How I came about the book
A friend of mine mentioned it on Facebook and I decided to look it up online. Luckily, I found a free PDF version and I downloaded it.
I’m honestly not a fan of business books. I just assume most of them would be boring and too technical with details for my liking, so I didn’t really know what to expect.
So it’s pretty much a book for serious minded individuals who want to do well in the business world.
The lessons here are mostly about, but not limited to, business principles. There are one or more lessons that can be applied to personal development as well.
Entrepreneurship is neither a science or an art, it is a practice.
– Not everyone who starts a new venture is an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur doesn’t even have to be a business owner.
– An Entrepreneur has to have special characteristics over being new or small.
– People who need certainty are unlikely to make good entrepreneurs.
– Entrepreneurship is more of behavior rather than personality trait.
– Entrepreneurship is about doing something different rather than doing what has been done better.
– Entrepreneurs see change as healthy and the norm. They search for it, respond to it and exploit it as an opportunity.
– Entrepreneurship is comparatively low risk than standard businesses. It is risky in theory because only few of the so-called entrepreneurs actually know what they are doing.
– Entrepreneurs who start with the idea that they’ll make it big and in a hurry, can be guaranteed failure.
– Successful entrepreneurs, whatever their individual motivation, try to create value and make a contribution.
– The right personality for entrepreneurship needs willingness, to learn, to work hard, to exercise self discipline, and to adapt and apply the right policies and practices.
– Innovation is the specific tool of the entrepreneur.
– Innovation can be defined as changing the yield of resources i.e. the value and satisfaction of resources, obtained by the consumer.
-There’s no such thing as a resource until man finds a use for something and endows it with economic value.
– Innovation is both conceptual and perceptual.
– Successful innovations begin with a careful analysis of opportunities.
– For an innovation to be successful, it has to be simple but focused. A successful innovation does not try to do too many things at once.
– Everything new runs into trouble and if it’s complicated, it can’t be repaired.
– Unless there’s an immediate application to an innovation, it only remains a brilliant idea. Don’t try to innovate for the future, innovate for the present.
– Innovation depends not only on talent, ingenuity and knowledge, it also requires diligence, persistence and commitment.
– Convergence of knowledge is a tool for innovation. It is only by pulling different kinds of knowledge together that innovation is possible.
– Successful innovators are not risk-focused, they are opportunity-focused.
– Successful innovations exploit change. Change is what always provides opportunity for the new and different.
– A good innovator need not always try to understand why things do not work as they should. He should rather ask, what would convert this incongruity into an opportunity?
On Unexpected Success
– Learn to take unexpected success seriously. If a new aspect of your business begins to work more than the mainstream, do your best to capitalize on it rather than suppress it.
– Unexpected success is often a limitation on the management’s vision, knowledge and understanding. In reality a product line can have uses that were not originally envisaged.
– Unexpected success is not just an opportunity for innovation, it demands innovation.
– The unexpected success is an opportunity but it makes demands that must be taken seriously. It demands seriousness and support that is equal to the size of the opportunity.
On Unexpected Failure
– Failures, unlike success, cannot be rejected and rarely go unnoticed. But they are seldom seen as symptoms of opportunity.
– One rule of failure is that the assumptions on which a product or service were based may no longer fit reality.
– The unexpected failure doesn’t demand more study or analysis, but it demands that you go out more, look around more, and listen more.
– Failure should always be considered as a symptom of innovative opportunity, and taken seriously as such.
On Market Research
– A research is often needed to convert a process from potential into reality.
– Need is a source of innovation just as necessity is the mother of invention.
– It is not enough for a need to be felt, it also must be understood. Without understanding a problem, we may never be able to find a lasting solution.
– It is possible to understand the need but have no knowledge to make a difference.
– Any innovative solution has to fit the values of the intended consumers.
– Often old businesses cling to serving the old market the old way, while paying little attention to the new challenge.
– People running a new venture need to spend time outside, in the market place, looking and listening.
On Diligence in Business
– The extraordinary innovator will be effective only if grounded in the master and discipline of the innovation.
– Innovative opportunities come and go as the breeze.
– Being alert to opportunity sets successful innovators apart.
– Bright ideas are the riskiest and least successful source of innovative opportunities. Bright ideas are vague and elusive.
– Innovations which are as the result of a flash of genius rather than hard, organised and purposeful work, cannot be replicated.
– Innovators improve with practice, but only if they practice the right method.
On Business Forecast
– Nothing so powerfully concentrates a manager’s mind on innovation as the knowledge that his present product or service will become obsolete in the foreseeable future.
– All existing products and services have limited life expectancy.
On Business Expectations and Problem-solving
– Problems have to be paid attention to and tackled, but if they are the only things being discussed, opportunities will die of neglect.
– To be successful one must learn to ask those who have succeeded, what they did to succeed.
– What works best in a going, established business, would kill an infant business. A new business shouldn’t be burdened by a compensation load it cannot yet carry.
– It is to be expected that for a long time the new endeavor will show neither profit nor growth, it only absorbs resources.
– A failure to achieve an objective after repeated tries should be viewed as an indication that the objective is wrong or at least defined wrongly.
It is irrational to consider failure a good reason to keep trying again and again
– According to Mathematicians, the probability of success diminishes with each successive try.
On Starting Up
– An innovation is expected to start small but end big.
– Unless a new venture develops into a new business, it will not survive no matter how brilliant its entrepreneurial idea is.
– When a new venture succeeds, more often than not, it’s in a market other than the one it was originally meant to serve.
– Anything genuinely new creates markets that nobody before even imagined.
– A new venture should be willing to experiment.
– A new business must start with the assumption that its product/service may find customers in markets no one thought of.
On Business Financing
– The more successful a new venture is becoming, the more dangerous its lack of financial foresight.
– Profit is a wrong focus for the new venture, and should come rather last, than first.
– Growth in a new venture demands adding financial resources rather than taking out of it.
– If the growing venture shows an unusual “profit” it is a fiction, a bookkeeping attempt to balance the accounts.
– The healthier a new venture and the faster it grows, the more financial feeding it requires.
– A growing venture should know 12 months ahead of time how much cash it will need, when and for what purposes.
– Raising cash in a hurry and in a crisis is never easy and always prohibitively expensive.
– The new venture is almost always under cash pressure, when the opportunities are greatest.
– As a venture grows, private sources of funds (savings, family) become inadequate. Hence capital planning is a survival necessity.
– Financial foresight does not require a great deal of time, but does require a great deal of thought.
On Management Strategies
– It is important to build a top management team before the venture reaches the point where it must have one.
– Management of finance and Management of people (customers, employees) are by far the two most important areas a venture’s management team should be concerned with.
– It is the management’s responsibility to set goals and objectives for specific areas and assign to each member taking primary responsibility for it.
– A growing venture has need for independent, objective outside advice. Sometimes someone who is not a part of the problem can offer better insights to its solution.
– Only when people with performance capacity and the right tools have been assigned to a project, do we have a plan. Until then al we have are good intentions.
– A new venture must prepare itself for the demands and responsibility its own success will make of it.
– An innovator has to run even harder once it has attained a leadership position or else it only creates a market for its contributors.
Building a managerial team is like preventive medicine.
On Creative Imitation
– Creative imitation describes a strategy that waits until someone else has established something new, then goes on to make it better.
– Creative imitation does not exploit the failure of the pioneers, but on the contrary, their success.
– The creative imitator does not invent a product or service, he perfects it by supplying something that is lacking.
– The creative imitator looks at products or services from the viewpoint of the customer.
– It focuses on the market rather than the product. It satisfies a demand that already exists rather than creating one.
On Avoidable Business Pitfalls
– Beware of man’s typical pride of doing things the hard way.
– Quality is not defined by how hard/how much it costs to make a product.
– Quality in a product is not what the supplier puts in, but what the customer gets out and is willing to pay for it.
– It’s not only criminals who are set in their habits, most businesses are.
– Don’t just explain away failure. Learn to find out why something didn’t work and what you can/should do about it.
– Beware of the arrogance that something new cannot be good unless they themselves thought of it first.
– Beware of Creaming, an attempt to get paid for past contributions.
On Customer Satisfaction and Making Profit
– Businesses are not paid to reform customers, they are paid to satisfy customers.
– A product or service is defined by the customer, not by the producer.
– The best way to get higher profit margins is through lower costs.
– In trying to satisfy everybody you eventually satisfy nobody.
– It is not good enough to offer the same product or the same service at a lower cost. There has to be something that distinguishes it from what already exists.
– It’s better to price what the customer buys than what the manufacturer sells.
– Whatever customers buy has to fit their realities or it’s of no use to them
There are no irrational customers, there are only lazy manufacturers.
On Knowledge Acquisition
– An entrepreneur needs to take responsibility for his/her own continuous learning and relearning.
– An entrepreneur challenges habits and assumptions of schooling.
– The fact is that what individuals learn becomes obsolete a few years after and needs to be replaced or at least refurbished- by new learning, skills and knowledge.
It was a very long read. It took every ounce of determination to complete the book.
Who should read this book?
Every “Wannabe” Entrepreneur that needs an advantage in the business world.
For Start ups, Young business owners and those in managerial positions.
I hope you enjoyed this review.
What other business book(s) have you read? Which do you recommend?
So yours truly is half-way done with this housejob thing. Yay!
I recently completed my second posting: INTERNAL MEDICINE.
Let’s just say the posting was more of presentations and the likes, than anything else.
Internal medicine doctors like to brag about their “stuff”, unlike the surgeons who love “action” and just want to get a knife under your skin. To their credit, the internists seem to spend more bedside time with their patients.
The longest ward round of my life (about 5 hours) was during my internal medicine rotation and it was not funny.
I spent my entire posting in the Endocrinology unit where about 90% of our patients had diabetes.
Some Diabetic cases were really bad especially those complicated with Diabetic Foot Syndrome (DMFS) and we lost a number of them, sadly.
Still there were more successes than defeats and for that I’m thankful.
The importance of patient education and regular health checks cannot be overemphasized because without those complications, Diabetes is pretty manageable.
I’m especially thankful that God kept me through those 12 weeks of ward rounds, emergency room calls and outpatient clinic activities. I had some tough days as well as a few long nights.
I’m glad I was able to make friends with my colleagues, seniors, nurses and even a few patients. The Unit Consultants and Residents were also kind and helpful.
I’m especially thankful for my unit partner, Dr. M. He made my life easier in so many ways and he took the bulk of the work on days when the unit was really busy. He really deserves some accolades😂
I’ve since resumed a new posting (Obstetrics/Gynecology), and I’m gonna be seeing lots of preggos and cute newborns over the next couple of weeks.
Unfortunately, more than half of the hospital staff are currently on a National strike (that excludes doctors), so I’m yet to do some of the cool things I’ve heard about like taking deliveries or repairing episiotomies.
Tbh…can’t wait for the strike to be over (the holiday is enough). Learning is still important to me, abeg.
Here are some of the highlights of my Housejob experience:
1. Being called a Doctor
It does feel good to be officially addressed as a doctor. I know I feel entitled but who wouldn’t?
After the stress of medical school and MDCN licensing exam, I know I paid my dues so I deserve some accolades sorry, the title😉
So it’s kinda annoying when that random patient or patient’s relative refers to me as a nurse. Maka gini?
I know it’s not a crime to be called a nurse but I think it’s an identity theft, to answer to a title that is false 😉
On days when I have the strength, I sharply correct such erring individuals, while on other days I just roll my eyes and let it slide.
2. Call food struggle
You know how many Nigerians love awoof (free things)? Let’s just say that the doctors are no exception.
Although our call food is not exactly free, since a monthly deduction is made from our salaries, still it feels good to have ready-to-eat meals at work.
And don’t let it surprise you that we sometimes go for extra helpings and even lobby for call food on days when we are not on call…because doctors love food like that.
A couple of times, the taste of the food can be so disappointing (more like crappy), still we try to make the most use of it.
I’d rather go for my own home cooked meal than call food any day, but on days when I don’t have a choice, I’m thankful for call food.
3. Patients who L.A.M.A
To L.A.M.A is to Leave Against Medical Advice
This has be to one of my favorite scenarios as a house officer.
I know it sounds selfish but it simply means there’s one less patient to worry about.
Medical ethics emphasizes a patient’s power of autonomy, in other words, no doctor can force a patient to make any decision concerning his/her health.
As doctors we are trained to assess the benefit to risk ratio of our treatment plan, and only go ahead if the benefit outweighs the risk.
In a situation where patients (or their relatives), refuse a particular treatment due to financial incapacity, religious/cultural beliefs or preference for alternative care, they are allowed to leave against medical advice.
In one of my Consultant’s words, “The hospital is not a prison yard and we can’t force you to get treated.”
Occasionally, some patients who L.A.M.A eventually return in worse condition. It’s very tempting to send them away, but as doctors we have no choice but to treat them anyway.
4. ER Memoirs
The Emergency room is one of the toughest places for a doctor to be in, especially during call hours. Call hours usually last from 4 p.m. till 8 a.m. the next day.
The experience ranges from days of having a sleep-over (like no patient to disturb you all night) to days of little or no sleep.
One of the worst scenarios is to be told to prepare an unstable patient for an emergency surgery around 2 a.m., another scenario is having to monitor glucose levels, for a diabetic patient in Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar State (HHS) every hour.
In such scenarios you can’t help but philosophize:
“Tough times never last, but tough people do.” Robert Schuller.
Count yourself lucky if you are able to catch a wink before morning, because you’re mandated to be on your feet again, running errands till closing hours.
Still we don’t COMPLAIN, we give thanks.
5. Patients’ stories
If we look past the sick faces, investigation results, the diagnosis, the prognosis, and all other medical jargon, we realize that there is more to our patients than meets the eye.
That patient who just had a cholecystectomy is someone’s husband, father, brother, uncle, boss or mentor.
The lady who was just diagnosed with diabetes is someone’s daughter, neighbor, student or friend.
I’ve heard all sort of stories that break my heart and many times I wonder why God allows some people to pass through so much pain.
I once had a patient who was involved in a nearly fatal road traffic accident, in which she broke a leg, a few weeks to her wedding. Thankfully she survived the ordeal, but her life was never the same again.
Another patient, a father of three, struggling to make ends meet, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and had to be placed on regular hemodialysis. How the family could even afford the treatment remains a mystery to me.
Life seems to momentarily stand still when sickness comes knocking, but the truth is there’s so much going on behind the scenes.
A diagnosis is enough to change the course of a person’s life and only faith in God that can keep such a person going.
Miracles do happen. And I’ve seen a number of them.
I believe as doctors, we will show more empathy if we routinely put ourselves in our patients’ shoes.
So help us God.
– call food: the food served when a doctor is on call duty.
Like in previous months, I was burdened with finding an appropriate theme for May and weaving a blog post around it.
Just in case you didn’t know, writing is hardwork and blogging is even harder.
In this age of information overload, it’s not enough to just string a bunch of words together and throw them into the Internet in the name of a blog post.
Your content must not only be relevant to readers, but also creative enough to make you stand apart from the millions of other bloggers around the globe.
Deep within I know I don’t always meet both criteria.
In fact, judging by the huge disparity in my month by month blog stats, I rarely do.
It’s not every time I meet my readers’ expectations, and it’s not every blogpost that every follower can relate to.
Some blogposts are easier to write than others.
They develop minds of their own and on such rare occasions I just flow along with the inspiration.
I didn’t mean to rant…I guess I just want you to know how grateful I am that you take time to read this blog (whether as a first-timer or a returnee, whether regularly or not).
Blogging is a platform for me to share my thoughts and convictions authentically without the fear of embarrassment.
That is why I do my best to be sincere about the things I share. And it means a lot to me that someone will be interested in reading what I have to say.
Of what use is a writer with no readers? And of what use is a blogger without followers?
If I were to give a hug for every time someone visits my blog, a thousand hugs will not be sufficient.
Can I just take a few moments to gush about God’s love for me?
There are times I feel frustrated by the situations around me,
or become disappointed by my many plans that fail,
or I’m simply depressed about how I mess up again and again…
But in the last couple of days, God has reminded me in several ways that I’m loved by him.
And that’s what truly matters.
Not too long ago, I was going about minding my business when God whispered this thought into my heart:
“Dear Daughter, I have loved you with an everlasting love.”
That thought literally blew my mind.
Not that I ever doubted his love for me. But the thought was reassuring.
What really caught my attention was the word EVERLASTING.
I had to search the scriptures for this particular verse, and fish out different translations:
Jeremiah 31:3b GNB
“…I have always loved you, so I continue to show you my constant love.”
Jeremiah 31:3b AMP
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you.”
Jeremiah 31:3b NLT: I have loved you, (my daughter), with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.”
Jeremiah 31:3b MSG : I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love and more love.
And here are some reasons why I know God really, really, deeply loves me:
He is patient with me when I’m being irrational
He is kind to me even when I don’t deserve it
He forgives me when I sin
He instructs me when I need counsel
He protects me when I’m in danger
He chastises me when I err
He provides for me when I’m in need
He comforts me when I’m hurting
He strengthens me when I’m weak
He heals me when I’m ill
And the list goes on and on…
God’s love is amazing and unconditional.
The invitation is open, will you accept his love today?
Song on replay: You’re always there (Dr. Paul Eneche)
– The Purpose Driven Life (Rick Warren)
– What is your excuse? (John P. Foppe)
– Friends, Partners and Lovers (Kevin A. Thompson)
Meet Sophia, my new muse:
So buying a camera was one of my top goals for this year and I finally got one.
I wanted something handy, colorful (my initial choice was pink but didn’t get the one I liked) and not too pricey.
Looking forward to: My next leave (which is in about 6 weeks). Can’t wait to take some time off work and possibly visit another city. Lokoja haf tire me!
Struggling with: My Fitness goals. I’m not actually here to whine. But I’m really struggling in this area. I want to stay physically healthy and build up more stamina.
I was motivated to start early morning jogging a few weeks back.
Then one weekend, I went on a trip to the mountain top (with my flatmate) that left my feet sore for days…since then I lost the ginger. I hope to resume jogging soon or maybe try something different, dancing perhaps? 😉
Paying more attention to: my personal care…as in good hair,pedicure, manicure etc etc Simple DIY beauty tips will be of help.