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The 10 Business Commandments by Christopher Wallace (†1997). The MBA alternative.

In 1997, Christopher Wallace presented his step-by-step guide to achieving success in business. The same year when he famously proclaimed that mo’ money would lead to mo’ problems. It was also the year he died.
Why would you pay serious amounts of money for an MBA, when all what needed to be said, was said in 1997?!

In 1997, Christopher Wallace presented his step-by-step guide to achieving success in business. The same year when he famously proclaimed that mo’ money would lead to mo’ problems. It was also the year he died.

His full youtube speech is at the end of this article.

“I’ve been in this game for years, it made me an animal
It’s rules to this shit, I wrote me a manual
A step-by-step booklet for you to get
Your game on track, not your wig pushed back”

The Notorious B.I.G.

1. Never let no one know how much dough you hold.

In the blog post When not to show your hand in negotiations of the Harvard Law School, four types of information are mentioned that may be best kept under wraps: sensitive or privileged information, information that isn’t yours to share, information that diminishes your power, and information that may fluctuate during negotiations.

Fearful of being hurt by revealing too much information, most negotiators play their facts and preferences close to the vest. At the other end of the spectrum, the current negotiation theory advises us to cooperate whenever possible, revealing information to create maximum value. In all your negotiations, you must calculate the risks and rewards of sharing information with your counterpart.

2. Never let em know your next move.

Jonas Ridderstråle and Kjell A. Nordström’s mantra “Be the surprise, don’t be surprised” is a great way of putting it; make sure that you keep your first mover advantage over the competition and lead the market. According to Marvin Lieberman and David Montgomery, there are three primary sources of first-mover advantages: technological leadership, preemption of scarce assets, and switching costs/buyer choice under uncertainty.

3. Never trust nobody.

In business, trust is very important. But a few conditions need to be met in order to trust the other party. Game theory has shown us the three things we need for the evolution of trust:

1. Repeat interactions: Trust keeps a relationship going, but you need the knowledge of possible future repeat interactions before trust can evolve.
2. Possible win-wins: You must be playing a non-zero-sum game, a game where it’s at least possible that both players can be better off — a win-win.
3. Low miscommunication: If the level of miscommunication is too high, trust breaks down. But when there’s a little bit of miscommunication, it pays to be more forgiving.

When these three conditions are not met, be cautious about who you trust.

Try it out for yourself: game!

4. Never get high, on your own supply.

This depends a bit on the industry that you are in. Developers of platforms such as Facebook have admitted that they were designed to be addictive. Sean Parker, the founding president of Facebook, broke the omertà in October 2017: “The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them … was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’ That means that we need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever. And that’s going to get you to contribute more content and that’s going to get you … more likes and comments,” he said.

In the era of Purpose Economy, it is becoming increasingly important for younger job-seekers that employers adhere to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and that companies have a substantial CSR policy, rather than a symbolic one.

If your company is not on the right SDG track yet, change course, so that we can all get sustainable high on our own supply.

5. Never sell no crack where you rest at.

In our digital age that we live in, this is one of the most important rules to protect your business: make sure your customer data is in the cloud and not on the server in your office.

Besides that your data is not gone when the place burns down, or when a burglar steals your server, there are more benefits according this Harvard Business Review article: Cloud computing is changing how products are designed; enabling closer collaboration between the corporate IT department and other business units, including sales, finance and forecasting; and fostering more customer interaction, even to a point of jointly developing products with their consumers. In particular, new ways of writing and deploying software will encourage new types of faster-acting organizational designs. “Cloud native” software approaches stresses ease of use and low-impact alteration of components of any given software application. Massive applications are subdivided into a series of “microservices” that can be tweaked with little effect on a running piece of software.

6. That God damn credit, dead it.

Providing credit to your customers should only be used as a marketing instrument after you have done proper customer segmentation, targeting, creditworthiness checkscustomer lifetime value calculations. With a high DSO (days of sales outstanding) and high AR (accounts receivable) you negatively impact your NWC (net working capital) and reduce the amount of money you can invest short term.

Collecting your dough from late-paying customers is costly and you risk never seeing your money back when customers default.

7. Keep your family and business completely separated.

So don’t bring your work home, leave it at the office. An unhealthy work-life balance leads to stress, reduction in performance and burnouts.

Eric Garton, partner at Bain & Company in his Harvard Business Review article: Executives tend to think of employee burnout as an individual issue rather than a broader organizational challenge. That’s a mistake. The psychological and physical problems of burned-out employees, which cost an estimated $125 billion to $190 billion a year in healthcare spending in the US, are just the most obvious impacts. The true cost to business can be far greater, thanks to low productivity across organizations, high turnover and the loss of the most capable talent. Leaders need to own up to their role in creating the workplace stress that leads to burnout — heavy workloads, job insecurity, and frustrating work routines that include too many meetings and far too little time for creative work. Once leaders confront the problem at an organizational level, and address the three most common organizational culprits of burnout – excessive collaboration, weak time-management disciplines, and overloading of the most capable – they can reduce burnout and raise productivity.

8. Never keep no weight on you.

Watch out with being robbed of your intellectual property (IP). When it comes to businesses and their IP, many young companies fail to recognize the breadth of their potential IP assets or to appreciate their importance. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has listed the 5 biggest mistakes in protecting IP by young companies, such as startups:

  1. Failure to create and implement an IP strategy
  2. Failing to implement appropriate confidentiality controls such as NDAs
  3. Ignoring standard IP practices in the race to market
  4. Improper document foundation
  5. A piecemeal, “do-it-yourself” approach to IP

So when you are out and about, talking to potential investors and other stakeholders, make sure you have IP sufficiently protected, before you show all the ins and outs of your MVP.

9. If you ain’t gettin’ bags, stay the fuck from police.

Reputation management is more important than ever, with news travelling so fast and algorithms controlling what you read. Defamatory attacks pose a dangerous threat to individuals and all types of organizations, including small businesses that are most vulnerable. Almost anybody can take advantage of the internet and social media to spread false accusations. In most cases, swift action is essential to stop the false claims from spreading and causing more damage. It seems almost impossible to stay away from allegations nowadays, But how do you respond to falls accusations? According to William Comcowich, you should follow these guidelines:

  1. Seek alternatives to litigation; a lawsuit should be the last resort. Litigation is costly, emotionally draining and uncertain. It can also prompt counter suits. Better to take other actions first.
  2. Respond swiftly; if action is appropriate, quick action is crucial to remove defamatory statements before they spread online and destroy the company’s or individual’s reputation.
  3. Consider public responses carefully; attacking an accuser in the media may only add fuel to the unfavorable story.
  4. Preparation is crucial; Adequate preparation and documentation can quickly silence slanderous attacks.
10. A strong word called consignment, If you ain’t got the clientele say hell no.

Make sure that you have customers for your products, so that you don’t end up paying up all your money for storing unsold products. As mentioned before, net working capital is very important to keep your business going. Inventory costs have a substantial impact on your net working capital, as they represent all costs associated with ordering, holding and managing the inventory or stock of an operation or business. These inventory costs include ordering costs and holding costs.

  1. Make sure that you have the right terms and conditions in place with your suppliers, in case you are not able to sell the products that you have procured.
  2. Maintain a good relationship with your supplier
  3. Improve inbound logistics with your procurement and planning departments
  4. Make use of inventory management software or other ways to receive warning signals
  5. If your processes are not in place, just count the stock by hand for inventory accuracy
  6. Check the quality of the outgoing products
  7. Have the right customer return policy and handling in place
  8. Have enough (paying) customers

If you are interested in listening to the entire speech of The Notorious B.I.G, check out the video below. Perhaps you still want to enroll in an MBA program, but this only took you 2 minutes and it was for free!

“You don’t know. Now you know.”

The Notorious B.I.G. in Juicy