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Quotes in Entrepreneurship

I do like to make a difference between entrepreneurship and startups. For me startups only cover a small fraction of entrepreneurship, as a family owned business can have thriving entrepreneurship and also a big, publicly listed company can be entrepreneurial driven.

Hire slow, fire fast

Building a great team is the most important thing for you as a entrepreneur and a leader, what else are you leading? Often people will say that the company is their second family. And considering how much time you spend with your colleagues it’s not that wrong. So when you are hiring people, especially the first dozen, really make sure that they fit the culture and values that you hold dearest and want to establish in your company. Don’t be flattered by the fact that someone is willing to work for you!

On the other side, every time you have the feeling that someone might(!) not be a good fit: Fire fast (and be generous)! Especially if your team has grown and you are not that close to every individual any more, you will likely be the last person to know that there is something wrong (doesn’t fit the culture, not doing the work), so when in doubt: Let it go. One bad apple spoils the bunch!

Startups die mostly from indigestion not starvation

Raising money is seen as a badge of success and not seen as a bet that there might be something. Look at it from the perspective of the person writing you the check: They are calculating that eight out of ten checks won’t work out (so you’re collateral), and also their job is to write checks for founders like you! So please, don’t see it as an end goal. Most startups will scale up quickly once the money is in (hiring people, new office, more perks, more projects), and loose focus in the meantime. The founders will be exceptionally busy, but it might not translate into more revenue. Once the money runs out hard choices have to be made: Down size the staff, raise again or go bust. After raising a big pile of cash using it wisely is really hard and be disciplined about it!

A company that’s run on the cash it is generating through business transactions (selling stuff or providing a service) will grow way slower than a company with an infusion of cash. But a company with lots of cash still has to grow its revenue and keep it cost structure in check.

Don’t let the perfect be the evil of good

Basically it is good to often ask yourself: Does this thing really need to be perfect or is it sufficient to make it good? If it really has to be perfect than make sure you are aware of the costs and plan accordingly.

This goes into the pareto principle: roughly 80 % of consequences come from 20 % of the causes.

Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration.

Thomas Edison

Keep at it and try, again and again. Also ideas are worthless – execution (the team, leadership, business model) is everything.

The key to failure is trying to please everybody

Bill Cosby

One of the pillars of a successful business is to know your customer. That also tells you who your customer is not. So while making your business very targeted to one audience you will naturally make your product / service not useful for everyone else. That’s by design! You can’t sell cars and then try to please a customer who wants to fly over the ocean…

The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.

Ralph Nader

A leader should make him-/herself obsolete, and enable more people in the team to take over aspects of the business. Only then the business can grow but that means the people have to think for themselves and be leaders themselves. Lot of CEOs and managers want to keep their team at bay and make sure that no decision is made without them. This just leads to more work and a organisation that is stuck with getting everything ‘approved’ by a leader that is to absent from the nitty gritty stuff to actually make useful decisions!

Instead of freaking out about these constraints, embrace them. Let them guide you. Constraints drive innovation and force focus. Instead of trying to remove them, use them to your advantage.

37signals

For me that’s very easy to remember as my creativity only comes when there are constraints. The task: “Imagine your dream house on a blanc canvas” is exceptionally hard for me. But on the other hand: “here is a house, how would you change it to make it your dream house” is way easier for me.

Life’s too short to learn from your own mistakes. So learn from others!

This quote is so old and I still find it funny. It states so may obvious things: You will make mistakes, others will make mistakes. But also mistakes will only show you what not to do – they don’t show you what to do. So don’t do all the mistakes yourself – leave some for the others! 😉

Only the paranoid survive

Andy Grove

There is a book with this title and it describes how Andy (former CEO of Intel) steered Intel through drastically changing times and transitioned it from memory manufacturer to chip manufacturing.

Quotes in Finance

I like quotes a lot as they condense information into one easy to remember sentence, either using images or repeating of words / sounds.

These quotes are one of my favourites in finance / investing and in addition to the quotes, I’ve added some context.

Quotes might be from some famous person, they are all NOT mine!

Past returns do not guarantee future results

This is always used in financial advice, that when looking on past returns you cannot interpolate it to the future. So it says: There is no guarantee that the past returns will be the same for the future. The emphasis has to be on guarantee, see next point:

Winners keep winning

Tom Gardner

When looking at past returns one could assume that a stock that is at the bottom of it’s 52 week low will have the most to gain and a stock at the top of it’s 52 week chart no more room to grow.
But that’s a very dangerous mistake (as looking at any one metric is), but there mostly is a reason why a stock is at its 52 week low or high. So especially when investing in companies the 52 week highs should be taken as a positive indicator. As winners tend to win.

Pigs get slaughtered

Wall Street?

Don’t be greedy. For me always have the fair value in mind. Especially when thinking about my own business and contracts. If a deal is already very good, take it! Don’t sweat over whether it could have been even better. Just be mindful to adjust your expectations if this happens to often. 😉

The full quote is: “Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered”. So basically: You can make money when the market goes up (bulls), and when the market goes down (bears), but if you’re too greedy you will loose money.

Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship

Benjamin Franklin

Best example for this is the morning coffee or similar small expenses that occur every day. 200 working days a year x 3 Euro per coffee = 600 Euros. That’s a good coffee machine with grinder, and you can get more than one per day (even on weekends)!

You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.

Warren Buffett

That’s such a classic quote. Some things take time. Be patient. That’s one of my learnings the last years.

It’s not your salary that makes you rich; it’s your spending habits.

Charles A. Jaffe

When you earn 150.000 EUR and you spend 150.000 EUR, you’re not getting rich. (Spending is basically everything that’s not an investment in assets that might appreciate with time!)

In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run it is a weighing machine

Benjamin Graham

The stock market will on a daily basis be influenced by a lot of short term noise and news. So when a company announces something the corresponding stock (and similar ones) might go up or down sharply, but these daily changes will accumulate in the long term and will reflect how much the market thinks the stock is really worth in comparison to other companies.

Interesting Podcasts

So Podcasts have been a big part of my life for a long time now: while driving in the car, walking outside, doing sports or chores – it’s so convenient to put headphones on and listen to a wide variety of topics.

I’ve been asked a lot what kind of podcasts I am listening to: It is always evolving, but for my current schedule I can’t add more podcasts without removing some first.

First: How to listen?

So if you’re new to listening to podcasts, the first thing is to find a schedule and a way to listen. For me every minute that I am alone in a car, or walking around, I’m listening to podcasts. That means also that I need a good app to be able to listen to podcasts anywhere. I’m using the fabulous Overcast app for listening to podcasts, mainly because it downloads new episodes automatically and you can set the playback speed for every podcast or a default playback speed. It’s also free and the developer is a great person (and doing one of my favorite podcasts: ATP)

I highly recommend adjusting the playpack speed of your podcast, as you get used to the voices of the hosts, it allows you to cram more podcasts into your day…

The best podcasts offer a very concise topic that I’m interested in, be it entrepreneurship, stock market, business strategy or tech. Some do go broader, which I like if it is well presented. As with book these days, I’m not into fiction / fantasy.

Podcasts

Business Strategy

Both these podcasts are from Ben Thompson. If you don’t know him, go read some of his articles, one of his most cited is: Amazon’s New Customer from 2017.

Exponent (Link)

Ben Thompson and James Allworth are going deep into business strategy. Not only does it always give me a new perspective but the way the two argue is on a very high level!

For anyone who’s interested in business strategy, Ben is a must read (he has a free and paid newsletter!)

The Stratechery Podcast (Link)

Ben Thompson has for the last couple of years written very long articles regarding aggregation theory. If you’re subscribing to the free or paid newsletter he will now read you the articles that he’s sending out, so you need ot register here to get the podcast. I haven’t subscribed to his paid tier but I will definitely sometime in the future.

Startup & Tech News:

Equity (Link)

A TechCrunch production: quite short, twice a week. It goes through the most interesting deals in the private market, but also covers some news in the public market. Three presenters that are very fun to listen to.

The Information’s 411 (Link)

I would love to subscribe to The Information, but it is so freakingly expensive and as I don’t see myself reading more long form articles, it is really nice that they are doing a free podcast. The presenter Tom is diving into some of their articles every week.

If you haven’t heard about The Information, but are into tech: quite often the source for some breaking / exclusive stories are originally reported here – also they are doing quite few interviews with CEO’s in the industry, so a very good place to start getting deep into the tech / media landscape.

The Vergecast (Link)

I’ve been following and reading The Verge for a few years now and the podcast is a very nice way to consume news, but also the chemistry between the moderators is delightful! After a few episodes you get more jokes and more things that are going on between the hosts.

a16z Podcast (Link)

Andreesen Horowitz should be a very familiar name for anyone in the realm of Silicon Valley or entrepreneurship (Andreesen coined the phrase “Software is eating the world” in 2011). A podcast that covers nearly everything and for me a good way to keep taps on things that are not in my main area of interst. But the hosts are always very intersting and insightful.

Accidental Tech Podcast (Link)

This a less serious one. If you enjoy listening to three nerds and Apple fanboys, all slightly older than me, talk about everything regarding programming, computers and on occasion garage door openers or baby phones, then this is a treat every week. It’s also very long (over two hours), but for me that’s actually a plus.

Episode 96 & 372 are awesome for a starter!

Waveform: The MKBHD Podcast (Link)

If you have been on Youtube and searched for a tech product, you have probably come across Marques Brownlee. He is the creator behind one of the most successful YouTube channels (MKBHD). In this podcasts (recently launched in 2020) he gives some background stories to videos, does interviews and also gives some perspective to his thinking and his creative process.

Stock market & Business News

What’d you Miss This Week – Bloomberg (Link), News stock market related

This is mostly a quick run down on the most important topic for Wallstreet, comes out every Saturday. Is a good indicator for what has happened in the market last week.

Motley Fool:

An investment / stock market service that aligns with my investing values very much.

Can recommend all of them, they are quite similar but all have their focusses. To discover new stocks and having some insight how to evaluate them This is a very good starting point.

General Knowledge

Curiosity Daily (Link)

This daily show (roughly 20 minutes) talks about three noteworthy topics from science or life. It’s mostly knowledge that you’ll probably never use again – still very interesting!

Planet Money (Link)

This podcast is doing a deep dive into one topic every week. It’s always very relevant and very good researched.

M favorite episodes are:

Respectful Parenting: Janet Lansbury Unruffled

Janet Landsbury answers listener emails and questions she encounters. I have learned so far, that children are first and foremost occupied to try and understand the world. But not just the physical world, also the emotions and cultural norms. That’s why they are not on purpose doing things to anger parents. It just finds something that’s unusual – especially when the parents are emotionally aroused – it will investigate further and try it again. I have the feeling most episodes are re-interating the same point, but it is very good to get this reminder every now and then again and having it applied to another example certainly helps!

So, that’s it. I will probably do a new post, if I discover more podcasts, or even replace some. What podcasts are you listening to and which ones would you recommend? I’ve actually tried a lot of German podcasts, but they’re not as informative or not as well researched in my opinion: If you think I’m wrong: Please do!

SekundÀre Auswirkungen von COVID-19

Restaurants dĂŒrfen wieder öffnen und viele schauen sehnsĂŒchtig nach Urlaubszielen fĂŒr den Sommer 2020. Die direkten Auswirkungen von Corona sind bald vorbei und gehören bald der Vergangenheit an. Ein globales Ereignis, welches sicher in die Small-Talk Hall Of Fame einziehen wird!

Der seit Jahren prognostizierte Homeoffice-Trend wurde mal kurzfristig und ohne Vorbereitung geĂŒbt. Die Auswirkungen auf große und kleine Unternehmen aber auch digital / cloud – native und eher old economy Unternehmen wird in den nĂ€chsten Monaten noch viel diskutiert und in jeder Ebene des Organigramms stellt sich die Frage: “Warum kann bei der Konkurrenz jeder Mitarbeiter von zu Hause aus ohne Probleme arbeiten, aber ich fliege stĂ€ndig aus meinem VPN raus?”. Das wird sicherlich Auswirkungen auf die Cloud & Digitalisierungsstrategie haben: Siehe Walmart in den USA – belĂ€chelt fĂŒr den Online-Fokus und jetzt bewundert, wie viel diese in den letzten Monaten umsetzen konnten oder Under Armor, welche statt auf E-Commerce auf Digitalisierung von Kleidung gesetzt haben und jetzt in einer noch schwierigeren Lage sind als schon vor der Krise.

Umso mehr ist jetzt die Zeit sich ĂŒber die sekundĂ€re Effekte des Coronavirus nachzudenken, denn es wird sich unumkehrbar viel verĂ€ndern.

Was bedeutet es wirklich, dass fĂŒr ein paar Monate fast alle BĂŒrotĂ€tigkeiten plötzlich von zu Hause erledigt worden sind? Viele große Firmen haben bereits angekĂŒndigt, entweder bis Ende 2020 oder fĂŒr immer Home Office zu erlauben, dazu gehören: Spotify, MasterCard, Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, …

Vom Mindset her: NatĂŒrlich wird nicht jeder sofort und immer von zu Hause arbeiten, aber wenn nur 25 % der Arbeitnehmer ab dem dritten oder fĂŒnften Berufsjahr fĂŒr drei Wochen im Monat zu Hause arbeitet, hat dies enorme Auswirkungen.

In jeder Industrie sollte man sich Gedanken machen:

  • Bin ich oder sind meine Kunden darauf angewiesen, dass Menschen im BĂŒros arbeiten?
  • Werden meine Produkte / Dienstleistungen eher in BĂŒros oder wĂ€hrend der Fahrt ins BĂŒro konsumiert oder zu Hause?

Daraus ergeben sich einige spannende Erkenntnisse. Ich wage ein paar naheliegende, aber dennoch spannende Prognosen fĂŒr die Zukunft. Dabei beruht alles darauf die aufkommenden Fragen zu Ende zu denken.

Immobilienmarkt

Ganz klar wird der gewerbliche Immobilienmarkt betroffen sein: Wenn mehr Angestellte von zu Hause arbeiten, wird weniger BĂŒroflĂ€che gebraucht. ZusĂ€tzlich wird die IT Infrastruktur der Unternehmen besser, so dass mehr Unternehmen feste Schreibtische aufgeben werden, floating desk ist dann die Regel. Warum braucht man auch einen festen Schreibtisch, wenn man nur wenige Tage im Monat im BĂŒro ist und im BĂŒro keine persönlichen GegenstĂ€nde mehr aufbewahrt. Erinnert man sich an das Lernen in UniversitĂ€tsbibliotheken zurĂŒck, so werden alle Studenten als Berufseinsteiger das ja schon kennen.

Insgesamt bedeutet das, dass Unternehmen weniger FlÀche benötigen und so ihren Footprint deutlich senken können.

Dagegen werden kleine, sehr reprĂ€sentative BĂŒros in zentraler Lage sicherlich weiterhin beliebt bleiben.

Prognose: In den StĂ€dten werden kleinere BĂŒros in sehr guter Lage sehr beliebt bleiben. Große Office Komplexe werden weniger gefragt sein. Die Auslagerung in Randgebiete oder Vororte wird verstĂ€rkt – mit weniger FlĂ€che je Unternehmen. Spannend wird hier die Auswirkungen auf GeschĂ€fte und LĂ€den sein, welche sich um diese Office Komplexe und GeschĂ€ftsleute in der Mittagspause ausgerichtet haben: Restaurants, Fast Food, Lieferdienste, Friseure, BekleidungsgeschĂ€fte, kleine SupermĂ€rkte…
Wird dies das Aussterben von kleinen GeschÀften in den deutschen InnenstÀdten beschleunigen?

Auch im privaten Immobilienmarkt werden sich die KrĂ€fte verschieben, die Anziehungskraft von GroßstĂ€dten wird stark nachlassen und StĂ€dte & Gemeinden mit sehr guter IT Infrastruktur mehr Menschen anziehen können. Kleinere Wohnungen in StĂ€dten werden gegen grĂ¶ĂŸere in Voroten oder HĂ€usern eingetauscht. Man muss natĂŒrlich ein oder zwei BĂŒros einplanen. Wenn man nur drei mal im Monat ins BĂŒro muss, warum dann nicht gleich direkt im GrĂŒnen wohnen?
Wenn man mehr von Zuhause arbeitet und aktuell eine Wochenendbeziehung fĂŒhrt, macht das nicht Sinn einen der beiden HausstĂ€nde aufzulösen? Man spart sich viel Geld und Zeit fĂŒr das Pendeln und kann dies in eine einzige, teurere Wohnung oder gleich in ein Haus stecken?

Im BĂŒro

Viele Firmen bieten aktuell kostenlose GetrĂ€nke, Obst und Mittagessen ĂŒber Kantinen an. Wie wird sich das in der Zukunft verĂ€ndern? Wie können Mitarbeiter, welche von zu Hause arbeiten, auf diese Perks zugreifen oder erhalten Sie dadurch andere Vorteile? Wird der große Drucker noch benötigt oder wird vermehrt auf digitales umgestellt?

Bekleidung

Schon seit Jahren setzt sich der Trend fort, dass der Casual Friday auf die anderen Wochentage erweitert wird. Im Home Office wird sich der Trend sicherlich nicht umkehren. Auch hier wird sich der Trend zu wenigen hochwertigen Teilen verstĂ€rken – der Markt fĂŒr gĂŒnstige Businessbekleidung macht nicht so viel Sinn: GĂŒnstige Hemden bei MĂ€nnern, frĂŒher im Dutzend gekauft, jetzt reichen vier hochwertige Hemden fĂŒr einen Monat.

Pendelverkehr

Nicht nur werden Autos lĂ€nger halten, da wir deutlich weniger Kilometer fahren, auch werden wir weniger Sprit verbrauchen und damit die Umwelt schonen. Auch im Bahnverkehr wird sich zeigen, dass weniger Passagiere und weniger Jahres- & Monatskarten zu teureren Preisen, aber weniger Rush-Hour Traffic fĂŒhren. Die Nutzung von FahrrĂ€dern wird sicherlich stark zunehmen.

Gleichzeitig sollten Wochenendpendler deutlich abnehmen und mehr Partnerschaften zusammenziehen können. Dabei kann eine Person in Hamburg arbeiten, eine in MĂŒnchen und man wohnt in Magdeburg. FrĂŒher ist man abwechselnd gependelt und hat zwei HausstĂ€nde gefĂŒhrt. Jetzt wohnt man gĂŒnstiger und kann seine beruflichen Verpflichtungen voll nachkommen.

Vereinbarkeit von Arbeit und X

Die passende Arbeit zu finden war bisher von vielen Randfaktoren abhÀngig, welche wenig mit der eigentlich Arbeit zusammenhÀngt: Will ich umziehen (Partner, Familie, Freunde, aber auch Mietpreise und Umgebung), will ich lÀnger pendeln? Durch eine vermehrte Home Office Policy werden sich diese Angestellte die Wunsch-Arbeitgeber aussuchen können, und gleichzeitig ihren Eltern, Partner, Kindern und Freunden gerecht werden.

Familie & FreizeitaktivitÀten

Man hat im Home Office deutlich mehr Zeit. Entweder arbeitet man mehr, dass ist aber nur eine kurzfristige Auswirkung, bis sich jeder daran gewöhnt hat. Dann spart man sich einfach die Pendelzeit und kann in 10 Minuten freier Zeit zwischen Termine mal schnell den MĂŒll rausbringen oder die Gitarre ĂŒben… Was kann das bedeuten? Deutlich mehr Freizeit und durch die Abnahme an sozialen Kontakten wĂ€hrend der Arbeit gleicht man diesen mit Freunden und der Familie aus. Auch denke ich, dass der Familienzusammenhalt deutlich gestĂ€rkt werden sollte.

Haustiere

Viele Menschen wĂŒnschen sich Haustiere als Begleiter, konnten dies aber auf Grund von den beruflichen Verpflichtungen nicht sinnvoll umsetzen. Dies sollte sich stark Ă€ndern und ich gehe stark davon aus, dass sich mehr Menschen Haustiere zulegen werden – alle damit verbunden Branchen (Tierfutter, TierĂ€rzte) werden sicherlich auch davon profitieren!

On-Site statt Off-Sites

Mark Zuberberg hat das in einem Interview sehr passend formuliert: Er geht davon aus, dass Facebook sich keine Kosten durch die Home Office Politik sparren wird, da es vermehrt On-Sites geben wird um die Belegschaft zusammenzubringen und diese alle Kosten, welche sie an Mieten / GrundstĂŒckspreisen sparen, wieder auffressen. Wichtig ist aber hier, wie in dem gesamten Artikel: Es findet eine drastische Verschiebung der GeldflĂŒsse statt – wenn man als gewerblicher Vermieter und Reiseunternehmen tĂ€tig ist das rechte Tasche – linke Tasche, ansonsten sollte man deutlich auf diese Trends achten.

Offene Fragen

  • Werden Unternehmen fĂŒr Mitarbeiter im Home Office weniger zahlen, wenn man in gĂŒnstigeren StĂ€dten oder Landkreisen wohnt? Facebook hat dies angedeutet
  • Werden Unternehmen fĂŒr die Ausstattung des Arbeitsplatzes und die QualitĂ€t der Internetverbindung Ihrer Mitarbeiter zahlen?
  • Wie wirken sich langfristig Technologien wie erweiterte RealitĂ€t (AR) und virtuelle RealitĂ€t auf die Kultur eines Unternehmens, vor allem auf die zwischenmenschliche aus?

What I learned studying mathematics

I have a bachelors degree in mathematics from the Technical University of Munich. Which on the one hand I am very proud of, but probably not for the reasons you might imagine.

I’m proud of it, because it was not easy for me to go through it. In university mathematics you are either really good at structural logical thinking, which will definitely reward you with good grades – without you needing to put a lot of effort in it! Or, well, you hustle just to stay afloat.

But I would probably still do it again, why? Well mathematics in university is really not that useful in the sense that outside of academia or insurance. You might find practical use once coupled with biology, informatics, physics, or other fields, but then you’re moving mostly away from mathematics…

Mostly mathematics is about proving things in the highly theoretical setup, so for example is a + b = b + a? Is that correct always? Hint: see Wikipedia for group theory or algebra… If you’re thinking numbers only, you’re thinking not broad enough!

So you’re trying to prove stuff, how does this work… Well you have to start somewhere, right? So you find yourself axioms, which are the fundaments on which you can build everything else. Having these fundamentals you can then use them to start prove new things. Basically everything is routed in those axioms. If you’re now thinking, how do I know that I have enough or whether some of them are exchangeable, then you’re already thinking in the right direction (trait: always ask for the limits!)

Mathematicians have a few traits that I find very useful in the business context:

Find the most elegant & broadest solution

When you’re trying to prove a theorem, you could just give an example of how it will work in this specific case, for instance I can prove that two times two is always greater that two. Can I broaden that theorem? Is two times x always bigger than x? Well, not really if x goes negative my prove goes south.

Also when proving something mathematicians value elegance and simplicity. This is so prevalent that I got minus points for taking a too complicated route!

It’s always the argument that counts

In most negotiation books you will read, separate the person from the problem / topic. As in mathematics the argument is on something so theoretical, it does not matter who you are or what your status is, even a first semester can show a professor a mistake or a more elegant solution, both unlikely, but possible. Also the professor can’t say, oh this is up for interpretation – there is no wiggle room in mathematics. Black or white.

Also as arguments are highly logical, the challenge comes in, how many steps does the professor undertake to make his argument / prove. And a sign of a very good mathematician is that he/she can follow along an argument where the other side only gives the broad picture / main arguments.

Always check the premise!

In my first semester most professors would make jokes about mechanical engineers or economists that they always use mathematical concepts without understanding them and the most common example were where people in other fields used mathematical models where the promise is not met. So if you can use a prove or model only for numbers greater than zero, but it was used for the whole spectrum of numbers, then that would definitely make the model return unintended consequences.

That’s actually so true also in business, everyone is talking about hypotheses and proving them, well every hypotheses has to have premises! And you have to be aware of them and really watch whether the premise of your hypotheses has changed! This night change so many things down the road, and your hypotheses is oftentimes completely useless once a premsis has changed!

Don’t be afraid to ask until you really understand

What I learned really late was that all really good mathematicians were asking ten times more questions than I did. It’s really simple, if you don’t understand something, ask. If you find something not making sense to you, ask. But be prepared, as the most shaming answer is, we talked about exactly that in the last lecture!

Again like in business, i find to many people either think they understand it or don’t understand something but don’t bother to ask. And the funny thing is, of course I can tell if someone hasn’t got it! You cannot pretend to understand something as one follow up question will reveal yourself, if your body language has not already! Also in business, a lot of people are happy with a pseudo answer, which does not really answer the question.. A second question would be so useful here, but most people will be happy to have asked one question and not bother really understanding the matter.

Trust your instinct!

This one might come as a surprise, but mathematicians use their gut feeling and instincts all the time. When searching for a prove your first instinct is usually correct and you always dig in the direction that your instinct goes. As you can’t know beforehand whether your way is the correct one, mathematicians while proving theorems are working under extreme uncertainty, which is not different than in business. I have my premises, a few hypotheses, and have to then follow my instincts, as the right way will only be visible after I have found and went that way. There always might be a better / shorter way… When I don’t succeed, I also don’t know what to blame! Mostly in business, when something fails, everybody blaims external factors and if something successe, it’s internal!

Bonus: remember the broad concept, don’t sweat the details

There are basic concepts in mathematics that should be engraved on your head after six semesters of doing maths, but none are really necessary as remembering stuff is so complicated versus just re-proving a theorem, that you’re almost always better off to prove something than remember the details!

Conclusion

Hope this helps to understand why I would study mathematics again, but would not seek a job where I really have to use mathematics. It’s all about the concepts and the tools, not about the exact treatment…