan “Keep Calm an Carry On” was one of the three posters produced by the British Government on the eve of war 1939. The others were “Freedom in Peril” and “Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution Will Bring us Victory”. Because the German invasion never took place, they never saw the light of day. Stuart Manley and his wife discovered some remaining posters in a box of old books and now they sold tens of thousands gadgets.

I bought a pocket edition of a book with inspirational quotes for hard times. Enjoy and pass on the good cheer!

Just for the fun of it:

  • A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it (Bob Hope)
  • What we anticipate seldom occurs; what we least expect generally happens (Benjamin Disraeli)
  • Expenditures rise to meet income (Parkinson’s Second Law)
  • Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm (Winston Churchill)
  • Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream; Discover. (Mark Twain)

In the meanwhile I met many customers and friends. As always, there are only two categories:

  • complaining on how stuck they are, it’s somebody else’s fault, but not daring to do anything about it (because it requires courage)
  • knowing things are changing at rapid pace and trying to rediscover themselves: if you believe in victory, victory will believe in you!!!

Stay away from the easy life guys. Talent is a universal gift, but to use it you need courage! Don’t be a afraid to be the first.

And then I went to this “sportsnetworkingnightthing”. Jan brought some suits together and invited some sportsleaders for a debate. A perfect illustration of the two categories. Totally agree with the words of the only leader in the panel, Patrick Lefevere: “If they bother you, just strangle them!” It was amazing to hear how so called topleaders in Belgian football defended they weren’t the ones to blaim, but that they needed help from the outside world?!?!? And I don’t even mention the moderator who’s part of the problem…Went home dreaming about pillories.

A few days ago, I spend the afternoon listening to business plans of Vlerick teams. Wasn’t impressed at all and couldn’t agree more with some remarks of the professors:

  • The world is like A LOT bigger than Flanders
  • Focus on the people behind the company
  • Be obsessed by the customer
  • Know your numbers by heart
  • WORK!!!!!!!!

Saw this great slide about what typically makes people entrepreneurs. You need an idea (of course), and then you need a TRIGGERING EVENT. I think you need more then one and then one who makes it really clear you need to change. I had mine last year.

Need to read “Made to stick” one of these days. Want to close with this one: “Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up and knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up and knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle; when the sun comes up, you better start running. –An African proverb”

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