I tend to be one of those people who is a rebel by nature. The rules never worked for me, so I tend to create my own. Starting my own business was no different. And since I started with literally no idea what I was doing, I figured the best way was to just figure out MY way. I was never conventional, so why start now?
The more your business works for you, the more fun you’ll have and the more money you’ll make!
Here are some of the business rules I broke, followed by a list of some of the rules I’m giving you full permission to break too!
Rule #1: You must dedicate a lot of time to your new business
Four months after starting my business, I moved into a van and hit the road on an 8-month rock-climbing trip with my boyfriend. By budgeting my time wisely on my trip (ie. Working 1 day a week in Starbucks and taking my clients calls everywhere from parking lots to cliff tops). I was able to slowly grow my business while living the dream. It was also the perfect way to experiment with different ways of working with my clients before settling into the way that felt right for me.
Rule #2: You must try to get as many clients as you can. This is an indication of how well your business is doing.
I used to hear coaches brag about how many clients they had. I remember one coach asking me how many people I was working with, and when I told her 6, she replied with a smug look on her face, telling me she had 20 clients.
But instead of being jealous, I was actually laughing in my head. How someone works with 20 one-on-one clients at a time is beyond me. Not only would I never be able to keep track of that many people, I just don’t want to work that hard! So I decided early on that I ONLY wanted to work with 4 clients at once. And to make up for the drop in income, I raised my prices. A LOT.
Case in point: You don’t have to constantly hustle for more and more clients. More clients does not always equal more success. You get to decide how many clients you want to work with, and then adjust your prices accordingly.
Note from Denise: You can hear about my client strategy and how it has changed over time here.
Rule #3: It’s important to get clients who will sign on for long term.
Sure, that’s a great goal if you enjoy working with people long-term… which I don’t. I’m a wham-bam kinda girl, and I’m totally happy to work with my clients in short bursts and then send the on their way. So I decided I will only work with people for one-month, because that’s about as long as I can sustain my energy with one client.
There is no one right way to do your work, and it’s up to you to decide how long you want to make your packages and services.
Rule #4: Don’t spend all your time messing around on social media.
Pardon me, but who are you to tell me how to spend my time!? It just so happens that I LOVE Facebook, and that I get a lot of my business from there. So it’s a win-win really. I get to interact with my clients directly on a personal level, and it never feels like work for me. Yeah, I spend a LOT of time on social media, but it pays off. One night in my private Uncaged Facebook group someone mentioned that they wished there was a simple how-to guide for business. I happened to have the evening free, so I created one, launched it at a Pay What You Want price, and made $2k overnight.
It’s up to you how and when you use social media in your business. If it works for you, it works for you. Screw what anyone else tells you.
Rule #5: It’s all in the list, and you need to focus on building your list to a huge number before you can sell anything.
I was never really interested in numbers. I was more interested in giving people value and being the best damn coach that I could be. When I started my business, I didn’t even have an opt-in. I wasn’t really interested in creating something just for the sake of bribing people to sign up, so I didn’t.
Turns out you CAN sell out all your programs with just a small group of engaged people. By really listening to and engaging with the people that want what I offer, I was able to create programs and services that are perfect for them, and that sell out every time.
Numbers are just fluff if no one is buying from you, so I say ignore your numbers for a while and see what happens in your business.
If you’ve been struggling with trying to conform to all the rules that you’ve been told to follow when you’re starting a business, I hereby give you full permission to break ALL of them. In addition to the rules above, here’s a list of common rules you may want to consider breaking:
- You shouldn’t list your prices on your website
- Don’t work for free, it will make you seem cheap
- You must always sound and look professional
- Don’t reveal too much about your personal life
- Schedule everything
- You need to have a clear job title
- Set your prices low when you’re starting out because you’re still getting established
- Say yes to everything
- Go to every networking event you can
- You need a business plan
- You need to choose a niche
- You must want to make six figures
- Be everywhere on social media
- You need to have 10 years of experience in your field to be considered an expert
- You shouldn’t use your name as your business
What other business rules are you just dying to break? Share in the comments!
Rebecca Tracey a jet-setting Business Coach, and the head/only honcho at The Uncaged Life. She works with clients from all over the world who want to have the freedom of working from anywhere by running their own online business. She’s helped 100+ big thinkers find their message, create packages that sell, and learn to do business THEIR way. She started her business while living in a van, loves rock climbing and riding her bike around Toronto, and is obsessed with helping people realize that life is too short to what-if your way through.
Note from Denise – HOLY AWESOME – I loved this post so much! I love rule breakers and Rebecca is the perfect example that we can create business EXACTLY the way we want it.