This is a list of my principles.

Some call them mantras, life lessons, invisible scripts, values, or scruples 

No matter what you call them I think it is valuable to have a list of them 

Thanks to Michael Alexis for the inspiration

Principles connect your  values to your actions; they are beacons that guide your actions, and help you successfully deal with the laws of reality”

Ray Dalio

Mike Smith’s Principles

1. Prior preparation prevents poor performance – This is a quote from Former U.S. Secretary of State, Commerce and Treasury James Baker that I think of quite often. I have found that most, if not all, problems I encounter could have been avoided by better planning. 
2. The answer is always more work – If most people are by definition average then the differentiator for average work has to be volume. 
3. There are no bad people only bad actions and bad actions are not rational–  I struggle with this one alot. If I can believe that bad actions are not intentional and just a result of sadness or damage I can be more empathetic and compassionate.  This is similar to “assume positive intent” 
4. Most things are either communication, product, or distribution problems – Distribution is often the hardest challenge in business and usually overlooked. 
5. Avoid Power Distance -power distance is essentially putting people (or yourself) up on a pedestal. We tend to do this with celebrities and public individuals. I
6. Don’t pitch problems without offering solutions – Danny Zuker, executive producer of modern family said this to our graduating class and I will never forget it. 
7. The tool doesn’t matter as much as the adherance to the tool does – productivity porn is all the rage these days but what really matters is the process or how you use a tool or service. In the entrepreneur/tech community I have noticed this sort of shiny object syndrome associated with productivity tools. Asana, Slack, Trello, Teams, Salesforce. All that matters is that you use it. 
8. Be weary when the profile gets ahead of the proof – differentiating between profile building activities vs. business building activities is one of the hardest parts of investing and life. Who is doing the thing vs. who is wantrepreneuring and talking about the thing 

9. kindness instead of anger is a superpower – anger is easy and kind is a flexable muscle

 

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