Where I live there is this “rule” that you shouldn’t turn on your heating until after Anzac Day which is on 25 April. As if you are a bit wimpy if you turn it on before then. I suspect it has more to do with organisations saving a bit of money more than anything to do with the weather. I remember being at school and being very happy when that heating finally came on.

I know it’s not logical rule. Yet when we had a cold day a couple of weeks before ANZAC day with lots of wind and rain to add to the feeling, I had this little voice in my head telling me I couldn’t turn the heating on.

I didn’t listen to that little voice and when I saw that it had only been 14C degrees (balmy in some part of the world I know!) here yesterday I felt vindicated. Which is a little bit crazy because what should matter is whether I felt cold not what the thermometer was saying.

There are “rules” like this in the online business world as well. I’m thinking of:

  • You’ve got to be on social media to have a successful business. Even though there are people out there being successful in their business without social media.
  • Your blog posts have to be a certain length (usually long). Yet Seth Godin has a very successful blog that is often very short and as an added insult to the rules has no graphics. His blog post on 1 April was just over 100 words and got me thinking more than lots of longer blog posts do.
  • You can only have one offer / you’ve got to have passive income / you’ve got to have a membership. When I’ve seen all types of businesses thrive.
  • You have to price high / you’ve got to be affordable. When I know people who make great money with all sorts of pricing models. 
  • You’ve got to do video. Even though I personally know people who don’t do video yet are very successful.
  • And much as it pains me to say this, you don’t have to track your numbers to have a successful business.

That isn’t to say some of these things won’t help your business, particularly if done well. But if they make you hate your business are they worth doing?

For me there are very few have to haves for a successful business:

1.     You’ve got to have something to sell at a profit that people want to buy.
2.     You need to tell those people that you have that thing to sell (ie marketing).

It is that simple – not necessarily easy though!

Then I’ve got my own personal rules that it has to be ethical (as defined by me) and lawful. But there are plenty of successful businesses that don’t follow that these rules.

If you are doing something in your business that you hate and it’s not something you are required to do like your taxes, could you stop doing it? I would love for you to ask yourself:

What would happen if I stopped?

It might not be something you can stop immediately. If you are getting all your clients through Instagram, deciding to ditch Instagram instantly might not be the solution. But could you start exploring other ways of marketing yourself that feels more joyful to you?

If you ask yourself this question, I would love to hear what you want to stop doing.

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