Rule #1

Rule #1: You MUST have a daily schedule that you follow religiously. This is what separates real entrepreneurs who actually succeed beyond what anyone can imagine and those who go in and out of trying to become an entrepreneur. There are other rules for success of course, but Rule #1 is sacred and first because everything else is propelled by it. And writing down a schedule, but not following it is of course the same as not having one.

A lot of people when asked what’s the most important rule of success in business, they’ll say, “Customer obsession.” Hey, customer obsession is prime, but part of being obsessed with your customers is actually spending the time making sure they’re happy. You can’t really do the customer obsession thing if you’re just putting attention on it when you think of it or feel like it. A schedule keeps you focused and busy with what you set out to do. It keeps you in the reality you choose rather than what your every whim chooses as you go through your day. It’s that simple.

Warren Buffet is quoted as saying that Rule #1 is, “Don’t lose money.” That’s a terrific rule and indispensable for success, but if you don’t keep a schedule then you’re not going to make the money you aren’t supposed to lose. It’s a matter of what comes first being preeminent. 1. Keep a schedule that aligns you with making money. 2. Don’t lose the money. 3. Keep a schedule that makes you more money.

Put simply, your schedule is your intention to organize your time. And time is really just a measurement of change. With a good schedule, you can direct that change to be positive rather than negative. For example, making sure you get enough sleep is crucial and without following a schedule then that’s not necessarily going to happen. A good schedule is unique to you and your dreams, but it’s realistic as well as challenging.

I heard that Arnold Schwarzenegger said that you should get no more than 6 hours of sleep if you want to be successful. I think Saint Francis said this too, but for a different end. Either way, a person once responded to this claim by asking Arnold, “Arnold, I really need at least 7 hours to function right the next day. What should I do?” Arnold replied, “Sleep faster.”

Your schedule is your own and how you layout your day should fit with who you are and not someone else. You can get ideas from other people, but be ready to make changes that fit it to how you like your day to unfold. The bottom line should be that the schedule should reflect your goals. If you want to grow your business then make sure the time spent on it outweighs everything else. But, if you have family be sure to give them time or this will eventually not only harm your relationship with them, but it will also have a negative effect on your business. You need the support of friends and family. Make them part of your day and week.

Be sure to write down your schedule each night before bed. Everyone has their preference in a planner. I currently use the At-A-Glance: Weekly/Monthly Appointment Book. I like a physical book with a pencil or pen rather than an app. But use what suits you best. Whatever you use, start filling it. I schedule 30-minute segments. This keeps me attentive to every minute of the day. I don’t like wasting time. Remember, time is a measurement of change and we can only make that change positive if we’re on top of how we use all of the time we’re given.

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