I recently gave a talk to a group of business people, reflecting on recent frustrations and thought wouldn’t it be great if people just got to the point and cut the crap.

I recently gave a talk to a group of business people, reflecting on recent frustrations and thought wouldn’t it be great if people just got to the point and cut the crap. So that’s what I spoke about.

I called the talk #cutthecrap and it was well received. The theme was no-nonsense advice about what it takes to be successful. I’ve registered the Twitter handle @cutthecrap and anyone can follow it and leave advice and wisdom. The best will be retweeted.

The talk was broken down into a series of hashtags so people could share it with their followers. This is an abbreviated version.

What’s the difference between a businessperson and an entrepreneur? Entrepreneurs have greater powers of #observation, they see things that trigger thoughts that lead onto great ideas. They also have a greater power of #empathy. They can put themselves into their customers’ shoes and do not just rely on market research or customer surveys to back up their gut felling. Lastly they ‘believe it before they see it’, whereas businesspeople need to #seeittobelieveit.

#dotheobvious Life really is about doing the obvious before it becomes obvious to everyone else. By the time it does become obvious to everyone else it’s too late because some people have done it and the other guys haven’t.

#pivot When things aren’t going well and your customers have moved on, you need to pivot and change direction.

When companies don’t pivot, they start to blame everyone else for their own problems, they simply don’t change direction. Business doesn’t stand still, pivot and move on.

#pickabigfight If you’re launching a new venture, think big and pick a big fight. Don’t restrict your ambition.

#vestedinterests Sony should have invented the iPod. It manufactured and owned the Walkman brand and music content. I suspect when someone suggested it, different divisions didn’t see the big picture and came up with reasons why they shouldn’t do it. It took outsiders like Apple and Amazon to show the incumbents what to do.

Vested interests often prevent businesses from doing the right thing.

#swimmingnaked Warren Buffett said “it’s only when the tide goes out that you can see who was swimming naked”. Any idiot can take money in good times. Since the recession we’ve all seen who was swimming naked.

#whatwhyhow Anyone visiting a website should be able to answer these simple questions. What do you do, why should I care and how do I do business with you? Think about it. How many times have you visited a website and thought, what do you do? So what, why should I care? How do I do business with you? Look at your own website now.

#donttrusteveryexpert Just because someone calls themselves an expert doesn’t mean they know what they are talking about. Experts designed all the poor things that you’ve ever seen. Don’t be embarrassed to ask experts stupid, obvious questions.

I hope you get the idea, so #encourage everyone in your company to get to the point and #cutthecrap.

  • Ajaz Ahmed Founder, Freeserve