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Think Big, Act Small

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One of the books on my nightstand right now is Think Big, Act Small: How America's Best Performing Companies Keep the Start-up Spirit Alive by Jason Jennings.

Jason and his team always pull wonderful insights from their research on great companies that make me smarter about business, but Think Big, Act Small resonates with me especially well.

I used to be a Fortune 500 guy, but I run a small business now -- and I'm feeling the rush that only entrepreneurship can give you. On one hand, I've never had more joy in my life. On the other, it's challenging and a little scary. No 18 months severance if I quit! No big, cushy pension if I just hang out for a while. I've got to make it happen, or else.

I know you're busy, so here are just two of my favorites from the chapter 8 of Think Big, Act Small, which features the company PETCO.

1. Always Be Happy but Never Be Satisfied (from p. 144)
Jason writes that PETCO Chairman Brian Devine's "indomitable will to constantly grow, innovate, move forward, and have fun provides everyone who works for PETCO with a sense that tomorrow will be even more filled with fun, achievement, and prosperity than the present." What a great way to think about always trying to get better! Always be happy but never be satisfied.

2. Make Honesty the Only Policy (from p. 138)
This is a great example of the capacity people have for trusting us when we have the courage to be open, honest, and vulnerable. In the words Brian Devine: "A week before we were scheduled to send [a vendor] $125,000, I called and told them we wouldn't be able to pay them next week as planned and that we needed another $175,000 worth of product. The guy put the phone down, called the CEO on a speakerphone and explained what was happening and wanted to know what to do. I actually heard him say, 'Send him what he needs. If he was going to stiff us he wouldn't call. Ship it to them."

Last updated: Jul 13, 2005

KEITH FERRAZZI

Keith Ferrazzi is the author of two NY Times best-selling books, Never Eat Alone and Who’s Got Your Back, and founder and CEO of consulting firm Ferrazzi Greenlight.




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