You need to develop some rules for your business. Simple guidelines that you and if you’ve got employees or team members can follow. I’m going to tell you my three most important rules that have helped me through many business challenges.

Bad feeling rule

These rules serve as a compass, something that you can quickly check to help you. The first one I have to admit comes from Star Wars. It’s the “bad feeling” rule.

Now, joking aside, if you’ve got a bad feeling, you need to trust it. People often forget that we are still at heart animals and creatures with instincts between the coffee, the lack of sleep and the electronic devices. We dull those senses, but ultimately you know when something is wrong, you have a feeling you can pick up on it.

If you think the client might be upset and you have a bad feeling, reach out. If you feel something is going wrong, double-check things. I’ve rarely had something go wrong in my business where somebody didn’t have a bad feeling. You have to learn to trust this.

Rule of threes rule

The next one is my rule of threes, not to be confused with the rule of thirds for composition. The rule of threes states that I have three criteria for taking a job:

  1. The first is that the work is going to be good for my portfolio. 
  2. The second is that I will be paid fairly. 
  3. The third is that I enjoy the people that I’m working with. 

Now, the reality here with the rule of threes is that two out of three ain’t bad. What I mean by this is that you should accept two of those items. The people may be challenging to work for a tough client, but you’re getting paid well and it’s good to work for your portfolio. 

That’s great, but I don’t care how famous the client is. If the work’s not good and you’re not getting paid fairly, don’t just do something for low pay for your portfolio. 

If you love what you do and you’re getting a chance to work with great nonprofits, well, you might not need to make as much on that job or even do some work for free. It’s good for the soul. Strive for all three but settle for two. 

But remember, having all three is essential: Work that’s good for the portfolio, people you enjoy working with and a fair payment.

Like and respect rule

My last rule is the like and respect rule. This says that ultimately people choose to do business with those that they like and respect. This means your clients must get to know you that your company has a culture and that people can really understand who you are and what’s important. 

Let your personality show through a bit because people will connect with you, and this means that if you form business relationships that have a friendship angle, be a good friend. Take the time to answer people’s questions, stay connected, remember to send those thank you notes. Not everybody has to be a person that you have dinner with or go out for a beer with, but you need to really show that you like your clients and that you have respect for them and they will return the same.

Can’t wait for the rest?

See all 31 resolutions right here (and be sure to watch the whole video for a free gift).