Breaking The Three Laws


You don’t buy a dog and bark yourself


I have a set of witty one liners which I use to respond to a variety of situations that I encounter in my everyday life. Some are insightful and designed to share my wisdom while others are just supposed to be a little humorous. The title of this blog is one and I have listed a set of my favorite quotes below including the typical situations which I use them. Feel free to use these in your everyday situations as I am sure they will be as impactful for you as they are for me. I might not have been the first person to come up with these quotes so don’t get upset if you use the same ones already.

“Don’t let the technical details get in the way of a good story”
As I’m in Marketing I use this one frequently. Many times I see presentation material getting bogged down in the nitty gritty technical feature review and missing the VALUE and BENEFIT that the solution brings to the customer. This is when I use this quote to remind the team to start with the end, what is the benefit to the customer and then construct a story to deliver this message.


“Hope is not a strategy”
Oh by far this is my most used quote. I never rely on hope, I make things happen by planning out an execution path to reach the end goal. All too often I hear things like “I hope we can get this working” or “I hope we can repeat this success”. Hope is not going to help, you need to help yourself and create a plan then execute on it. People who rely on hope rarely succeed. Actually, there is a whole book on this topic.


“I see a lot of hope and not a lot of action”
I typically use this quote hand in hand to the one above. I use this to describe a plan which has a lot of holes or gaps between actions or if I see no progress towards a goal. It’s great to have a goal with a plan to reach it but if you are not putting in the effort to action the plan you are back to hope and as we now know, hope is not a strategy.

“A vision without a plan is just a wish”
Notice there is a bit of a theme going on here. It’s great to have a vision but if you don’t have an execution plan to work towards you are just wishing for it to happen. Life is not a movie, wishes are not real so if you want to deliver on a vision you need to plan and execute.


“Givers need to set limits as takers rarely do”
I’m a giver, this does not mean I’m a sheep and follow the herd it means that I set a very high bar for myself and always want to over achieve and impress. This of course can lead to personal issues when it’s taken for granted that you will always get the job done no matter of the situation. It’s fine for a giver to push back and set limits. Quote by Henry Ford, American industrialist a man I admire greatly.


“You’re quick or you’re dead in this game”
I use this one to respond to a variety of situations. Sometimes I use this when I rush to get to the front of the line at the airport when a flight in cancelled. Ok, so a situation like this is not life or death but if you are going to secure a seat on the next flight you have to act fast. I’ll also use this when I am the first to get a second serving to food, similar to survival of the fittest.


“Do not judge by the problem, judge by how the problem is solved”
I love this quote. A while back the hotel laundry shredded the sleeve of one of my very favorite shirts when it got caught in the machine. This could have been a horrible situation but the hotel handled the problem very well. First they found a store that sold the very same shirts, unfortunately the store did not have my size so the hotel was unable to directly replace. They then offered to pay for a new shirt, regardless of the type, when I purchased a new one. As it happens that shirt was purchased in London’s Heathrow airport and while on a business trip I purchased a replacement. 6 months later I return to the hotel which had shredded my shirt and handed them the receipt for the new shirt. The hotel gave me the cash value. My shirt could have been destroyed at any hotel, that stuff happens. Judge by how the problem is solved and not by the problem itself. The problem solving is what sets everybody apart.


“Who needs products when you have PowerPoint”
I don’t actually say this but my R&D team has used it with me when the presentation I created is 12 months ahead of the product deliverables. Marketing at its finest is what I say and linked to the “Don’t let the technical details get in the way of a good story” quote as seen earlier. Also used in the TV Series “Better off Ted” which IMO was one of the funniest TV shows around and I highly recommend it.


And finally, “You don’t buy a dog and bark yourself”
I rarely use this one anymore as to be honest it annoys pretty much everyone you use it with but it does communicate a very powerful message across so use the power wisely. This states, without directly saying it, is this is not my job. I have used this with select individuals when they expect me to do something when clearly I do not have the matching skill set and they do but are just too lazy to do it themselves. This quote is highly abusive so don’t expect the person you use it on to ever speak to you again. (Which is some cases is exactly why I use it)

Do you have other quotes you use day to day in your life? If they are PG rated then please share via comments…

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