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:
1 - It ain't as bad as you think, it will look
better in the morning
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.
2 - Get mad, then get over it
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 over
3 - Avoid having your ego so close to your position
that when your position falls your ego goes
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'.
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
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.
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 business.
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
4 - It can be done
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.
for anything that is within human power and
capability, the saying "where there's a
will is a way" is so true.
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
5 - Be careful what you choose, you may get
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.
6 - Don't let adverse facts stand in the way
of a good decision
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.
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.
7 - You can't make someone else's choices. You
shouldn't let someone else make yours
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.
8 - Check small things
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.
9 - Share credit
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.
10 - Remain calm, be careful
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.
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.
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.
11 - Have a vision, be demanding
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.
12 - Don't take counsel of your fears or naysayers
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
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.
13 - Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier
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.
14 - Sometimes being responsible means pissing
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 problem.
other words, stay focused on your plan. If others
don't like it or agree with it, too bad.
15 - You never know what you can get away with
unless you try
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 scratch.
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.
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