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Bob Parsons 16 Rules To Live By


Ahoy and welcome aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle, the training ship for future Coast Guard officers. This beautiful, historic barque is based here at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut.
My good friend Mike sent Bob Parsons "16 Rules To Live By" to me to encourage, help and provide a bit of guidance for me upon opening Best Dry Cleaners FL.
Mike said, "Gene, Keep this handy and reread occasionally." "Here' are Bob Parsons "16 rules". He grew up poor, was robbed at gunpoint at 16, and shot in Vietnam. He was successful in his first 2 businesses and retired for a year.

A year into his current business, he lost almost all of his $75-100 million and almost closed its doors. A trip to Hawaii changed his mind...he saw a guy parking cars and thought, "well, if I lost everything, I could always go to Vegas and park cars" and kept the company openAfter changing the name and developing a brand with a marketing message, the company has become the largest internet registrar.
He wrote these for a business speech he gave in Arizona a few years ago and admits while they aren't new ideas, they've worked pretty well for him!
Good Luck, Mike"

I got back to Mike and said, "Hey Mike. . . Thanks a million. How very timely. Your seventh sense is working. Bob Parsons "16 rules" is really a welcome good morning. There is no way to read these and toss them out like an old newspaper.

These need to be kept around like a good Bible or a Dale Carnegie Book. For openers, I'm going to keep a copy in my pocket with my "Favors List" for our Creator. I'll stick a copy on the frig while I'm at it.

I'm a visual and simple kind of guy. Having reminders like this regularly hitting me in the nose helps to keep me focused and bolsters my belief in self with the help of my Creator.

Via a copy of this email I'm sharing Bob Parsons "16 rules" with several friends some of which I'm certain will share it with family or friends that can benefit greatly from it's sage advice.I am putting it on my web site. I may have to create a new page. It will be worth it if it helps just one other person. Our times are so very difficult right now everybody can use a little help, moral support and guidance.

Your a true friend. Thanks for your very wise counsel.

Stear a steady Course
See Below FOR:Bob Parsons 16 Rules To Live By
The following rules for survival are included with the permission of Bob Parsons
 Bob Parsons 16 Rules to Live By:
I've read many times that original ideas are rare indeed. This is particularly true when it comes to the rules herein. I can't imagine that any of my rules represent new ideas.

My contribution is that I've assembled these ideas, put them to work in my life, and can attest — that more often than not — they hold true.

While I put my 16 rules together in response to a business question, I've been told by others that they can be applied to almost any pursuit.

Here are the 16 rules I try to live by:

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. Almost nothing works the first time it's attempted. Just because what you're doing does not seem to be working, doesn't mean it won't work. It just means that it might not work the way you're doing it. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, and you wouldn't have an opportunity.

3. When you're ready to quit, you're closer than you think. 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."

4. With regard to whatever worries you, not only accept the worst thing that could 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 on what you want to have happen. 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. Be quick to decide. Remember what General George S. Patton said: "A good plan violently executed today is far and away better than a perfect plan tomorrow."

9. Measure everything of significance. I swear this is true. Anything that is measured and watched, improves.

9. Measure everything of significance. I swear this is true. Anything that is measured and watched, improves.

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.

12. Never let anybody push you around. In our society, with our laws and even playing field, you have just as much right to what you're doing as anyone else, 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 (i.e., fare).

14. Solve your own problems. You'll find that by coming up with your own solutions, you'll develop a competitive edge. Masura Ibuka, the co-founder of SONY, said it best: "You never succeed in technology, business, or anything by following the others." 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. Don't take yourself too seriously. Lighten up. 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's always a reason to smile. Find it. 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."

A special word of thanks.
I owe a special thanks to Brian Dunn. When I first wrote these rules down and was thinking about compiling them into a book — that book, like most books I suppose, has been half-done for a while; — Brian read them and suggested a title. His suggestion was, "They Can't Eat You." I like Brian's suggestion for two reasons: 1. It reminds me of my Dad. I sure miss him; and 2. It's true. No matter how difficult things get, you're going to be OK. It's very important to realize that. Thanks, Brian.

Republishing my rules
Should you care to include all or part of this article (or any article in my weblog for that matter) in one of your publications you have my permission to do so provided that you credit me for the material, mention where it was obtained and also my copyright. A suggested form might be "The above (or following) article (or rules for survival) is included with the permission of Bob Parsons ( and is Copyright © 2004-2006 by Bob Parsons. All rights reserved."