In a special series of cartoons, with short insights from both Hugh MacLeod and Brian Solis, helps you see things differently in life and in business.

These are a few insights from Gaping Void that will force you to think differently and to question what you believe.

1. Sometimes the easy thing to do is the smart thing to do, but we’re too caught up in our own self-image to see it.

2. Invention is just as much about attitude as it is about talent.

3. If you want to see your business learn and thrive, respect people who admit to making them.

4. Don’t wait for approval. Ask forgiveness, not permission. Make mistakes. Don’t quit. Get it done.

5. Own it when it goes wrong. Thank your team when it goes right.

6. Change fails when companies treat it like an emergency room visit. Run the sirens a bit, stop the bleed, send everyone home.

7. The great thing about celebrating small wins is that they keep adding up. Momentum builds. It will carry you across the rough patches, when things go wrong.

8. The world would miss out on an awful lot, if we let the bad days hold us back.

9. Managers tell you what to do. Mentors tell you why.

10. Products actually create two conversations. One is internal, at your company. The other is external, among your customers.

11. Companies without a higher purpose, create problems. But they are also the ones best positioned to solve them.

12. Ideas aren’t only able to change a business, they are the glue that holds a business together.

13. A career without fulfillment is empty. And it’s awfully hard to become who you were meant to be if you can’t pay rent or eat.

14. Creativity promises nothing but can give you everything. The problem most businesses have with creativity is the first part.

15. Entrepreneurs look at what exists. They look at the unknown. Then they make the unknown real.

16. You don’t rely on data or facts. You push the impossible.

17. Successful people don’t have an end game. What that means is, they aren’t looking to achieve “enough”. There is no ultimate win. The game just keeps on going.

18. The perfect future. Everybody has their own idea about how to get there. But not everybody shares.

19. Entrepreneurs know: you can’t just tell. You have to show. You have to let the light in.

20. Positivity trickles down through the ranks. Negativity spreads faster, like fire.

21. Effectiveness is contagious. A business is only as strong as its people, which is why it’s so crucial to hire the right ones.

22. Passion is about why we do what we do. Not what, how or when.

23. Tell everyone the story of how you got to where you are – and they’ll likely take over the rest.

24. Cultural change should be framed more like a list of helpful suggestions. With clear, actionable steps. And daily, constant reminders of what’s important.

25. “Dare” might sound a bit over the top, but really it’s a gentle warning. Dare, but tread lightly. Dare, but know you’ll face stiff resistance at times.

26. Leadership isn’t about not having your own doubts. It’s just about not passing them onto other people.

27. When everyone is communicating and contributing, quality takes care of itself.

28. Information alone is useless. But knowledge- and a little bit of the wisdom that comes with experience – changes lives.

29. You can’t tell people to be inspired. You can only remove the things that are keeping them from getting there.

30. Stress, poor communication, lack of collaboration and lack of resources…once these are out of the way, it’s easy to get the fire back into the belly.

31. Action begets outcome. Outcome begets action. Rinse, lather and repeat and you have momentum. You’ll become unstoppable.

32. Make decisions. Don’t overthink things. Don’t create extra problems. Get stuff done. Momentum happens.

33. You can’t just work on being great and assume good will automatically follow. Greatness is a state of being. Goodness is a daily choice.

34. If your company isn’t innovating, it’s likely because no one is facilitating the right conversations.

35. Sometimes changing the game means YOU doing the actual changing.

36. Pervasive, sustained, scalable ​“Motivation” comes from a framework of great values. No business can grow without those values being articulated in authentic, meaningful ways.

37. Good ideas come with a heavy burden. Which is why so few pursue them. So few people can handle it.

38. If you’re trying to do something impossible, something new and hard, then you should expect it to be a long wait before anyone notices. “Good ideas have lonely childhoods” etc.

39. Products don’t make themselves, neither do companies. Some companies remember this better than others.

40. Success is great. We all like it, we all want it. The trouble begins when we start to fetishize it. Success is nice to have, but it makes a terrible religion.

41. The middle is boring. The middle is safe. The middle is where most folks like to reside. If you lived in the middle you probably wouldn’t be reading this.

42. “Bring new light to what life might be.” That’s what Creativity means. That’s what “New Beginnings” means.

43. This is one of the true benefits of being an entrepreneur… When you create something, whether it is art or an app or a company, it may be hard – it IS hard – but it is not work. It is your opportunity to be you. To pursue a passion and purpose that is yours. To be free.

44. There’s a reason why most success formulas fail. Because success is far too complicated for any simulacra to give it justice. A formula is just a map, and the map is not the terrain.

45. Start.Move, make, create, ship, do. Just start. That’s what entrepreneurs do. They start. They start something. Sometimes it is something big. Sometimes it is a big failure. Either way, they got sh** done.

I encourage you to sign up for Gaping Void’s newsletter (filled with a dose of inspiration and humor) and enjoy valuable insights from Hugh MacLeod and Brian Solis.

Image courtesy, giovanna baldini (Flickr)


  1. Hi Thomas,

    All really great points – I’ll be using a few of these a affirmations.



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