builttolastSome business books just stick with you.

Jim Collins wrote Built to Last in 1994.  He followed it up with Good to Great, which is even better.

If you are starting a business and have Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs, as Collins calls them), get these two books and plow through them.

So what does being a Time Teller mean?

It means that you are building and running your company around you and not creating something that can last.

You are the sun of your solar system, Helios, all powerful and all-knowing.

Only you can tell others what time it is, what needs to be done, who needs to do it.

All decisions and strategies must pass through you, because you are the font of all wisdom.


If you are in business to stay in business and create value, then it’s time to build a clock.  A clock that everyone can rely on, so you can tell the time no matter who is around.

It will not be easy.

It requires, thinking, planning and executing.

And snapping out of a dream-like state of existence that it is ALL ABOUT YOU.

In this whole personal branding, everyone is self-employed, you-are-on-your-own-now, world of ours, we are getting sucked into the insane notion that we can do it ALL ON OUR OWN.

But I reach out!

I have “conversations”!

I ask for help!

I’m not a Time Teller.


You want to cut a deal with a big player, who could take your company to the next level, and you don’t want to bring the guy who created the relationship (and knows their business better than you), to the meeting?

Time Teller.

You say you have a potential $100 million business and you don’t want to create any policies or procedures or clearly defined roles and responsibilities for your ever-increasing payroll?

Time Teller.

You think your company can grow without hiring people smarter than you?

Time Teller.

You think you can do a handshake deal that puts your entire company at risk?

Time Teller.

People want to be inspired.  And they want their work to provide some of that inspiration.  And nothing gets people more pumped up than feeling like they are a part of something that is worthwhile and moving in unison.  Time Tellers create the worst culture imaginable because no one ever truly knows what is going on.  No one knows what time it is until the Time Teller tells them.

Don’t do it.  Don’t be a Time Teller.

Get  humble.  Get organized.  Get out of your head.

Get Swiss.

Build a clock.