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Seven Secrets from the Smartest Businessman I Know

By Dr. Steve Sjuggerud
Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My boss is the smartest guy I know...

I'm not just saying it because he signs my paychecks. Seriously, I mean it. He does things most bosses don't do. It's made him a wealthy man. And it's made many of his employees more money than they'd ever dreamed of.

I have a unique perspective here... I hired him 13 years ago. We've known each other since we were kids. Now, rightly, he's my boss.

He worked his way up from the bottom to the top. It wasn't because of some sort of power-mad ambition. He didn't have a master plan. He simply thought of better ways to do things.

What does he do that's different? What does he do that's made him more successful at what he does in a shorter period of time than anyone else? I'll share a few of his secrets with you today...

He's not afraid to be proven wrong. I'm not saying he likes being wrong... He's a competitor. But he won't hold stupidly to his original belief once it's been discredited.

Ever since we were kids, he's had a unique ability to lead the troops in one direction, full speed ahead... Then if he's proven wrong, he'll do a 180 immediately and lead the charge in the opposite direction.

If a business idea isn't working, cut it. Don't waste valuable time trying to make a wrong a right. Surprisingly, most smart people have a hard time with this.

In a business deal, he does an outstanding job explaining what's in it for the other guy. In short, he doesn't talk about himself, his wants, and his needs... at all. He talks about the benefits for the guy at the other side of the table.

Like everyone, the guy on the other side of the table is selfish. When you get down to it, he really doesn't care what's in it for you. But if you can convince him you'll make him more successful at what he does, then you'll get your deal.

He praises and constructively criticizes people equally. If you're screwing up, my boss will call you out. So when the praise comes from him, everyone knows it's legitimate. It's valuable.

If you're the boss, you know constant praise without constructive criticism is useless. (Unfortunately, that's my management style. I'm too nice.)

He's friendly with "rivals." He even gives away most of our secrets. I didn't understand this one at first. I'm sure our competitors still don't...

Why would we happily give away our secrets? Well, after spending time with us, our competitors often end up wanting to partner up. That grows their business, which grows ours... And if a rival's business folds, the employees know us and try to get a job. We end up with the best talent.

You might not like the idea of inviting your rivals over to share your secrets. But it makes great sense for both sides.

(My boss says "I don't mind giving our secrets away... They'll never execute them like we can." That right there is the biggest insight of all.)

He hires people smarter than him. Wait, didn't I say he's the smartest guy I know? My friend is brilliant, yes. But he's not that organized. So he hired a man "to run the business." And when he decides to push our business into new areas, he hires the best guys he can find.

He pays his employees well – through pay incentives. He's done a fantastic job tying his employees' pay to the jobs he needs them to do.

In my own case, he's always structured my pay in a way that should 1) increase my income and 2) push me to put my efforts behind the best opportunity he sees.

Lastly and most importantly... it's not about the money. The money is simply one "scoreboard" of his success. A lot of it is about fun... about coming up with a business idea and seeing if it works.

If you took all his money away tomorrow and told him he had to move to a different country, pick a place where he didn't speak the language, and find a different industry, he'd make all that money back again in the same short amount of time. He'd use all his secrets... like the handful I outlined above... and he'd do it. No question about it.

Some of these secrets might sound backward at first. But if one sounds "totally wrongheaded," think long and hard about it... My boss is the smartest guy I know... and I've seen him do these things over and over again.

You should try to do the same.



Market Notes


Knock-on effects from the recent surge in gold and silver: The quiet bull market in small-resource companies just made another new high.

Small companies involved in the exploration and production of raw materials like oil, gold, and uranium make for great trading vehicles. They tend to go through huge booms and busts... which one can trade for huge gains. When commodity prices rally, investors just love to take a flier on these risky stocks.

We track this universe of stocks with the Venture Exchange Composite Index. You can call it the "Dow Industrials of small resource companies." As folks fled anything related to risk last year, the Venture dropped into a terrible bear market. We introduced it to your watch list near its December low... and we've checked in on it each month since.

Today's check displays what we've been saying all year... Rising gold and raw-material prices will produce a bull market for players on the Venture. Just last week, the Venture struck a new high for the year... and is nearing its highest point since October. As gold and other commodities remain elevated, expect the bull market in small resource companies to continue.

A clean "breakout" for small resource stocks

In The Daily Crux

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