Ooh, I love a good list! Especially at Christmas time. It just gets you feeling all warm and fuzzy and productive, doesn't it? Unfortunately, most resolution lists read like a Martha-Meets-Oprah-Make-Your-Life-Really-Special instruction sheet. You know, stuff like "Always show you care with a hand written thank you note. Use high quality, recycled card stock, and sign in calligraphy."

Not exactly inspiring.

And as sticky sweet as your nephew's half eaten candy cane.

So, I've prepared a different kind of list, one that's pure octane and 100% sugar free—with nary a saccharine euphemism in sight. The politically correct should step aside. The rest of you should strap yourself in and keep your mouth closed—there's gonna be some dirt flying.

Without further adieu . . .

Karri's 11 Commandments for Entrepreneurial Success:

1) Sometimes you have to grit your teeth and get the job the done when you really don't feel like it. I have no solution for this except to promise yourself a cold alcoholic beverage when you have finally finished the dreaded task.

2) Leverage your knowledge, not your time. There are limited hours in a day and just one of you. But the power of knowledge to generate wealth is limited only by your imagination.

3) If you are not making any mistakes, you're playing it too safe. If you are not learning anything from your mistakes, why are you even doing this?

4) Respond to all correspondence within a reasonable amount of time. In this age of depersonalization, it will not go unnoticed.

5) Follow up on every qualified lead. If you do not hear back right away, understand that most people live harried lives and try again. If you still don't hear back, let it go. It wasn't meant to be.

6) In most situations, it's beneficial to everyone when you say what you think, unless you are not thinking.

7) Being useful is more important than being right.

8) And integrity is more important than being honest.

9) Recognize inefficiencies and remove them. If you can't, outsource them.

10) There is more than enough wealth to go around in this world. You just have figure out how to ask for it.

11) It's never about price.

Happy New Year.

Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.

January 3, 2007

Karri Flatla is a business graduate of the University of Lethbridge and principal of snap! virtual associates inc., a virtual consulting firm providing business communications and Internet marketing services to the progressive entrepreneur. Karri also produces Outsmart, the email newsletter for small business with big purpose. Visit http://www.snap-va.com for more information. Click to follow Karri on Twitter.

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