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The Slices of Perfect Chips

My story is simple.

I'm an aspiring potato chip producer in Toronto.  Working with a friend / partner, I want to create a hard bite potato chip that proudly showcases the true bounty and natural flavors of Ontario's potato harvest.

I'm also an age-grouper triathlete.  I'll likely never have a podium finish, but the sport has put me on track for a lifestyle through which I've learned a great deal about myself and how I define success and improvement. 

So, without further ado, here are my commandments:

  • Consistency is King - You don't cross the finish line without preparation.  You don't cross the finish line well without consistency.  A workout here...a workout there...a long ride one day...a day off the next....only gets you to a "Did Not Finish".  Same in business.  The work you put in every day, over-time, will be what propels you to achieving and surpassing goals.
  • Keep Moving Forward - Each step you take is a step towards the finish line no matter how fast or slow.  I've learned that, when starting a business, doing even the smallest things can jumpstart huge progress later on.  While you're waiting for big things to pop (maybe funding, maybe the launch of your site, whatever), do the little things that need to get done so they don't get in the way of bigger things getting done later.  Keep moving forward.   
  • Compare Yourself...To Yourself - Make yourself better today than you were yesterday.  Each race I go to, there are hundreds if not thousands of athletes and competitors that I don't even know.  Ultimately, who gives a shit about them?  I don't know anything about their training programs, their nutrition programs, their lifestyles, and it's also likely I will never see or race against them again.  So why bother psyching myself out with negative thoughts when those comparisons aren't even realistic?  Instead, be better today than you were yesterday to set up a platform for realistic benchmarks to measure success. 
  • But Don't Ignore Others -  After each race, I evaluate my results.  Where did I finish?  How did others who finished ahead of me do on each leg?  Where did I falter?  Where did I gain?  In my business, I won't conquer the Lay's and Miss Vickie's of the world any time soon, but I research what they're doing to know where I can make improvements and understand how to drive greater efficiencies, how to maintain better discipline and how to aspire to something for the next race or event. 
  • Make Lots of Small Mistakes - A little self explanatory.  Small mistakes are manageable.  Big ones, less so.  Embrace the idea of making small mistakes so you can learn, grow and keep moving forward in a productive manner. 

So that's it.  Those are my core commandements.  There are certrainly other values I hold dear to me, but in terms of commandments these are what drive me. 

Thanks for the great lecture!

AJ 

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