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10 Rules to Build a Wildly Successful Business – part 2

Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff built a company called Honest Tea from scratch into a $100 million enterprise which they eventually sold to Coca-Cola.

They wrote a book about the journey called “Mission in a Bottle”:

In addition, Forbes wrote an article about the two entrepreneurs which you can read here:

In the article, Goldman and Nalebuff share 10 must-follow rules on how to start and build a successful business.

In last week’s blog, I shared the first five success rules and this week here are the other five:

6. “Don’t compromise on the big things – compromise on everything else.”

Vision. Purpose. Core values. Write these things in stone and never budge. But flexibility in your value proposition, and the products and services you build to execute your purpose is very important. Many entrepreneurs fail to ‘bend to the market’ by adapting to what their customers are telling them.

7. “Figure out how to achieve your goals on a tiny budget – then cut that number in half.”

Yes – you’ve heard it said before – it will cost twice as much and take twice as long as you think. Our recommendation is you apply the principles of “lean” to your business from day one. No fancy offices. No top-of-the-range cars. Your goal is to stay alive until you can nail your secret formula for success. Blowing the budget will ensure nothing but a quick death.

8. “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

Is it ever. Building a business is neither for the faint hearted nor the speed demon. Climbing Mount Everest is far from easy but starting from basecamp, apparently it takes 26,364 steps of 7” each to reach the summit! In your business, it’s no different. Build systems and put in place processes for the long-haul and then focus on small-connected steps – one step at a time!

9. “Take care of your family, and both your personal and spiritual health – if you aren’t laughing or smiling on a regular basis, recalibrate.”

Imagine the path to a wildly successful business: the founder working at a feverish pace for 18 hours each day, for at least 5 years straight. True? Not in Seth Goldman’s case. He made it clear there were two reasons he made it through the tough years: first – he believed in his purpose, second – his drive for personal balance in his life. The notion that we need to ignore our family relationships, our personal health or our level of sanity to build our business is sadly misaligned.

10. “Build the enterprise and the brand as if you’ll own them forever.”

Will you sell your business someday? Maybe. Should that be the sole reason you are building it? Probably not. When you start and build a business based on passion and purpose, with a burning desire to solve the pain of your customer through the delivery of a value proposition that you can monetise, you build a far more valuable enterprise. Those in it for the short-term or wanting to make a quick buck rarely succeed.

That’s it. Honest Tea’s 10 rules for building a wildly successful business.

Now think about how you can apply these success principles in your own business.