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Over the last few years, living the dream of a start up business and working out of my home, I’ve come up with some rules and mantras that seem to be working.

Rule #1 – Don’t f*&# around

If you tell someone that you can do something for them, you better be confident that you can pull it off. Provide solutions for people when problems come up and deliver on your promises. Your word is your biggest asset so don’t fcuk around.

Rule #2 – If it’s not fun, it’s not worth it

Living in a start up is a constant struggle to keep up – if you’re swimming you’ve got to paddle hard to stay afloat and even harder if you want to succeed. There are lots of tasks that have to be done to make things happen and if you don’t do them there’s no one to pick up your mess. You should see my living room! Making light of any situation will keep a smile on your face and everyone happy.

Rule #3 – Like your customers

If you’re not sure what kind of business you want to create, start by figuring out what kind of people you like and want your customers to be. Liking your customers makes going to work fun because you get to interact with these people day in and day out. You create the culture and add value to the businesses of people you like. For the customers you really like think about rewarding them with a gift to thank them. This is the kind of service people want to deal with.

Rule #4 – Don’t take yourself too seriously

It’s easy for the ego to get in the way. Although I’m right a lot of the time, I know that on occasion I’m wrong. Egg in the face is good, especially if you know how to take it, laugh, smile and learn.

Rule #5 – Put your pants on beeotch!

Saul Good started in my bedroom while I was juggling a 35 hour/week industrial ecology job, a part time MBA in sustainable business and a long distance girlfriend. Needless to say something had to give and as I woke up early every morning after a late night struggling to keep up. I’d get up, make a tea and bring breakfast to my desk. After being distracted checking emails and checking in with people and projects it would be 11am before I realized I was still in my pajamas and had yet to work on anything tangible, with a pile of work in front of me. My mantra was created, “Put your pants on beeotch!” and I posted it on the board above my desk. Every day from that day forward I’d wake up and get dressed to go to work, nice shirt, nice pants, sitting in style in my home office and make things happen.