12 Rules For Business Success

Last Updated Jun 30, 2011 8:39 PM EDT

12 Rules For Business SuccessGoDaddy founder and CEO Bob Parsons has 16 rules for success in business and life in general. If he sells GoDaddy to private equity firms for $2 billion, that'll make him a billionaire or close to it.

Does that give his "business rules" more weight? Maybe.

On the other hand, the guy made a creepy videotape of himself killing an elephant and hungry villagers ripping the flesh off it while wearing GoDaddy hats.

Does that mean you shouldn't learn from him? Who knows?

What I do know is the guy's got a big success under his belt and that's worth something. Personally, I would learn as much as you can from accomplished executives and follow the advice that resonates with you.

Speaking of which, here are my 12 Rules For Business Success. If you like them, that's great. If not, try the billionaire elephant guy. Whatever works, it's okay with me.

  1. Play to win. Coming in second means the other guy won. There really is no consolation prize in business. Business is war, a zero-sum game. Only one company can win the deal just as only one person can get the job, the promotion, whatever.
  2. Build game-changing strategy that solves a big hairy problem. If it's not going to make a real dent in something important, you have no business doing it. Build a bold, game changing strategy to win big. Slow and steady does not win the race. Niche is fine, as long as it's a strategy to gain a foothold.
  3. Surround yourself with confident, competent people that tell the truth ... and listen to them. Most mistakes stem from subjective sources, limited information, and inaccurate assumptions. Surround yourself with confident, competent people - no yes-men, sugar-coaters, or BSers - and get the unbiased truth from enough sources to make objective decisions.
  4. Success builds confidence, but life-lessons come from failure. That means real personal and professional growth comes primarily from failure and losing. Moreover, you'll never truly understand that until you've been on the receiving end of a few knockout punches.
  5. Bounce back fast. When you get knocked down - and you will, over and over again - the sooner you get up, brush yourself off, learn what you can, get your chin up, and get back to business, the better. Not just for you, but for everyone to see, including your competitors.
  6. Challenge conventional wisdom. Things change. That means challenge the status quo, authority, sacred cows, "the way it's done," anything that sounds even remotely like a generalization that your gut tells you may not apply in the current situation.
  7. Results count, intentions and excuses don't. It's shocking how many experienced leaders and managers waste time explaining why things didn't work out and making excuses or placing blame for failure. Nobody cares, except that you own up to it, get over it, and move on.
  8. Know when to quit. Killing projects, quitting jobs, pulling the plug on investments, terminating partnerships, firing people, even shooting customers - they're all things nobody likes to do, and yet, they're just as critical as starting something new. If you're not good at stopping things, they'll drain your resources, kill your productivity, and limit your opportunity.
  9. There are times to be focused and times to be flexible; the key is to know when to switch from one to the other.
  10. Trust your gut and do the right thing. Whatever compass you use, moral, or otherwise, trust your instincts and everything you've learned along the way, and do what you think is right, not what anyone else tells you to do.
  11. Do what you're great at or passionate about, whatever makes you happy. Otherwise you won't be successful and whatever you manage to achieve won't be worth it.
  12. Set some goals, come up with a plan, execute, see how you did, learn from it, repeat. That's how everything is done.
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