7 Important Life Principles I Live By As An Entrepreneur

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Have you ever wondered what are the life principles that every successful entrepreneur have adopted in their life that have brought them forward in their entrepreneurial journey?

If you listen to my podcast episode which I have released today, you will find me talking about certain life principles or affirmations that I believe that have served me well in both my business and personal life.

Itaewon Class: The Drama That We Need

This blog post and podcast episode were inspired by a Korean drama I recently finished watching and it’s called Itaewon Class. If you’re interested, you can easily find it on Netflix and even if K-drama is not your thing, I highly recommend it.

Without spoiling the drama series, Itaewon Class is a story surrounding this one guy who is trying to start a bar. Throughout his journey of becoming an entrepreneur, he faces a lot of hurdles that get thrown in his way and although he creates a lot of tension with the other characters, there is one thing that he has that allows a lot of other characters to respect him as an individual and sets him apart.

And that is the fact that he has very strong morals and very strong principles. Even if it means taking the harder route, not cutting corners, or doing things that may be a little bit more challenging and difficult; he will still do them to stand by and live by his principles.

His character was so deeply rooted in his strong principles and the way that he will never compromise them may make him appear as stubborn. But because of this, he is seen as someone with insane integrity. Not only that, but it also allows him to think creatively to garner respect from the other characters. His principles allow him to succeed in his business and set himself apart from the other business owners who, maybe, will compromise their principles to make money.

This is why I highly recommend this K-drama series. And because of how much I enjoyed watching it, it got me thinking about myself and made me think about my principles. It made me think about all of the different various values that I’ve upheld or the different affirmations that I have that helped me grow in my business, in my personal life, and has helped me achieve the goals that I set my mind to.

So, in today’s blog post and podcast episode, I would love to share with you 7 important life principles I live by as an entrepreneur.

These are the principles and affirmations that I constantly tell and remind myself of whenever I am making decisions within my business or when I’m interacting with other people. These are the principles and affirmations that keep me grounded.

If you prefer to listen to the podcast, make sure you check out the latest episode here and I would love to know if today’s episode resonates with you.

But if you prefer to read, keep scrolling to learn more about the principles that I have in my life. Hopefully, you might take some of these and adopt them into your life and understand the importance of you standing by them even in those critical moments where it may seem harder to follow the moral code.

Life Principle #1: Never Think It's a Failure

This is something that I have learned when I did my Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner training and it’s one of the presuppositions that exists in the NLP world.

If you have no idea what it meant, it’s basically something that you have already assume beforehand, before something happens or before there is an argument. These assumptions are just presuppositions and these are the things that you have already assumed.

So, let’s say if my presupposition is “There is never a failure, only feedback,” and I approach everything in my life with this assumption and mindset, it’s going to be how I determine the perspective that I take in my life. So in my case, if my presupposition is the fact that “There is never a failure, only feedback,” how I apply this into my life is I will see everything as feedback.

Let’s give you two quick examples.

If I get a nasty customer support email, I don’t think of it as, “Oh, my business failed to support this person.”

But instead, I’ll take this as just feedback on how I can get better. Or, let’s say if we are launching and it doesn’t go the way that I wanted it to go, I automatically assume that it’s not a failure. It’s simply just feedback.

So basically, every single thing in my business and in my life including every opportunity, every activity, every decision, and every interaction that I take; I will just take it as feedback and nothing more.

And the reason why this principle is so important to me is that when we think of failure, we also think of it as a dead end. We think of it as something that we can never come back from.

But if you make that perspective shift and you think of it as feedback and you know that there are opportunities to grow and to get better, this simple mindset shift and re-frame will help you a lot in making decisions fast-moving forward without getting caught up with the word – “failure”.

Life Principle #2: Done is Better Than Perfect

This is one of the principles that I have to tell myself constantly all the time because it’s so easy to get caught up in perfectionism in this modern world.

As a recovering perfectionist, I understand the struggles trying to care more about how things should look instead of efficiently deliver the work or product.

When I was still working in corporate, I realized I was probably one of the most inefficient people ever, and the reason why for this is because I cared more about the little details in trying to make things perfect. Sometimes, even the simplest Powerpoints which I would only show to my boss internally would be transformed into masterpieces. It’s all because I cared about perfectionism instead of focusing on the work itself.

Whenever you feel like you’re stuck in perfectionism mindset, ask yourself these questions:

  • How fast can you implement it?
  • How fast can you take action?
  • How fast can you execute?
"You will not succeed if you are constantly just trying to make things look perfect."
Vanessa Lau
vanessalau.co

Put the pressure off of yourself because no one will ever see the multiple drafts you had in your mind. They will only see what you put out there. So, don’t get so caught up in the little things and think, “Oh my God, should I do option B or should I tweak this?”

Remember: Done is better than perfect. The entrepreneur who is the most agile and who can get things out the fastest is always going to win over the entrepreneur who spends years trying to perfect something.

Perfectionism is only going to slow your progress down.

Life Principle #3: Being Fair is More Important Than Being Right

This is the most recent principle and affirmation I have adopted in the last six months. It can be so tempting to fight people in the customer support email or argue with all of these trolls who come through your DMs or disagree openly with everyone who disagrees with you.

But I realized that as a business owner, it’s more important that we choose the fair route than constantly battle people trying to prove your point.

It’s better to not let my ego get in the way.

In my experience, this tends to happen when it comes to refund requests. I believe for all business owners, we have a very hard time grappling refund requests. But luckily with my business and my program, we don’t get that many refund requests. But it does happen. Any business that is scaling and has a lot of people going through your programs, you’re always going to end up with some refund requests.

For us in our program, we have the “60-days do the work” refund policy which people can apply for within those 60 days. But the condition is that you need to prove to us that you have done the work. We need to see screenshots, we need to see documentation, we need to see the full nine yards of what you’ve done in the program.

This is a great refund policy because it allows people to think about whether or not they have given a fair shot to the program. Because so many people are tempted to ask for refunds when things get tough, when things get hard, when they get lazy, or when money is tight. So, by having this refund policy, it allows that person to have a clear look at themselves and understand themselves if they have already given a fair shot to the program or not.

But things can happen and sometimes, instead of me or having my team fight people, I realized that it’s more important for me to just let that go and to be fair vs. being right. If the students have done their best but still not seeing anything within that 60 days, and decided that they would rather have a refund, I would let it go and have that person walk away with a good and fair experience.

Life Principle #4: No One's Life Revolves Around Me

As a content creator and entrepreneur, it’s really easy to think that all eyes are on you.

Every time I missed an upload for my Youtube channel or made a mistake when I was posting something, I used to think, “Oh my gosh, now people are going to notice that I’m repeating the same things!”

The truth is, nobody cares because people are not just paying attention to you. They are looking at other people and more importantly, they are looking at themselves.

The fact that you’re nervous or worried about what people are thinking of you is not going to help you at all. There is no one out there that has to look at every single move that I’m making.

Not only this but by having this presupposition that no one’s life revolves around me and people only care about themselves, it has also allowed me to have better boundaries and learn to say no.

It used to be hard for me to say no to people and to reject people because I thought that I would be hurting their feelings. I thought that they would think that I’m a bad person, but what I realized is that their life doesn’t revolve around me.

If I say no today, maybe they might be disappointed for five minutes or even for a day. But it’s not going to affect them for the rest of their life.

And so by having this presupposition that no one’s life revolves around me and people only care about themselves, it has permitted me to have better boundaries.

It’s given me permission to be more forgiving on myself and to not take things so seriously because it’s so obnoxious and egotistic to think that all eyes are on you.

Life Principle #5: Don't Make Decisions When I'm Angry

The fifth principle that applies in my business, my relationships, and my life in general is I don’t make decisions when I’m upset. This is because I quickly realized that I always regret the things that I say whenever I am angry or frustrated.

And I’m not going to lie. I have fired people when I was angry and I regretted it. I have said things that I did not necessarily mean to my friends, to my family, and my boyfriend when I’m upset.

And I’ve made rash and bad decisions when I’m frustrated and even burned some bridges because of the things that I said.

Because of this, I started giving myself a 24-hour policy to sit on the thought and try to calm myself down before I make any decisions. That 24 hours always gives me more clarity and instead of making decisions based on emotions, I make decisions based on facts and data.

If you apply this straightforward principle in your business and your life in general, you can make the best decisions for your team, for yourself and your relationships, and avoid regretting anything.

Life Principle #6: My Success is My Responsibility

Having self-responsibility is important when it comes to your business. A lot of people miss this and blame their coaches, the courses, and everyone else, but one thing that they forgot is to look at themselves.

If you have a shitty coach or a shitty course, that should not stop you from being successful.

"Just because of one poor experience, it does not determine whether or not you are going to be successful in growing your business."
Vanessa Lau
vanessalau.co

It is entirely your responsibility to take yourself to the next level. I’ve had my fair share of shitty courses and came across some coaches that I realized weren’t the best for me, but I did not let that stop me. I continue to push forward. I continue to learn

And even if I implement a strategy that a coach shared with me or I implement something that a course or a podcast episode has taught me and it doesn’t work out, I don’t blame them.

I blame myself. Why?

Because it’s my responsibility to ask for help. It’s my responsibility to get feedback. It’s my responsibility to speak up. If something isn’t working, it’s my responsibility to take action. It is my duty to get those things and that is why I do what I do.

Your life is your responsibility. The quality of life that you want is your responsibility. If you want something, then go get it. Take responsibility for your success. Take responsibility for your life because I promise you no one is going to do it for you and you have to do it for yourself.

Life Principle #7: Stop Attaching Meaning to Failure

Moving on to the last principle that I have which is very similar to the first presupposition or principle that I have in my life.

Personally, for me, it’s important to remind myself that I don’t need to attach meaning to things.

Just because you have failed at something, it does not mean that you suck as a person. Just because someone rejected you, it does not mean anything about you as a person. If you don’t hit a deadline, it means nothing. But if you decide that any of these mean something, it is your choice to attach meaning to then.

If you are able to stop attaching meaning to something and to every failure and obstacle that you have, I promise you that you are going to be a lot happier when you are running your business.

One tip that I can share with you is every time you find yourself in your feelings and you start thinking you are not good enough, stop yourself immediately and detach yourself from creating meanings out of it. This will help you tremendously in making better decisions and start feeling better.

Because when you detach meanings to things that are happening in your life, you are respecting the boundaries you have for yourself. It prevents you from going into self-sabotage mode.

FINAL THOUGHT

I hope that by sharing these principles, you’re able to understand how I function as a human, how I do work, how I make decisions, and I hope you’re able to maybe take at least one of them and adopt them into your own life and your own business as well.

These presuppositions have served me so well and I can’t wait for my life to adopt even more principles as I grow. And by having this moral code and by having these presuppositions or these principles that you embed into your psyche, it’s going to help you create even more integrity in your business and speed up decision-making.

Let me know what your thoughts are and if you’re interested to listen to the podcast, check out below for the subjects I cover in today’s episode!

KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS EPISODE:

[01:53] The inspiration behind this episode about a Korean drama series called Itaewon Class

[04:50] What I learned from my NLP practitioner training about presupposition

[08:38] An important lesson I have learned from working in corporate

[16:00] How my team and I handle refund requests and customer support in a fair way

[24:29] My personal experience on how I deal with frustrations without making rash decisions

[31:03] How to stop feeling like a failure even when you are fired by a client

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE

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Rooting for you, Boss! 

– Vanessa

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by vanessalau

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