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Creating YOUR Rules

Brief Overview

As driven entrepreneurs, we want to do everything. But sometimes that can create tension, especially on the home front. So, what do you do? I’ll tell you in this episode.

Big Ideas

[00:35] There are downsides to being a driven entrepreneur, but it rarely ever gets talked about. And if you’ve got young kids, well my friends, that just amplifies it! When you’re trying to balance being a parent and being a husband and any other commitments that you have, while also trying to be an entrepreneur and grow your business, it’s hard, right? And so, we talk about this whole balance thing but the reality of it is, I don’t think we’re ever always in balance. But you can be more in balance if and only if you have rules in your life.

[01:35] Rules are important because without them, you have to decide in the moment what to do and that could be tricky because as a driven entrepreneur, the more success you experience, the more opportunities that are going to come your way. And each opportunity that comes your way, you have to decide whether you’re going to say yes to it, which is by default going to result in saying no to other things. Because you and I, we only have so much time in our day, so we can’t say yes to everything.

As driven entrepreneurs, we think we can take everything on, right? And so, what happens? We say yes, yes, yes to everything and then slowly but surely the threads of our life start to untangle. They start to create gaps. Things start to slip. When you have rules in your life, it makes the decision-making easy. In the moment, it’s hard and it’s very easy to be tempted to say yes when you should really say no. It’s very easy to say yes to things that in the grand scheme of things don’t really matter, but by default, you’re saying no to the things that matter. We want to flip that.

[06:50] As entrepreneurs, we can get fearful of saying no. We think things like “If I don’t say yes to this opportunity then no more opportunities are going to come.” And that’s just not true. If your products and services help people continue to get results, you will always be in high demand. So, that whole fear of “If I don’t say yes to this, no more opportunities are going to come my way”, is completely bogus.

[07:34] The key is to get clear on what your rules are. So below, I’ve shared some examples of the kinds of rules I’ve set in my own life…  

Rule #1

I will not travel away from my kids more than once per month for three or more days.

Rule #2:

I want to be home when my kids are home (as much as possible). So, when they get home from school, I want to be home from school. When they’re off on the weekend, I want to be off on the weekend. When they’re off for the holidays, I want to be off for the holidays. Now, I’m not perfect at this, but I strive really hard to abide by this. Some work days obviously go a little bit longer.

Rule #3:

I don’t do business with people who stress me out. I would take less money in a less stressful way any day of the week versus making a whole lot more money, but being stressed out all the time. I don’t ever want to do that. I want to make more money in a less stressful way. And so, I just won’t do business with people that stress me out.

Rule #4:

I don’t work on projects that create sustained stress. There’s good stress and bad stress. An example of good stress is when you’re working out and you’re putting stress on your body, but growth comes from that. Bad stress is when you’re up at night and you can’t sleep because you’re stressed out and it’s just keeping you up. I don’t want bad stress. Now, any time you’re working on a new project for the first time, there’s going to be stress because you’re doing something new for the first time. But if that project continues to create stress, then it becomes a question mark.

Rule #5:

(This is my friend Christine’s rule) – She said she has to be in bed by 9 p.m. every night no matter what. Christine made her health a priority and because she made her health a priority, sleep was of the utmost importance.

Rule #6:

(This one belongs to Michael Hyatt) – He never travels alone with another female other than his wife and/or daughters. This might sound crazy, as he has plenty of female colleagues, but this strict rule just eliminates any possible negative scenario that could be twisted or turned in a negative way, either through perception or through reality. Over his career, he saw the downside of it in other people. Meaning there were all kinds of affairs and divorce. And he said, “I just never wanted that in my life and so I never put myself in a situation where that could possibly happen.

[14:56] So, these are some great examples of the types of rules you can put in place. Now you can start to think about YOUR own rules. Think about rules as it relates to your family and to your work and most importantly to your top priorities in life.

Memorable Quotes

When you set your rules and you stick to them, it makes the decision-making easy.” – Stu McLaren

As long as you stay focused on helping people get great results, the opportunities will never stop.” – Stu McLaren


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