Warren Buffett’s Ten Rules for Winning

While enjoying a nice lunch with my Son at a Minneapolis Jimmy John’s sub shop this weekend, I saw this “WARREN BUFFETT’S TEN RULES” sign tacked to the wall.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take a glare-free or hi-res photo, so let me list out these Rules below (with my comments in bold Italics):

No. 1:  REINVEST YOUR PROFITS – When you first make money, you may be tempted to spend it.  Don’t.  Instead, reinvest the profits.  Buffett learned this early on. In high school, he and a pal bought a pinball machine to put in a barbershop. With the money they earned, they bought more machines until they had eight in different shops. When the friends sold the venture, Buffett used the proceeds to buy stocks and to start another business. No surprise that this is Rule #1.  He is the greatest investor of our time and one of the reasons is because he followed his own advice here.

No. 2:  BE WILLING TO BE DIFFERENT - Don’t base your decisions upon what everyone is saying or doing. When Buffett began managing money in 1956 with $100,000 cobbled together from a handful of investors, he was dubbed an oddball. He worked in Omaha, not on Wall Street, and he refused to tell his partners where he was putting their money. People predicted that he’d fall, but when he closed his partnership 14 years later, it was worth more than $100 million.  In short:  Don’t be afraid to be contrarian.  Time and time again, we see tremendously successful investors, businessmen, entrepreneurs take a contrarian approach.  Wasn’t it John D. Rockefeller who said the best time to buy is when there’s “blood in the streets”?

No. 3:  NEVER SUCK YOUR THUMB - Gather in advance any information you need to make a decision, and ask a friend or relative to make sure that you stick to a deadline. Buffett prides himself on swiftly making up his mind and acting on it. He calls any unnecessary sitting and thinking “thumb-sucking.”  Buffett invested $5 Billion in Goldman Sachs during the worst moments of the 2008 financial crisis when Wall Street appeared to be melting down.  He committed this money in a 15 minute (no thumb sucking here) phone call with Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein.  Result?  A $10 Billion profit in 30 months.

No. 4:  SPELL OUT THE DEAL BEFORE YOU START - Your bargaining leverage is always greatest before you begin a job – that’s when you have something to offer that the other party wants. Buffett learned this lesson the hard way as a kid, when his grandfather Earnest hired him and a friend to dig out the family grocery store after a blizzard. The boys spent five hours shoveling until they could barely straighten their frozen hands. Afterward, his grandfather gave the pair less that 90 cents to split.  This advice holds not only for jobs, but also for any kind of negotiation, investments, partnerships, JVs, etc.

No. 5:  WATCH SMALL EXPENSES - Buffett invests in business run by managers who obsess over the tiniest costs. He once acquired a company whose owner counted the sheets in rolls of 500-sheet toilet paper to see if he was being cheated (he was). He also admired a friend who painted only the side of his office building that faced the road.  I think the lesson is also that the devil’s in the details, and that little things mean a lot. The best organizations have a handle on all of the nuances and details of their operations.

No. 6:  LIMIT WHAT YOU BORROW - Buffett has never borrowed a significant amount – not to invest, not for a mortgage. He has gotten many heartrending letters from people who thought their borrowing was manageable but became overwhelmed by debt. His advice: Negotiate with creditors to pay what you can. Then, when you’re debt-free, work on saving some money that you can invest.  If our country had followed this advice, we wouldn’t be in the financial pickle we’re in now, that’s for sure.  Seems like Buffett is not only saying to limit what you borrow, but also very simply to be disciplined, and that’s a key success driver

No. 7:  BE PERSISTENT - With tenacity and ingenuity, you can win against a more established competitor. Buffett acquired the Nebraska Furniture Mart in 1983 because he liked the way its founder, Rose Blumkin, did business. A Russian immigrant, she built the mart from a pawnshop into the largest furniture store in North America. Her strategy was to undersell the big shots, and she was a merciless negotiator.  This is my favorite of the Buffett Rules.

No. 8:  KNOW WHEN TO QUIT - Once, when Buffett was a teen, he went to the racetrack. He bet on a race and lost. To recoup his funds, he bet on another race. He lost again, leaving him with close to nothing. He felt sick – he had squandered nearly a week’s earnings. Buffett never repeated that mistake.  The only one making money at the racetrack is the owner.  I bet he’s happy he learned this lesson at a young age.

No. 9:  ASSESS THE RISKS - In 1995, the employer of Buffett’s son, Howie, was accused by the FBI of price-fixing. Buffett advised Howie to imagine the worst- and best-case scenarios if he stayed with the company. His son quickly realized the risks of staying far outweighed any potential gains, and he quit the next day.  Continually assess current and future risks and mitigate those you can to help shape and control your future.

No. 10:  KNOW WHAT SUCCESS REALLY MEANS - Despite his wealth, Buffett does not measure success by dollars. In 2006, he pledged to give away almost his entire fortune to charities, primarily the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He’s adamant about not funding monuments to himself – no Warren Buffett buildings or halls. “When you get to my age, you’ll measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you. That’s the ultimate test of how you lived your life.”  What a great definition of “success.”  After all the effort, the blood, sweat and tears, and the battle scars from the business and investment world, the Master defines his success so simply and elegantly.

I can’t help but think that the world would be a better place, and the economy would be in much better shape if we all followed Warren Buffett’s Rules.

Hopefully, President Obama will continue to seek Mr. Buffett’s sage counsel and (I know this is a stretch) convince him to become our next Treasury Secretary when Tim Geithner (my Mandarin language TA at Dartmouth) retires.

Thanks for reading, and please leave a Comment below.  Which Buffett Rule is your favorite one? What kinds of things do you think Mr. Buffett would do if he were Treasury Secretary?

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208 thoughts on “Warren Buffett’s Ten Rules for Winning

  1. Good stuff, Tien! Really admire Warren Buffet – what a pleasure to read his shareholder letters! No. 3 would b my current favorite, especially when u already know your investment opportunity in advance. One question: how does WB feel about the environment & the environmental “externalities” generated by even the most decent good business (and human for that matter)?
    Best
    Roberto St-M

    • Thanks so much Roberto! Hope you are doing great. Good question about Buffett’s feelings on the environment. If you decide to pay $1.5 million to have lunch with him, be sure to let me know what he says! All the best for continued success. Will I see you at YPO in Singapore?

      • Or you can buy one B share for less that $100 and purchase a flight and hotel in Omaha and ask him. Have we forgotten Rule #5 already?

  2. #10 moves to #1. Refreshing to see love mentioned within the context of business success. If we truly obey love, the way we are charged to do, the outcomes will be meaningful. Loving one another as God loves us, in business as in all life, with all the hard truths and consequences, leads to the best possible business culture, the best possible use of time and talent in business, and to the best possible outcomes from business. We can’t put down these truths when we go to work, we must live these truths at all times.

    • Hi Jim, thanks for the Comment. I would have to agree with you. All of us are here working for a higher calling than just money, power, etc. Everything begins and ends with our core beliefs and values and our commitment to them. Appreciate the Comment very much!

      • Jim – I read all the comments and I mirror your comment most. I would add that, as Roberto said above, Mr. Buffett’s shareholder letters are great reads.

        Tien – No matter how many times I read this, there is something to it that calls to us all. I think, we all inherently know what it takes to be successful (our own def of the word), but how many actually do it? How many of us go home and watch TV rather than read. How many of us improve ourselves daily? How many of us continue to give during the hardest time of our lives? There is no perfect, but we can always try harder. I’m reminded of that math equation used to determine when the next World Record will be broken in running. I wonder if someone will ever create such an equation of individual success???

  3. Good Blog Tien. Number 4 would have to be my favorite “No. 4: SPELL OUT THE DEAL BEFORE YOU START ” and something I need to remember to do all the time. My biggest mistake, not asking for and demanding what I need, expect and what I am worth before I start. Have a great day. M

    • Thanks Martii. Hope you are well! By following Number 4, potential misunderstanding and conflict can be avoided, and all parties will be more harmonious. It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new deal or new job opportunity and forget the basics, which include agreeing UP FRONT to a set of expectations. Hopefully you have learned and things are going great for you. The good news is that A Players like you don’t really have to worry because, worst case, you are in high demand in the market, right?

    • Hi Cal, yes he’s too smart to take it, but maybe he’d do it out of patriotism. I know, it’s a very long shot! Your point about talent in the government is very relavant. With upcoming retirements of very experienced folks, we may have a knowledge gap in certain parts of the government. We see this in the IT and procurement areas of some of the government agents we’re working with right now. It’s a definite risk. And are the incentives in place to attract our “best and brightest”? I don’t think so. Contrast that with China and even Japan, where the top students and smartest talent go into government. We need equal or better talent to compete with them in the future. It’s something that could hurt us down the road… Thanks much for the Comment.

  4. There couldn’t be a better reason to reinvest earnings (#1) than the examples set by WB. What a great way to make an old world business create returns that look innovative. My favorite example is the one mentioned of pinball machines in barbershops (one I took personally to heart for those who know me). But a better example is WB’s interest in Waste Management, a company that started its growth cycle while earning barely 10% of $750k in top line revenues. Now, after reinvesting earnings from organic growth and scaling through acquisitions (enabled by IPO), it is the world’s largest, making significantly more profit on toxic, international and recycling than actually hauling trash. What a lesson!

    • Thanks Michael. WB really believes in concentrating capital into a few but “high barrier to entry” businesses that also have great management. And he plows the cashflow right back into the businesses. How he could take his experience with something as simple and small as pinball machines into the world of big business is truly remarkable. What an amazing story. We can all learn so much from studying his success. Thanks for the Comment.

  5. Thanks Tien. This was indeed pleasure to read. No. 10 is my favorite. I think knowing what success means is the most important. As the old saying goes – if you don’t know where you are going any road will take you there. I cannot afford the WB lunch but I would like to buy you lunch sometime and chat about the DC area tech market.

    Best,
    Mohamoud
    Vienna, VA

  6. What strikes me actually is not WB’s ten rules, it’s the venue you saw the banner. The rules are simple and they are known to most us, aren’t they? The question is, how many of us can put them into daily practice? It’s there because millions try to copy him, no one has surpassed him.

  7. I love and live by all of these but #4 is so important in our line of business. If done properly, the need for attorneys is minimal and partnerships and efforts do not fall apart when success comes.

    • Thanks for the Comment. Warren Buffett’s advice is so simple and timeless. Things like #1 and #5 are habits that really pay off in the LONG TERM. Good luck to you!

  8. “Never suck your thumb” — brilliant!

    And I really needed to read “Spell out the deal before you start” BEFORE I signed my latest freelance contract. Thanks. Thanks a lot, Jimmy Johns…
    ;)

  9. It’s impressive how a simple list of ten things can spell out the many issues this country now faces. Between these steps and John Woodens Pyramid of Leadership it’s tough to find better rules to live by.

    • Thanks Jay. Love Coach Wooden’s Pyramid. Wooden and Buffett espoused so many similar, simple and basic tenets of success. Great advice for anyone in any endeavor.

  10. I LOVE warren buffet’s definition of success. It so simply and purely states what really matters in life. I think that is a great thing to read every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to bed, to remind you what you’re living for, and how to measure your life. It’s great to see a man who has made so much money have a clear vision of what is truly important in life.

  11. I am trying to start a side business, mostly for fun, and I have found out that rule #1 is what keeps the thing going. I print tshirts with my own designs but I only come up with a new design when I sell enough to afford a new batch of shirts. Maybe I am not putting money in my pocket, but I am keeping the shirts going and keeping myself entertained. This is a small example of Buffetts #1 rule, but still an application of it and a great way for me to know that I am doing something right according to an expert.

    Thanks for sharing this rules! Have a good one!

  12. Number 10 is my favorite. In fact when I read – “When you get to my age, you’ll measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you. That’s the ultimate test of how you lived your life.” – it was an epiphanic moment for me.
    Suddenly, everything seemed to make sense (I was feeling pretty low at the time). Thanks Mr. Buffett and thank you so much for posting, Tien!

  13. Thank you for posting his list! I have known way to many “thumb-suckers” In business, I’m very happy Buffet is putting a spotlight on them.
    Congrats on being FB.
    -Linda

  14. Tien, I was surprised at how different Warren Buffett’s 10 rules of winning were different from Charlie Sheen’s 10 Rules of Winning.

    Congrats on being FReshly Winning, I mean Freshly Pressed.

    Have a great day.

    Mr Bricks

  15. A corollary to #4 that went unstated: Don’t screw people over. They have long memories. I bet the next time his grandfather’s store got snowed in, those kids soaked him for every penny he had, not just because they knew he was untrustworthy, but also because they knew the value of their lab or and to get back at him. If he’d paid a decent price the first time, though …

    People remember.

  16. This post came at a perfect time for me. I’m starting my own business and last night I emptied my business account (which only had a few hundred dollars in it) to purchase something I needed for the business. I felt kind of sick at first, but I was just following rule #1. Now I feel better.

    So I guess that’s my favorite rule!

    I agree wholeheartedly that we need someone like Buffet to help our country (company) out of distress and to teach our policy-makers what a real investment is.

    Thank you,
    Crystal

  17. Wow. Certainly, good rules to live by. I wish I had known these sooner in life and in business. However, if I may be so bold, I’d like to add another . . . #11: It’s never too late. Just think of the many new and remedied opportunities the world would know if only everyone believed in that tiny phrase. Thanks for posting WB’s list — it’s a keeper. And congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  18. Too bad the U.S. Congress can’t simplify. Words of wisdom in business or anything for that matter–doesn’t seem to be their strong suit. Great post.

  19. Nice post. Like yourself, I pay attention to the mindsets and habits of people whom I admire, Buffet definitely being one of them. I think he forgot something though, at least for me. I’d like to see an 11th: Take care of yourself first. Peace.

  20. Hi Tien,

    This blog is inspirational! I’m completing a project for university and I love how many of these rules can apply to my personal as well as professional career!

    I think my favourite has to be ‘Know when to quit’ … if you don’t know when is the best time to stop then you can get far too beyond yourself and end up out of your depth, so having that control to stop yourself is vital!

    Thank you!

  21. Before I even clicked to read the blog, I was guessing in my head: “Jimmy Johns!” Great post with excellent information for people in times like these.

  22. Great topic, thanks for posting. My favorites are #7 and #8. Persistence usually pays off in the end, however, there are times when it’s time to call it quits, where time and energy could be better spent.

  23. There’s a good Bible verse to go along with #4 that Dave Ramsey always repeats. I’ll find it later and post it. I live my life by rules #6 and #10. Being debt free has helped me achieve my goal of moving home to start a family, can’t wait!

  24. Bra-vo. Thanks for posting these…as I re-invent myself and begin to rise out of financial ashes like the Phoenix, I needed this pep-talk this afternoon. Kudos an getting Pressed like Freshly ironed Buffett pinstriped suits.
    ~ Achilliad

  25. I would have to pick #10 – knowing what success *really* means, because like all my other ideas, it’s going to evolve over time. Great post, great find in a restaurant. Congratulations on Freshly Pressed!

  26. I really love this! These are great tips coming from some who knows the best! My favorite is to reinvest your earning. I wish I would have done this with all of my babysitting profits I made this summer.

      • Reinvesting or Saving….from Berkshire Hathaway’s Shareholders Statement, Mr. Buffett wrote a story of a letter a father wrote to his son on his wedding day. In the letter it said to start saving now. Open an account, put $25 in there to start then be disciplined. If you can’t put your said amount, then put anything. It’s the habit that’s most important.

        Here’s the archive of Berkshire Hathaway’s Shareholder Letters:
        http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/letters/letters.html

  27. I saw Buffet on TV not too long ago saying: “Be greedy when others are cautious and cautious when others are greedy.” I also saw a piece done on him saying that he does not own “toys” (i.e. boats, planes, expensive cars etc.). His reasoning, “They cost too much money.”

  28. Thank you for this great post! For me, it’s a tie between number one and number ten. One, because it’s something I’ve never thought of before, but it is very smart. And ten because it’s something I think we should all try to emulate; putting life success above career success.
    Really great!

  29. I love this post and I want to translate your post into Chinese. In addition, i want to know if i can use your pic on this post on my blog?

    Looking forward to your reply!

  30. Great stuff, great find, and great choice of topic! In the end, we all want to be successful and loved – I wouldn’t really know but I think that only very few can say they have both :) My favorite is #10 – saved the best for last :)

  31. I wonder If we can apply those rules to my beloved New York Mets j/k

    Check out my post on “Watch The Throne’ and daily posts on other topics at Wan’s 2 Cents @ ku1cornelius.wordpress.com

  32. great post… I really like Warren Buffet.. Very ideal, wish we can keep the same kind of soundness when we reach such level of success in life…

  33. A fantastic post, especially during the current economic climate. It’s amazing that you saw this poster at a sub shop! From what I’ve read about Buffett, I think he’s an incredibly wise person. Not just successful in investing, but much more beyond that.

    • Its funny how life works. You go into a sub shop for a $5 sandwich, and you come out 45 minutes later with a photo of a sign containing PRICELESS incredible business and life wisdom. Go figure! Thanks for reading.

  34. Not many great leaders who also have great ethics like Warren Buffet. I think the Thumbsucker rule hits home for me. I wish I could make decisions and act on them that quickly. My favorite Buffet rule isn’t on this list though. He once said something like “if you don’t want to see it in the headlines, then don’t do it.” Rules that are simple and true. Thanks for posting!

  35. Why wouldn’t you listen to the advice of a PROVEN money maker? He has been in the business nearly half a century, and the principles he applied early in his career are still relevant today. Thanks for posting this up – needed the reminder!

  36. Thanks – really interesting. Number 8 however – I differ to your comment. The only person who makes money consistently at the racetrack is the bookie. The owners only make money when their horses win, otherwise they are paying for feeding, agisting, training etc. The bookies make money on all the losing horses! Same as the old rule at the casino – the house always wins. Congrats on being freshly pressed.

  37. The number one rule is that people make a business great. Warren always buys businesses which have a great management structure intact. Then he lets them make money without his interference.

    This could be written as, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

  38. Really appreciate this post, thank you! I’m heavy on the abstract imaginative end of things, and not a good numbers-person (or so I think!) Will definitely be trying to implement this advice.

  39. But the trick is to know when to stop obeying #7 and start listening to #8.
    How many failed businesses would have succeeded if the owner had been more persistent? How owners of failing businesses could do better by doing something else? We will never know!

  40. Wow, excellent post! Where did you find this? I really admire Buffett; he is the greatest investor of all time. It’s hard to pick one rule, but I would have to say reinvesting profits… American’s don’t know how to do that, and it’s a lesson we all need to learn. I am actually planning on making a post about this on my own blog; saving money and how to live within your means. I’d like if you would check it out and see if you have any suggestions on topics for me. Keep up the good work!

  41. I love the first rule! Once the money is in people’s hand, people sometimes forget to reinvest, some of them even being confuse with the money and buy unnecessary things. Buffett shows and teaches us how reinvest has made him a great businessman.

  42. True in its concerns…… “The Bookie” is sort of a sales Rep…..”Money” spent… is Money invested in what’s it worth… The biggest Question is……. Is Lend me ??

  43. ‘To Quit” is different from redirecting your plan…..maybe is time for you to make a move….
    or so forth…. moving on is the hardest thing to do…. so we say why quit… lets go further…..partner

  44. The prpoblem with all of the banks and other businesses that were “saved” is that someone was still making a profit from the disaster. While ever the same people who caused the problem are advising the current administration, the problem will persist. They are all driven by greed I think.

  45. Practically, I have tried to live by #5 and #6. I also love Vegas and playing the penny slots. I do limit my spending to a certain amount each day, because it is fun for me to win. I never gamble anywhere else. #10 is my favourite of all. In fact, it doesn’t matter to me if people don’t love me back…I love people who don’t even know I exist. I will measure my success in the end by the love I have given to others.

  46. Wise words for these turbulent times. I started my own company 6 years ago, in seafood culture, and these rules can be applied for the whole process (for good and for bad).

  47. They’re all good. Number 4 is the best one for me. I’m a beginning entrepreneur. I can see that if I don’t negotiate the terms of a deal before I start I’ll get myself in trouble and be unprofitable.

  48. I love the Rule that says, “Spell Out The Deal Before You Start”. That is indeed the point of greatest leverage. I have made that mistake… as recently as this week, when I low-balled an expected salary. Now, I may have to suck it up for months to come… but failure is not fatal. I shall continue….! (Which rule was that, about persistence..?)

  49. Missing 2,7 & 10!
    Warren would not have all of his billions donated to ANY OTHER Non profit when he has his own organization structure to manage the resources he may leave behind.
    This is especially true he would hand pick his cabinet from experienced persons with proven or unproven backgrounds to balance the thoughts of others or mentor people as they have for leaders we have today.
    Again, we have in this country a lack of imagination as Albert Einstein has said before that “Imagination is more important than Knowledge” But I have coined the phrase that ” You can have all the Knowledge in the World; if you don’t use it, it means nothing!” AY1988 cpw
    He said he would not support the rich position and the non fact that the rich pays a fair share of the taxes compared to the earnings of the rich compared to the middle class and the poor.
    Facts are from IRS files and Treasury Department. This is the only place I have found the imagination of the rich is incorrectly used to determine the correct direction to move forward for this Nation.
    It was this great Nation’s imagination to have strong determination to imagine landing a man on the moon. It was this great Nation that made all the the great inventions, we as a Nation invented.
    But what I have experienced we are still missing 2, 7 & 10

    • Thanks for the Comment, Al, but I don’t think you can take such an absolute position. While business leaders in the US and elsewhere can work on #s 2, 7, and 10, there are numerous examples of great people and great work being done. Thanks again!

  50. I liked the rule about knowing when to quit. I think a lot of people can be easily tricked into the sunken investment dilemma where they keep digging a bigger hole for themselves when they should have just left to save their time and money. Great post I really enjoyed it! But did you say that Tim Geithner was your Mandarin language TA at Darthmouth?? I didn’t know he spoke mandarin. Or did you TA him in Mandarin?

    • Thanks Michael. Knowing when to “fold ‘em” is important in investing, business, and poker too! Yes Tim was one year ahead of me and was my TA. I think he took 2 full years of Mandarin and studies abroad in Beijing too. Not sure if he still speaks though…

  51. I’m a huge fan of #6. When you think about it, it’s the core to a successful retirement. Even if an individual chooses not to invest (not my style but let’s just say) and they stick to #6 there can be light at the end of the tunnel. I can give an example I’m betting most of us can relate to, our grandparents. Mine never made a bunch of money in their life. Mostly middle class income to be sure. But the trick ( it’s called a trick these days because very few employ the strategy) is they lived in what they could afford and they drove what they could afford. They did not confuse want with need. My Texas license plate says BRK.A and the cool thing to me is it’s bolted on a Subaru. America needs to loose this sense of entitlement and get back to the days of our grandparents. Just my 2 cents. Thanks Tien for the great post. Oh back to the plate, I thinks it’s sort of funny. People that don’t know ask me if the BRK.A somehow means broke ass I just smile and say “exactly”.

  52. Hi Tien, Truly appreciate your efforts for bringing this in front. I’ve very limited to say after this & honestly I’m in deep RED, i have recently accepted one challenge i.e. starting my own business and for last 6 months there is no income and already invested entire hardcash that I had. We have started IT Consulting which is very rare and & unique. Thanks for motivating me in this difficult time!!!!! I’m pretty confident it will change the rules of consulting!

    • Mahesh, thanks for the Comment. Hang in there. Adversity is the best teacher. The taste of victory will be much sweeter because of the challenging times you are facing. All entrepreneurs are survivors. Never give up!

  53. It makes a lovely reading. I was remineded of a scholar in India by name of Chankya in ancient times who had similar rules on economy. For me the rule no 10 is the ultimate.

  54. Number 6 is my favourite, Limit what your borrow, I belive when you borrow from financial institutions, they don’t really care about your business or what you do with the money, yet they asked you all these questions. The business of finanicial institutions is to give you money on a high interest rate, and make money from you. When I borrow $10 bugs from a friend, I pay him back $10, when you borrow $10 from a financial institution, you pay back $20 based on the time period and interest rate.

  55. #2, #4, and #7 are my best rules. this is true and trust me it works. i just became knowledgeable on some great life skills. thanks man.

  56. Thank you for posting a great article!
    My favorite Warren Buffer rule is #10, “KNOW WHAT SUCCESS REALLY MEANS.
    In the end you will be remembered for what you did for others, not what you did for yourself.

  57. Thanks for this insightful article. I like point No. 4: spell out the deal before you start. I have recently retired and decided to continue to earn by writing SOP for clients. (I was a former HR practitioner.) Business was hard to come by. In my eagerness to clinch the deal I went ahead to do some writing job for a few clients without asking for a deposit. Half way down the road my clients decided to pull out the project and I ended up spending hours on research and preliminary drafts without collecting a single cent. And these clients were my friends! All was not lost though. I gained some new knowledge while researching for information on unfamiliar industries. I’ve learnt that I should not trust anyone who claims that our deal is based on mutual trust and we should not talk about upfront payment before starting a job. I’ve learnt that in future I should not show the client the full table of contents and the writing format until some money is received. I lost a few clients by showing them the detailed table of content of the manual and my writing format – they took my sample and did the work themselves.

    • Very true. Nowadays, the word trust has no meaning; people think they are smart by cheating who trusted them and shared the info, but they don’t understand that what goes around comes around. I experience this mostly when dealing with people in the education field when they are supposed to be having some compassion because they are dealing in a sector imparting values. God bless them.

  58. No. 1: REINVEST YOUR PROFITS

    I have done that since I was a young girl playing cards for pennies with my brother and cousins. We’d start out with 50 cents; once I had anything over that, I’d take the 50 cents and put it in my pocket and just play with the “profits””winnings” trying to make on that!!!

  59. I am partnering with a friend to start an advertising and production company. It is very excited, but also a little scary. This post for very helpful and encouraging! I love #2, but ultimately, I think #10 is my favorite. Thank you for sharing this!

  60. Thanks for this post! Number 3 is definitely my favorite. We often waste time and create stress going over again and again probable outcomes. The truth is you never know what is going to happen. You just have to stop sucking your thumb and do something already! Then if it doesn’t work out, do something else (Number 8).

  61. Many of them tie together and are all additive to each other. I love the persistence and I love avoiding sucking one’s thumb and procrastinating – as I might be doing right now as I sit here waiting to begin doing some business canvassing to local small business owners in my community – and do not be afraid of success. Know what the success is that you are searching for and how you know you have achieved it when it arrives at the door. Be sure you have the courage to let it in the door!

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