Top 3 Rules To Live By For Entrepreneurs

Top 3 Rules To Live By For Entrepreneurs

Leadership | Posted by - August 10, 2017 at 12:00 am

One of the beauties of choosing an entrepreneurial lifestyle is the ability to redefine the rules. No longer accountable to a boss, we have the opportunity to define when, where, and how we work. But while entrepreneurship allows us to bend the rules to suit our own ambitions, there are still some die-hard rules we encourage entrepreneurs to live by. Here are a few:

#1. Be yourself.  It sounds trite but it’s essential. If you’ve ever been to a networking event you know that the business world is full of people trying to one-up each other and show how important they are. Don’t be one of them. It’s off-putting and ultimately feels like wearing an itchy sweater. Most entrepreneurs we know are at their most engaging and consequentially, successful, when they are operating in a state of pure authenticity. Absolutely own what you are fantastic at, and never, ever be afraid to tell people about it. But don’t pretend to be something you aren’t. 

There is tremendous power in being someone who does what they say they are going to do.

#2. Be trustworthy. We blame Gordon Gekko, but somewhere the myth arose that real businesspeople will screw anyone who gets in their way. Sadly, some entrepreneurs have come to believe that nice guys finish last. Our take? This might work for some, for a while, but for most of us it’s just bad business. The world is becoming smaller with each passing technology and you can be sure that potential business partners, customers and investors will find out what kind of person you are before they get into bed with you. After all, wouldn’t you go out of your way to warn someone before they did business with someone who has done you wrong? Being someone people feel they can trust comes from actually being decent and honest, and will truly help you grow your business.

#3. Do what you say you’re going to do. This might be our favourite rule. If you think about it for a moment, how many people do you know who actually do what they say they are going to do? How many people return calls and emails when they say they will, or deliver work on time and on budget? Do you? There is tremendous power in being someone who does what they say they are going to do. It’s not just your day job either. If you said you’d run in a charity 5k, then strap on your shoes and get running. If you said you’d have a coffee with a friend’s newly graduated nephew, then do so. The potential for your personal brand is tremendous.

We’ve got more to say on the entrepreneurial ‘rules’ but our editor has a few rules of his own about word count, so we’ll save them for another day.  In the meantime, what are the rules you live by?

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If you have questions about your business for Amy and Danielle, please post them in the comments section of FIX MY BIZ, directly below.

Tags: authentic, fix my biz, followthrough, rules, trust, profiles, business advice, entrepreneur, lifestyle

Fix My Biz
Amy Ballon and Danielle Botterell frequently speak on the topic of entrepreneurship to the media, at seminars and conferences. Both women received MBAs from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. They founded Admiral Road Designs, which they sold in 2013 after more than 11 years. These days, the best friends continue to work together, advising other entrepreneurs via their business, Spark Consulting
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Liz Snell
February 7, 2014 at 7:10 pm
I definitely try to live by Amy and Danielle's top 3 rules. No question. Another one, I try to achieve everyday is not to judge. This is such a hard one to stick to because it seems to be human nature to compare, judge and criticize. When someone does something in a way that is different from the way I would or than I think they should, I try to stop myself by asking - is it wrong or simply different? Is there merit in their way of doing that that I have not discovered before. When someone does or says something mean, angry or inappropriate I try to ask myself - is it directed at me? If not it's not worth the energy to give it a second thought. Are they just having a bad day? Maybe they've just had more stress than they can handle and are acting out of character. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt and move on. I don't always success - I am human too, after all, but this is a value that is very important to me.
T Carey
February 8, 2014 at 9:40 am
I always strive to be authentic. A lot of people still play games though, and are very cliquey. I always seem to be on the short end of the stick with these people. They wheel and deal behind the scenes where I do not care to be. I don't want to be like them. However, in a small pond this is isolating and impacts my progress.
Pat Mussieux
February 8, 2014 at 3:26 pm
Amy and Danielle - great tips, especially #3 - that's the one I find most people fall down on . Do what you say you would do - when you said you would do it - the way you said you would do it. Best tip ever!!!!

Pat Mussieux
Faith Chipman
February 9, 2014 at 2:42 am
Where's the 'like' button?? :) This may not be a social rule but my personal one for home efficiency. I do the 'ten-minute tidy' every night before going to bed-which includes assembling all things together that go out the door with me for my business in morning. Every night.
Cory Conley
February 9, 2014 at 11:45 am
Thank you for the article. It's true. In our world of working with horses to help people find their confidence, path or a friend, the horse, by it's very nature, won't allow anything but authenticity. They are wired for everything masked. That's why this works. The time that they bond is when we follow the above rules. That may reveal that under all of our trappings and presentations, we are all wired to respect and respond to the three rules. It really does make sense..and it works. I think that having come from smaller communities, the ever-reliables, as much as a the lessor-so's, are known with the caveat earned. It's simply about fundamental relationship building.Thanks, again.