Axioms for Business and Life

Reading Hermanisms: Axioms for Business and Life I noticed that the author broke one of his cardinal rules. John Herman, the author of Hermanisms, broke hermanism #39 Ego vs Income. Too much ego, like naming some common sense advice after yourself, can cost you sales revenue, because you come off as a schmuck. The book Hermanisms is a collection of 77 axioms on business, management, and entrepreneurship. Each axiom is followed by a page or two explaining the logic and experience from which the author learned the axiom. Many of the axioms, by themselves, can be translated to common sense, which John Herman just appropriated to himself. We have all heard advice and words of encouragement like “failure isn’t fatal”, “If you fall down, get back up”, or “If it were easy, everybody would be doing it.”

Out of the book, here are some of my favorite axioms from the book.

  • Find a way to cut costs without cutting corners.
  • Costs of goods sold is the most commonly misunderstood concept in business failures.
  • Not knowing your real margins can kill you.
  • Know math or no money.
  • Knowing how hard it is to make money makes it easier to make money.
  • The truth is, even if you have nothing, you still have something to lose.
  • What you learn may be worth more than what you make.
  • If you define success as giving it your best effort, you can be successful every day.
  • Experience always costs you something, and it is always worth the cost.
  • Respecting employees costs zero dollars and pays hug returns.
  • Don’t expect to be able to run a marathon if you work out by only walking a block.
  • Expecting too much from others is too much for you to expect.
  • Know your own limits or your success will be limited.
  • Facing reality is sobering. Ignoring reality is like being drunk.
  • What did you do today to move the ball down the field?
  • Moving forward is better than moving sideways.
  • Are you making money or wasting time?
  • Plan for success, not failure.
  • Waiting for others to do it your way takes forever.

Here are some quotes from the book.

  • Gambling is about money management – and emotional management. Play Twenty-One in any casino and you will soon understand this.
  • Even if you have a winning hand, you can lose.
  • Just getting to work can be work.
  • Most entrepreneurs tend to think they don’t need directions.
  • People do one of two things when faced with a choice. They either do something to seek pleasure or do nothing to avoid pain.
  • My philosophy has always been to get my last customer to help me find my next customer.
  • If you want to succeed, you must understand that all of the world does not work at the same speed as you.
  • Don’t confuse activity with progress.
  • Don’t miss out on a chance to succeed just because you think it’s unlikely to happen.
  • But business doesn’t always reward activity; it rewards results.

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