Happy New Year to all our subscribers and followers.

Here is a little list (citation given if not mine) that might surprise you, and hopefully inspire you to look at your business or your client’s business through a new lens.


  1. BUSINESS: A business with a set of products that loses money is a set of products not a business.
  2. BUSINESS: There are really only two types. You are either remarkable or invisible. Seth Godin.
  3. BUSINESS: Building playbooks for all major functions based on operational excellence achieves two main objectives. It allows founders to let go essential functions to lesser beings and scale a business with a consistent performance.
  4. BUSINESS PLANS: These are not financial forecasts. They are a list of policies and assumptions supporting next year’s plan. The corollary of these policies is a set of numbers we call a business plan.
  5. ENTREPRENEURSHIP: The world is dominated by small business. In the US out of 6.1m companies that run a payroll only 116,000 companies employ 100 people or more.
  6. EXITS: 90% of businesses are not ready for the exit process, mainly because the owners continue to look through the lens of the seller instead of the buyer.
  7. FINANCE: Every financial performance can be explained by two reasons: volume and yield.
  8. FINANCE: If a set of numbers on a spreadsheet is interesting it’s probably wrong.
  9. FINANCE: Even Amazon’s financial performance can be explained by a 3 x 4 matrix. First column of table shows the 3 product categories, second column is the Profit achieved, the third column is the budget, and the fourth column is the difference or variance. Simplify to find insights.
  10. LEADERSHIP: Teach people to bring problems to the table wrapped in a solution (even if the solution sucks).
  11. LEADERSHIP: Culture isn’t a verb, it’s the corollary of a set of actions leaders have allowed to happen over time.
  12. LEADERSHIP: Every successful CEO when asked, what would you have done differently or faster, answers – I would have aligned my team’s efforts around the cause.
  13. M&A: Most acquirers fail not because of price but because of inadequate post-acquisition planning and integration.
  14. M&A: The secret to valuation is simple. Buyers perceive value. Sellers aspire to price.
  15. M&A: The most underrated question in negotiations is simply to clarify the other sides latest status.
  16. M&A: In negotiations always listen with your eyes.
  17. M&A: In negotiations always ask questions to understand why someone believes their assertions.
  18. M&A: When you are buying, you are selling your socks off.
  19. M&A: The most important virtue an acquirer can possess is to show respect.
  20. M&A: Buying a business is like buying a house as long as you remember the family comes with the house.
  21. MEETINGS: Most meetings have forgotten the question they were designed to answer.
  22. MOTIVATION: People come to work for many reasons. Money is not in the top three (assuming a living wage). The top three are Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. Dan Pink.
  23. PRODUCTIVITY: Never confuse activity with effectiveness.
  24. SALES: Sales is not about selling stuff. It’s about building a relationship with prospects and clients to enable you to improve their lives.
  25. SALES: Value propositions are useless unless their compared with the competitor. Competitive value propositions with real data are compelling.
  26. SALES: The highest level of skill a sales professional can learn is to be masterful at diagnostic questions and hearing the answers.
  27. SALES: A sales professional is in the career enhancing business. Any product that has been purchased has had the ability to enhance that customer’s life.
  28. SALES & MARKETING: Marketing is about telling your story. Sales is about letting your prospect tell their story.
  29. STRATEGY: Positioning your company. Deciding which part of the universe you are going to serve is the most important decision of any leader.
  30. STRATEGY: Strategy is what you leave out.

The Portfolio Partnership is a fractional senior management team of operators. We help owners “build businesses buyers love to buy” by deploying our successful playbooks. We seamlessly join your team to work on the right stuff.

As always if you found these insights useful please share.