15 Rules for Success
In Your Home-Based Business
Someone sent me an
email the other day. Supposedly General Colin Powell's Rules
for Success. Now, I don't know whether they really are or not,
but as I read them, I thought they really should be called "15
Rules For Success In Your Home Business". So, here they are:
Rule 1 - It ain't as bad as you think, it
will look better in the morning
If there's one experience universal to ALL
home-business owners, particularly those running a business on
the internet, it's the occasional feeling that you're just
spinning your wheels, and not getting anywhere. The number of
people who give up on their businesses just as they approach
the brink of success is staggering. So hang in there and
remind yourself, when things look bleak, that tomorrow is
another day, things really aren't as bad as they seem and
things really WILL look better in the morning.
Rule 2 - Get mad, then get over it
OK, I concede this is more general advice than
home-business advice but it applies in your home business just
as it does anywhere else. Resentment and unexpressed anger
really don't hurt anyone but the person feeling resentful and
angry. Have you ever noticed how completely unproductive you
are when burdened by resentment and anger? So feel it, express
it (constructively) and then move on. As the man said, "get
Rule 3 - Avoid having your ego so close to
your position that when your position falls your ego goes with
Over the course of my career I have, from time
to time, met people whose identity and sense of self-worth is
so enmeshed in what they do for a living that they literally
don't have an identity outside of their work. Because they
rely on an external source for their self-esteem and
confidence, they find it necessary to continually and
relentlessly bolster their personal positions, often at the
expense of others, often resorting to political maneuvring in
the workplace to maintain and improve their supposed 'status'.
These people are the 'empire builders' you
sometimes find in organizations. They jealously guard their
power base all the while gathering unto themselves more and
more responsibility, beyond the point of being able to do
everything they take on.
Because their identity and sense of self-worth
depends upon their position within their organization, what
happens when their position disappears, such as in a corporate
downsizing? It freefalls.
Don't let this happen to you. Remember that you
are something separate and distinct from your business. Sure,
you can be proud and pleased with your accomplishments but
don't define yourself through them. Your self-worth is
something that comes from inside your human self, not your
Ironically, keeping a professional detachment is
more likely to secure the ultimate success of your business.
Detachment brings perspective, objectivity and clarity, which
helps you make better quality decisions.
Rule 4 - It can be done
Don't allow self-imposed limitations to restrict
what you can and will do. You can do anything if you set your
mind to it. Well, of course, it must be something that is
within your power - you can't just set your mind on growing a
third arm, for example.
But for anything that is within human power and
capability, the saying "where there's a will is a way" is so
Get into the discipline of planning your life
and where you want it to go. By setting goals and planning the
steps that will help you reach them, you can achieve literally
anything your heart desires.
Rule 5 - Be careful what you choose, you may
Following on from this, it should go without
saying that what you set for your goals is something you truly
want because if you do practice the discipline of goal setting
you will surely get it.
Rule 6 - Don't let adverse facts stand in the
way of a good decision
Keep your eye on the prize and don't be
distracted by what's happening on the sidelines. Sure, you may
not have entered the marathon had you known there were going
to be 1,000 other runners but does that mean entering the
marathon was a bad idea? No.
Make your decisions based on quality information
and what's in the best interests of your business. If someone
else comes along who represents competition for your business,
don't be put off your game. Just run your own race. There's
ALWAYS a way to distinguish yourself from your competition.
Rule 7 - You can't make someone else's
choices. You shouldn't let someone else make yours
IGNORE your mother when she tells you you're
crazy for chucking in your nice SAFE secure little job to
start your own business. Follow your dream, no-one else's.
Rule 8 - Check small things
Like the fine print in contracts. Like the URL
in that sales letter you've just put the finishing touches on.
Like your spelling and punctuation. In other words, pay
attention to detail.
Rule 9 - Share credit
You've heard the saying, "no man is an island".
No woman is either. Remember and acknowledge the people who
have helped and continue to help you get where you want to go.
Acknowledge the achievements of others.
Rule 10 - Remain calm, be careful
Frenzy and recklessness are hardly the
prescription for long-term success in your business. In the
face of unexpected challenges, unexplained downturns in
business or failure to achieve the results expected, recognize
that these are just part of the thrust and parry of business
life and use a calm, methodical approach to the problem.
Don't just react blindly or chuck away all your
hard work and try something completely different unless a
thorough, calm and careful investigation convinces you that
you are completely off-beam.
Calmly analyze your situation and use your
intelligence to correct the situation. Sometimes a one degree
turn of the wheel is all that is required to get back on
course, not a completely new rudder.
Rule 11 - Have a vision, be demanding
This rule goes hand in hand with rules 4 and 5.
In order to set goals and plan ways to achieve them you must
first set your vision. Think big, be brave. There is nothing
you can't achieve so make sure your efforts are going to be
for something truly worthwhile.
Rule 12 - Don't take counsel of your fears or
All of us have moments of self-doubt or even
fear when embarking on a journey to an unknown destination. If
what you have planned for yourself brings with it feelings of
anxiety, nervousness, even fear, pay attention to them but
don't take their counsel.
They are symptoms of grand thinking, of
stretching beyond the boundaries of your comfort zone. As the
book says, feel the fear and do it anyway.
Rule 13 - Perpetual optimism is a force
This rule is closely related to rule 1. Believe
that things will work out, that they will look better in the
morning, that everything's going to be OK. Repeat the words to
yourself as a mantra if you must but instill a spirit of
indomitable optimism in your outlook and you will attract
success into your life.
Rule 14 - Sometimes being responsible means
pissing people off
You can't please all of the people all of the
time so don't waste your time or energy even trying. You have
a responsibility to the ultimate success of your business and
to your own personal success. If that means you occasionally
have to say no to people to stay true to your objectives, do
it. If it means you have to alienate some people because they
don't personally agree with what you are doing, that's their
In other words, stay focused on your plan. If
others don't like it or agree with it, too bad.
Rule 15 - You never know what you can get
away with unless you try
If you don't ask you don't get. And if you don't
take you don't get. Leave nothing on the table. If an
opportunity comes along, take it. It may not come again. And
remember, in chaos there is opportunity. While everyone else
is running around like chooks with their heads cut off, you
just bring up the rear and clean up on all the opportunities
that are just lying there for the taking among the chicken
Hindsight truly is 20/20, no doubt about it.
Perhaps, like me, you're thinking that if you'd known then
what you know now, you would have gone a lot further a lot
faster. But as with any form of progress, it's the journey,
not the destination, that provides the education and creates
the experience and, through it, wisdom. And that's something
no book can teach you and money can't buy.
Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online ...
practical ideas, resources and strategies for your home-based
or online business. http://www.ahbbo.com
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