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Survival Rules

The 16 survival rules for by Robert Parsons, CEO of

1- Get and stay out of your comfort zone.

I believe that not much happens of any significance when we’re in our comfort zone. I hear people say, “But I’m concerned about security.” My response to that is simple: “Security is for cadavers.”

2- Never give up on your dreams.

Mostly, nothing works at first attempt. Just because it does not seem to work at first, does not mean that it will never work. Maybe you are not doing it the right way. If it was simple, everyone would already be doing it, and you would never have an opportunity.

3- When a person is ready to quit, he/she is closer to success than he/she thinks.

The temptation to give up will be greatest just before you are on the verge of succeeding.

4- You should always hope for the best and prepare yourself for the worst.

With regard to the things that concern you, accept and quantify the worst scenarios that might happen, but make it a point to quantify what the worst thing could be. Very seldom will the worst consequence be anywhere near as bad as a cloud of “undefined consequences.” My father would tell me early on, when I was struggling and losing my shirt trying to get Parsons Technology going, “Well, Robert, if it doesn’t work, they can’t eat you.”

5- Focus solely on the things that you want to achieve.

Remember that old saying, “As you think, so shall you be.”

6-Take things a day at a time.

No matter how difficult your situation is, you can get through it if you don’t look too far into the future, and focus on the present moment. You can get through anything one day at a time.

7- Always be moving forward.

Never stop investing. Never stop improving. Never stop doing something new. The moment you stop improving your organization, it starts to die. Make it your goal to be better each and every day, in some small way. Remember the Japanese concept of Kaizen. Small daily improvements eventually result in huge advantages.

8- Make decisions quickly.

Do not wait for tomorrow because it never comes. Execute your plans today, no matter how imperfect they seem. Remember what the Union Civil War general, Tecumseh Sherman said: “A good plan violently executed today is far and away better than a perfect plan tomorrow.”

9- Anything that is measured frequently improves with time.

I swear this is true. Anything that is measured and watched, improves. Therefore, you should watch and measure anything that seems significant.

10- Anything that is not managed will deteriorate.

If you want to uncover problems you don’t know about, take a few moments and look closely at the areas you haven’t examined for a while. I guarantee you problems will be there.

11- Pay attention to your competitors, but pay more attention to what you’re doing.

When you look at your competitors, remember that everything looks perfect at a distance. Even the planet Earth, if you get far enough into space, looks like a peaceful place. Do not assume that your competitors are perfect and you are not. Keep an eye on them, but never stop monitoring your own business.

12- Never let anybody, but you, push you around.

In our society, with our laws and even playing field, you have just as much right to what others are doing, provided that what you’re doing is legal.

13- Never expect life to be fair. Life isn’t fair.

You make your own breaks. You’ll be doing good if the only meaning fair has to you, is something that you pay when you get on a bus.

14- Solve your own problems.

By coming up with your own original solutions, you will most definitely develop a competitive edge. You might not succeed without following other’s example, but do not lose your originality. There’s also an old Asian saying that I remind myself of frequently. It goes like this: “A wise man keeps his own counsel.”

15- you should never expect life to be fair, because it is not.

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Often, at least half of what we accomplish is due to luck. None of us are in control as much as we like to think we are.

16- There is undoubtedly always a reason to BE-YOU-FULL . Fine it and smile!

After all, you’re really lucky just to be alive. Life is short. More and more, I agree with my little brother. He always reminds me: “We’re not here for a long time; we’re here for a good time.”

There’s an old Chinese saying that I just love, and I believe it is so true. It goes like this: “The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.”

The Survival Rules