Rule 1 Create a fantastic business by building something you really believe in.
Start creating your fantastic business by developing your brand. Base your brand on your passion and purpose, and a desire to solve your customer’s problems. This will produce a valuable outward-looking business. When things are not going well, your belief in your passion and purpose will carry you forward.
Rule 2 Don’t compromise on the big things like vision, purpose and core values.
Write these things in stone because they are not negotiable. Be flexible on everything else. Create a fantastic business by listening to your customers and bending to the market. A successful business with longevity always fiercely upholds its adherence to its core values, what it stands for, and what it does about it, when it occasionally falls short. Reputation is gold and takes time to build but can be lost in seconds.
Rule 3 Set big challenging goals and design something radically better and different.
Don’t aim for incremental improvements. Prepare to be copied. Don’t start unless you can survive imitation. Your key is continuous innovation to stay in a leadership position.
Rule 4 Plan to achieve your goals on a tiny budget.
Everything will cost twice as much and take twice as long as you think. Run lean and do not waste money or energy. Build up a reserve of money and energy, because mistakes and bad luck will always happen.
Rule 5 Never give up control, until you sell.
If you give away control, you risk losing the culture and vision of the company you set out to build. Raise investment capital but remain in the driving seat.
Rule 6 Build systems for the long haul, because it is a marathon, not a sprint.
To create a fantastic business is not for the fainthearted or for the impatient. Aiming to make a fast buck rarely succeeds.
Rule 7 Take care of your team, family and health and have fun.
If you aren’t having fun, you are doing something wrong. Putting in 18-hour days every day is not effective. A work life balance is necessary to maintain perspective.
By following these simple rules, you will create your own brand and solve your customer’s problems. Building a brand is a reliable way of differentiating your business from its competitors and improving your margin as it moves the buying decision to involve intangible qualities such as reliability, reputation, back-up service rather than just price.
You will build a fantastic business, and one that you can be proud of.