Acquired Wisdom

Forty-five Years of Trying to Get it Right

Outwitting the Devil

I always considered the forces of good and evil manifested in Judeo-Christian religions as being a titanic struggle for human souls between God and the opposition, the Devil. Depending on which had the most significant influence on your life will determine whether you would be rewarded after death by ascending to enjoy everlasting peace and […]


Two Keys to Success

Entrepreneurial personality types are best at creating a business that becomes a cash cow (see The Entrepreneur, The Consultant, and the Technician). However, being self-reliant, motivated with a white-hot passion, although helpful, is not crucial to success. To build a successful startup, you must think like a scientist, not a dreamer. Every successful enterprise starts […]


The Entrepreneur, the Consultant, and the Technician

So you decided to strike out on your own. You are in good company. The disruption to most aspects of life caused by the pandemic has dramatically affected people’s choices on how they choose to make a living. During the pandemic, the self-employed suffered more than those employed by others. As the economy returned to […]


The Joy of Being Wrong

I borrowed the title from Chapter three of a fascinating book written by Adam Grant called Think Again. The title “The Joy of Being Wrong” seems counter-intuitive; however, the book prompted me to think again about the value of being wrong. When we are growing up, we have an aversion to being wrong and particularly […]


Why Entrepreneurs Fail at Relationships

A wise old friend once asked me, “Joe, do you know why divorce is expensive?” I probably muttered something about lawyers, settlement, alimony, child support.” He said no – no, divorces are expensive because they’re worth it.” Undoubtedly, marriage breakups are never good for the pocketbook – I should know, I have been through three […]


There be a Dinosaur

Many years ago, at the start of my professional career, I had the opportunity to be the Secretary-Manager of the Stockgrowers Association. The Stockgrowers was a representative organization representing about 8,500 members –  predominately ranchers, cattle breeders, and feedlot operators – in Saskatchewan. The organization based its views and attitudes on self-reliance, free enterprise, and […]


It’s Not About You

I just finished a book by an award-winning financial journalist and anthropology Ph.D., Gillian Tett, called Anthro-Vision. In the book, Tett presents a radical strategy for success, understanding behavior by studying consumers, markets, and organizations through an anthropological lens. Anthropology is studying human nature, getting into other people’s minds to understand different cultures, and appraising […]


Never Eat Alone

Never Eat Alone is the title of a book written by Keith Ferrazzi. In it, he lays out specific steps and the mindset to reach out to thousands of friends, colleagues, and associates he has helped and who have helped him. Ferrazzi maintains that what separates successful people from others is how they use the […]


What is Corporate Culture

When I Googled “what is corporate culture,”the first response was, “Corporate culture refers to the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact and handle outside business transactions. Often, corporate culture is implied, not expressly defined, and develops organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people the company hires.” […]


The 10/20/30 Rule in Making Presentations

Over the years, I have made dozens and dozens of presentations to raise money; sell a product or service; or an idea. Investors and business managers listen to dozens of entrepreneurs and salespersons pitching their company or product. Most of these pitches are crap: sixty slides about a “patent-pending,” “first-mover advantage,” “superior features and benefits,” […]