I read this and got to thinking – “what are my rules” for business? Not a complete list, but some rules I think every business (and person!) should follow:
- Don’t lie.
- Everyone involved deserves to profit.
- Work with people you like.
- Do business on a “people scale”. Business is not “just business” – business is people.
- Make money. It keeps people happy, and keeps you in business.
- Know when to quit.
- Understand everyone’s motivation (including your own).
- Have fun. Otherwise it is ust a job.
I’m sure I could come up with more. Chances are you can too. Share them in the comments!
The cliche â€œrules were meant to be brokenâ€ is a common one in the world of entrepreneurship. Paul Berberian â€“ a great entrepreneur (and dear friend) almost died yesterday when flying his airplane because he broke three of his rules of flying in a row. Paul got lucky and I very glad heâ€™s alive.
As an investor, Iâ€™ve developed some rules. These are not absolutes â€“ I break individual rules on a regular basis. These are not â€œethicalâ€, â€œmoralâ€, or â€œlegalâ€ rules; rather they are functional guidelines for helping create companies that Iâ€™ve developed over 20+ years of doing this with 100+ companies. If you are an entrepreneur or executive at a company that Iâ€™m an investor in (or a co-investor with me) and have ever had to listen to me blather on about a story of something that has happened at another company to illustrate one of my points, you understand what I mean by â€œa rule.â€
While my rules evolve over time, the core principles donâ€™t. Paulâ€™s post illustrated a point that I hadnâ€™t ever really thought about. When you have a set of rules, itâ€™s ok to break one of them, but itâ€™s probably not ok to break two in a row and it might be fatal to break three in a row. In some recursive parallel universe, I guess thatâ€™s a rule.
As a result there are two concepts in play: one of â€œrulesâ€ and one of â€œadditive rules.â€ (Rule_1 or Rule_2 or Rule_3) is very different from (Rule_1 and Rule_2 and Rule_3). The second case is the one that will get you intro trouble.