GoodBusiness Monday with Tim Cook, My 3×5 Card,  and Two Links

Tim Cook

Tim Cook

Have you ever thought you’d been given a once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity?  Me neither.  But here’s how Tim Cook described joining Apple during its darkest hours.

Any purely rational consideration of cost and benefits lined up in Compaq’s favor, and the people who knew me best advised me to stay at Compaq… On that day in early 1998 I listened to my intuition, not the left side of my brain or for that matter even the people who knew me best… no more than five minutes into my initial interview with Steve, I wanted to throw caution and logic to the wind and join Apple. My intuition already knew that joining Apple was a once in a lifetime opportunity to work for the creative genius, and to be on the executive team that could resurrect a great American company.

Tim Cook

It’s been a very successful move for Tim.  Along with reliable intuition, he emphasizes preparation and just plain hard work.  We at GoodBusiness love his undistinguished roots, the example of his hard work, and the amazing, intuitive power of the products he’s responsible for delivering.

A Great Tip: the Lowly 3 x 5 Card

In this day of leather bound appointment books and multi-device all-in-one task list apps, why on earth would I start my day by pencilling jobs on a 3×5 card?  I have three reasons:

  1. There’s something about actually writing with pencil and paper that makes it real.   It somehow commits me to action in a way that a bullet item on a screen simply doesn’t.  I shove that 3x5card into a shirt pocket.  Throughout the day I cross off the items as I finish them.
  2. 3×5 cards make me think.  Putting an item on the card forces me to ask myself “Can I do all of this today?  Can I do more?”  I don’t know about you, but my reminders list has a number of jobs that should be broken down into bite-size pieces.  It’s the bite-size pieces that should make their way onto the 3×5 card.
  3. That 3×5 card ends my day in the right way.    At night those crossed-out words give me satisfaction to go along with my evening coffee.  I like to go to bed knowing that I, and my business, are more accomplished this evening than this morning.  Those crossed-out lines on that 3×5 reminds that I did well.

Yes.  I also use Apple’s Reminders app; I organize it according to Leo Babauta’s Zen to Done  And I have a Long Range Plan.  But none of that quite gives me the motivating kick and satisfaction hit I get from that ridiculous, retro, little card.  So I add 3×5 cards to coffee or tea, breakfast, and Google News for my morning routine.  How about you?

This week I’ve got two links to share for a very special reason.  Thursday is the Thanksgiving harvest festival in the US (other countries celebrate harvest festivals at different times).  This year I’m especially thankful to two businesses who are GoodBusinesses in every way.

Two Great Links

Jim Wang is the real thing.  Because he really helped GoodBusiness make a solid start early this year, GoodBusiness owes him a very big “thank you”.  Jim’s Microblogger site has a simple, solid, practical start-up plan and checklist for blogging he calls a Lifetime Income Blog. We used it, it works, and we recommend it highly.  We also recommend the high idea of his day-one advice for right after your new site is up and running.  Lastly, these items are free; that’s just the right level of investment for bootstrapped lean startups like ours.

Whether or not you’re celebrating a harvest festival this week, we at GoodBusiness wish you a business harvest of happy customers, and enough profit to share with people who need help.




  1. Once again, I found your article very helpful. Additional links for more information is much appreciated.

  2. JAMES OJUOK says:

    This is great..planning ahead and taking advantage of the power of actually writing down to do tasks. The links you provide are also very informative. Thanks alot and keep up this good work.

  3. I have a similar ritual to get things done. The night before i plan everything i have to do as tasks in Google Calendar in estimated hours. I don’t really care if i do all of them in its specified time because i like to let me free to do what i want in any time, regarding the day conditions, weather, going to the gym, but when i do, i delete it. And i keep cleaning my agenda until eleven o’clock. After that i start planning the next day, starting with the undone tasks.
    In my last Brazilian job we used to have corporate Google Agenda, that’s how i learned to use this way.

  4. Daniel Varbanov says:

    The day-one advice link is very helpful. I have a personal blog and I’m still a beginner. All these tips from successful bloggers are extremely useful for me. I read them all. I have one question for you – what advice you wish you knew earlier?

    • Chris Chadbourne says:

      Daniel, I wish I’d paid more attention to the discipline of writing every day. At root, blogging is writing. I never developed the habit of maintaining a personal journal, and I didn’t write for a living. I underestimated the discipline needed to just sit down and write. Right now I’m working to achieve that discipline… and it’s real work.

  5. Thank you so much for the shout out Chris. I have learned quite a bit in working on your website. You are one smart guy. It has been great receiving your blog updates.

  6. Great read. Been looking forward to seeming more of your work. These small insights really make my morning. Thanks

  7. Great read. I’ll be sure to take a look at the two links your provided. Sounds like some helpful people.

  8. Thank you! This is just what I needed to read first thing this morning.
    Lisa Wisen

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