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.