Four rules for living and for business

Jim Blasingame

A quarter century ago a list called “Rules For Being Human” really caught on.  

Without the benefit of the Internet, “The Rules” (there are ten) circulated around the globe. Unfortunately, the author’s name didn’t make the trip, resulting in attribution to “Anonymous.”

When Jack Canfield included the list in his original “Chicken Soup For The Soul” book, little did he know they were actually from the wisdom of his and my long-time friend, Dr. Chérie Carter-Scott.

At the urging of friends, Carter-Scott finally wrote a book about her list titled, “If Life Is A Game, These Are The Rules,” which is still in print and which I highly recommend. But until you get your copy, here are four of “The Rules” that are especially important for small business owners, each followed by my thoughts. 

Rule Number Two:  You will be presented with lessons. 

There are two basic kinds of lessons: Expensive ones and free ones. Unfortunately, the former, while often painful, are typically the most valuable. Which is why being a successful entrepreneur requires courage. 

When you’re working creatively and aggressively, it’s difficult to avoid those stinging lessons. Only the courageous risk the comfort of what they know for the expense and danger of what they might learn. The trick is to pay only once for each lesson.  

Rule Number Six: “There” is no better than “here.”

Business ownership, like life, is a journey with lots of waypoints but only one destination. Waypoints are significant stops along the journey; the destination is, well, you know.  

Impatience for the next waypoint for your business journey isn’t in itself a bad thing, unless it prevents you from celebrating the success achieved to-date.  Don’t forget that just being in a position to realistically anticipate the next step is a pretty cool place that should not go unsavored.

Rule Number Seven: Others are only mirrors of you.

If you don’t like what someone else is doing, check your position to make sure you’re not actually seeing yourself. Alas, most of us need a little help with this kind of introspection. We all need those special people in our lives who serve as both critic and safe harbor. 

Rule Number Nine: All the answers lie inside of you.

When you see a psychologist, who does most of the talking?  Of course, you do. This method can be maddening; but eventually you realize that you had the key to your solutions all the time, you just forgot where you kept them.  

Don’t wait for someone else to solve your problems. You’re the screenwriter, director and star of your own movie. The rest of the world is just supporting cast and props. If you create a hit, you get the Oscar.  If you don’t, you get another lesson.

Write this on a rock.... 

To win in life or business, you have to know the rules.

Jim Blasingame is author of the award-winning book, The Age of the Customer: Prepare for the Moment of Relevance.

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