The bright side of economic downturns is that they force everyone to examine all aspects of their lives, question protected interests and make hard choices, trod unexplored paths they would otherwise not have the discipline or motivation to undertake. The upside is that often new, better ways are found, unknown strengths tapped.

When the good times return it is important to be able to retain the best of what the bad times teach. The Collier Companies takes pride in retaining the can-do, pioneering, entrepreneurial spirit that built this great land.

I still sign a lot of the checks in my company. It is one of the ways to keep my finger on the pulse. Occasionally I run across an expenditure that I think is “institutional” in nature: wasteful, spending money substituting for exercising energy and initiative.

I wrote this in a burst of energy after one check-signing session. It is far from a complete manifesto, but what it does contain is true to the entrepreneur’s creed.

Entrepreneur’s Manifesto

– We are relentless in pursuit of our goals.

– We tirelessly look for ways to cut costs, improve systems and process, and increase revenue.

– We are skeptical of consultants and those who charge a percentage.

– We only outsource that which we cannot find a way to do better, less expensively, and more quickly in-house.

– If a related function has a significantly higher IRR than our core business, we look for ways to bring that knowledge and profit stream in-house.

– We are in the business of making extraordinary returns, not providing them.

– That’s just “how it is done” or “how everyone does it” is not a satisfactory analysis or answer.

Closing Quotes:

“Entrepreneurship is the art of doing more with less than others think humanly possible.” — Unknown

“An entrepreneur tends to bite off a little more than he can chew hoping he’ll quickly learn how to chew it.” — Roy Ash, co-founder of Litton Industries

“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” — Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese