15 Personal Rules You Should Follow for Business Success

12/28/2017 08:59 am ET Updated Dec 28, 2017

As your business starts to grow, you need to maintain a set of practices that ensure your continued success into the future. Establishing a set of rules for yourself to follow and sticking to them can make all the different when trying to avoid a potentially disastrous business mistake. We asked 15 entrepreneurs what personal rules they follow to help their businesses stay successful.

A. Give Before You Take

A general rule of thumb I abide by is to try to add value to those with whom I connect, rather than search for the ways I can extract value. I trust that it doesn't need to come back to me from the recipient, but the karmic retribution of giving will circle back in time, from someone, somewhere. As a result, I've built a vibrant and diverse network who are happy to help me, too. - Darrah Brustein, Network Under 40

A. Work With People With a Good Moral Conscience

Choose to work with people who possess a good moral conscience. Not to say that immoral people can’t succeed in business, but that they will screw your customers, your culture, your coworkers and eventually you when the next opportunity comes knocking. When you run a company, you'll be too busy to constantly watch your back. Choose people who will do the right thing when the going gets tough. - Raad Ahmed, LawTrades

A. Surround Yourself With the Best

I firmly believe that we become what we are surrounded by. If you surround yourself with the most inspiring mentors, positive teams and powerful information on a daily basis, you will succeed. Running a business is incredibly challenging, so look at every person in your life, every device you are using, and everything you are seeing and hearing, and decide if it's helping you or hurting you. - Beth Doane, Main & Rose

A. Remember Life Is Short

Every time I take on a new project, I ask myself if, at the end of the day, I will be proud of my work. As time is our most valuable resource, I try to stay aligned with my core values and keep in mind that we have a short amount of time on this planet. It's difficult not to get caught up in day-to-day tasks, but regularly thinking about your legacy can help you see the bigger picture. - Matt Wilson, Under30Experiences

A. Build on Your Strengths, Hire for Your Weaknesses

I'm much more successful when I can admit that I don't know how to do something, or need help with something. Being aware of my limitations allows me to hire and work with people who can do it better than I can. Together we accomplish a lot more in a lot less time. - Rachel Beider, Massage Greenpoint, Massage Williamsburg

A. Be Efficient With Your Energy

Everyone focuses on time management, but I like to focus on energy management. When I have high energy (mornings for me), I can accomplish tasks in less time and more effectively. Instead of focusing on how I put in 15 hours yesterday, I focus on what I accomplished. Forget the time. This starts by defining my high-priority tasks for the day and looking back and asking, "Did I get them done?" - Michael Averto, ChannelApe

A. Level Up

Complacency is the enemy of continued success. When I first started with entrepreneurship, it was with an SEO agency. Then came a productized service and now, a software product. By constantly challenging myself and achieving a level of mastery before moving on, I feel my learning is accelerated and it helps put me in the best possible position to be a highly skilled entrepreneur. - Ajay Paghdal, OutreachMama

A. Finish What You Start

No matter what I'm working on, I make sure I complete it in some way, shape, or form. This is a way of sticking to my promises to deliver — no matter how challenging something becomes, I'm still going to find a way to achieve it. - Angela Ruth, Calendar

A. Make Time for Everything

I like working around the clock but I stop everything to make sure my wife, daughter, family and friends get the attention they deserve. I bring them with me and incorporate personal time into every trip. There must be time for sailing and escaping, even with all that I'm working on. - Murray Newlands, Sighted

A. Always Be Transparent

Being completely transparent with everyone you are in business with is the key to establishing meaningful, long-term relationships. Having trust is important in any personal relationship and business relationships are't any different. Being transparent with your partners, employees, and clients establishes the highest level of trust. - Duran Inci, Optimum7

A. Pay It Forward at Every Opportunity

The concept of "pay it forward" says you should help others with absolutely no intention of ever getting paid back. In business and in life, failure happens. Success depends on climbing back up each time. Paying it forward has helped me create a strong network of true lifelong friends. They have supported me in my times of greatest need, and they are the reason for my success today. - Kevin Tao, NeuEve

A. Lead From the Front

Spend time in the trenches with employees every day. Exhibit traits that you want to see in them (productivity, direct communication, client orientation, fun, etc.). They are much more likely to emulate you than simply do those things because they are being told. - Amishi Takalkar, NAILBITER

A. Do It Right or Don't Do It

Beyond a personal rule, this underpins everything we do as a company. There's no halfway, and the entire organization knows that everything we touch must be done right. This gives our clients confidence that we're going to deliver for them, and allows our team to push back if something doesn't seem like a total effort. It also helps us filter prospects and avoid customers who don't value quality. - Jeff Jahn, DynamiX

A. Never Stop Learning

There is always more to learn, no matter what industry you are in. Always strive to be on top of the latest industry trends and obtain as much information as possible. I take time out of each day to read, whether it's newsletters, articles or books — it's important to be in the know. - Jared Brown, Hubstaff Talent

A. Make Sure You Love It

If I don't love what I'm working on, my work is not going to be top notch. I have to have passion for what I am working on​. If I do not, I get out and move on to the next project. - Ben Landis, Fanbase

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC has also launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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