Tag Archives: entrepreneur


decision making

Make small decisions faster!

Many creators and business people spend too much time on small things that don’t really matter much.

One example is the simple act of ordering food.

When you come to a new restaurant, do you study the menu for 20 minutes before ordering? Or can you order even a new type of food in a quick time?

Innovative people make small decisions faster (even in new environments)!

Make big decisions slower!

On the other hand, when it comes to making those big nasty decisions such as responding to a big customer’s unfavorable request or hiring a new person for a job where you REALLY need someone, many people actually make decisions too quickly.

If that’s you, make it your rule to sleep over the decision. Don’t rush into things. Most of the time we don’t have to (even if it feels like it).

Make big decisions slower, especially when you think you don’t have the time.

(c) Copyright 2013 Ben A. Ratje All Rights Reserved

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The Key to Success

Quote - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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When good enough is good enough

Good enough













Many creators are their own harshest critics.

They don’t get ideas out until they’re absolutely perfect.

Hence, they sometimes wait forever or are sometimes taken over by a competitor who is simply faster to market.

If you feel that you are this kind of “perfectionist” (and I myself have been for many years, but am getting better), here are three tips that have worked for me:


1. When you create something, do NOT edit/criticize yourself

This is a habit from school and it’s the habit creators have to free themselves from. Give yourself permission to do this with the knowledge that when you’re almost done, you may critic yourself as much as you like.

When you create something you want to get into a state a friend of mine calls “freeasy” (free + easy). That’s the ideal state to be in to create!


2. Get a super-critic on your team

This is something I learned while writing my first book Presentation Latte. Everyone who got the book early loved it. Except for one friend. He had a long list of critical comments to share with me. Funny thing was that we were just to meet for a casual lunch. Boy, I can’t forget that lunch.

Ever since that meeting, I call people like him super-critics.

And yes, I believe you should have one or maybe two super-critics on your team. They will often give you a different perspective and some great tips.

Only, keep in mind not to let their criticism stop you!


3. Good enough is good enough

If most people who you tested your creation on, like it…

And you changed some things based on the feedback of your super-critic…

Get your creation out!

You’ve done enough. Most people like it. Now it’s time for the market.

Microsoft didn’t bring out a perfect Windows from the start (many argue it’s still not perfect).

So enough testing already.  When you feel it’s good enough, it’s good enough.


© Copyright 2013 Ben A. Ratje All Rights Reserved

photo credit: mikecogh via photopin cc

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7 Innovation Myths

7. You cannot be innovative (biggest myth of all).

Truth: We were all born with the ability to be innovative. A Harvard research from the book The Innovator’s DNA discovered that innovation is 30% nature, yet 70% nurture.

6. Innovation happens through a wild and crazy and messy process. I’m structured and organized, so I cannot be innovative.

Truth: Innovation needs both: creativity (emotion/messiness) and a system (logic/structure). So it does make sense to start out messy, but innovations sure finish clean. You need both skills. And most people need to develop one of the two.

5. You need to be great at drawing to be innovative.

Truth: You need some drawing skill so you can create your ideas on paper. That’s true. But usually the drawing skill of a 3-year old will do. As long as you can draw a little bit and explain the rest with your words, you’re on the right track.

4. Only smart people can be innovative.

Truth: Not to put anyone down, but there are some very stupid, yet very rich and very creative/innovative entrepreneurs out there. So, no! Super-human intelligence not required.

3. It takes a lot of money to be innovative.

Truth: It takes a little money to be innovative. In a few rare cases, no money.

2. Focus groups are great for innovation.

Truth: Most focus groups are terrible for innovation. The main reason being is that most focus group leaders still ask the WRONG questions. If you ask the RIGHT questions, focus groups can be great.

1. Innovation is only for high-tech

Truth: Innovation happens anywhere. From fashion innovations to hospitality innovations to farming innovations to houseware innovations. Across (almost) all industries and at all levels.

Which innovation myth do you have to break through?


© Copyright 2013 Ben A. Ratje All Rights Reserved

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What product or business will you create this year?


Are you done with your new year’s resolutions yet?

Well, if you are or you’re not, doesn’t matter.

I have one resolution to add for you.

Ask yourself:

What product or business would I start creating this year if I could not fail?

What is a product or business I would love to create?

For me, I have a target for my life that every 2 years I have to publish a new book and every year I have to create at least one new product.

You become an innovator by creating and innovating the actual thing or business, NOT by sitting around planning.

I see too many people planning businesses, planning products, planning services which ONE DAY they want to bring to market.


For most people that one day NEVER COMES!

Unless you make it happen now.

Planning has it’s place, but for most people they’ve planned enough and it’s time to take some action.

So, I’d like you to take a moment to think about and answer the following questions:

If you work in a job, what is a small product or business you could create on the side this year?

If you are a seasoned entrepreneur, what is your next step?

If you want to become an author, which book will you write and finish this year?

Whatever your answers to the above might be, start NOW!

© Copyright 2012 Ben A. Ratje All Rights Reserved

photo credit: gfpeck via photopin cc

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The Ultimate Entrepreneur (aka Richard Branson & his top 7 quotes)

Who is the “ultimate entrepreneur”?

You could say Steve Jobs. You could say Bill Gates. You could name many other famous business founders of large companies, but you won’t quite find someone like him…

Richard Branson

The founder of Virgin Group and over 400 Virgin companies has been an entrepreneur since age 16 and getting his vision out there into the world. Not 1 time, but 400 times (and counting). How many entrepreneurs do you know who have founded over 400 companies?

He is what I consider to be the “ultimate entrepreneur”, a great guy on top and I believe there is a lot to learn from him not just for entrepreneurs but anyone in business.

Below are my personal favorite 7 quotes from him:

7. “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.”

6. “A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.”

5. “I never get the accountants in before I start up a business. It’s done on gut feeling, especially if I can see that they are taking the mickey out of the consumer.”

4. “Having a personality of caring about people is important. You can’t be a good leader unless you generally like people. That is how you bring out the best in them.”

3. “Above all, you want to create something you’re proud of. This has always been my philosophy of business. I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If that is the sole motive, then I believe you are better off not doing it.”

2. “I don’t think of work as work and play as play. It’s all living.”

1. “My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them.”

0. “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.”

Awaken the Branson in You!

Ben A. Ratje

P.S. Check out Richard’s book ‘Screw It, Let’s Do It’: http://tinyurl.com/7ljkp4e

P.P.S. For more quotes, visit http://tinyurl.com/7oc8bhv and http://tinyurl.com/7zasm5k

© Copyright 2012 Ben A. Ratje All Rights Reserved

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