10 Rules for Renegade Success in Business & Life

Who are you?  Are you a renegade?

Me?  I am a fighty, obstinate renegade.

I reject the conventional box I’m “supposed” to fit into.

I’ve been entrepreneurial since I was a kid.

I started lifting weights when someone told me I couldn’t do it.

I cloth diapered, wore my babies, breastfed, and still refuse to follow conventional medicine.

If I don’t like the rules or the standard quo, I challenge them, ask why, and look to change them.

I’m Libertarian at heart.

I created my own business because I want to do what I want to do.

I believe in a world that’s abundant and beautiful and good.

If you do what you love, what you’re here to do, the universe will support you.

And I believe in a world where every single person is here with a gift that the world needs.

Maybe some of these ideas resonate with you.

Maybe you’re a renegade, too.

If so, you need a different set of business rules.

Consider these…

#10 – Bet on Yourself

You’ve got to believe in yourself.  Know your value.

You matter.  You are here for a purpose.  The world NEEDS the gift you’ve got.  Stop hiding.

Take the risks.

Have faith.

You can succeed.  You WILL succeed.

Get help from neuroscience if you need it, and rewire your brain.

Hire a coach.  Find a mastermind.

Get whatever support you need so that you can bet on yourself.

#9 – Dive into Mastery

Never be okay with mediocrity.

Study your craft.  Dive into it.  Embrace learning.

Don’t read one book or watch one video and call it done.

Read 10 books.  Watch 5 documentaries.

Find someone who’s successful and cyber-stalk them.  Okay, not really.  But watch everything they do and how they do it.  Learn.

Look for the patterns, the maps, the consistent elements that allow you to understand the subject at a deeper level.

When you understand the underlying principles you know how to create a system that will work for you.

Always seek continual improvement.

The Japanese call it Kaizen – continual improvement and change for the better.

Do #9 and you’ll find #10 is easier.  There’s a confidence that comes when you know your stuff.

#8 – Momentum

It’s cliche but true.  The first step is the hardest.

Once you’re off the couch, don’t sit back down!

Get into momentum – daily action, consistency, habits…

If something isn’t working, change it.  But don’t quit moving!

#7 – Know When to Say No

Successful people know when to say no.

Look at your to do list and for every item on it, ask yourself…

  • Is this actually necessary?  What if it doesn’t get it done?  Cross it off and forget it.
  • Is there another way to get it done?  Automate, outsource, get creative.
  • Do I have to handle this personally, or can someone else handle this for me?  Delegate it.

Be ruthless with how you spend your time.

Think about what you’re doing.  Make smart choices.

What matters most to you?  Align the way you spend your time with your values.  Say no to everything that’s out of alignment.

#6 – Focus on Action

You can only control you.

Don’t focus on goals that are out of your control.

Set a goal based on ACTION and don’t let yourself off the hook – ever.

What are the daily actions that move you consistently towards your goals?

What are the steps you need to take to reach a goal?  Break it down, then focus on the actions.

#5 – Learn to Love the Grind

Enough with the “7-Minute” systems.

Stop looking for the “easy button” or the magical answer.

You want a profitable business?  Grab a hammer and BUILD it.

You want to get in shape?  Do the d*mn work.

Don’t look for 7-minute solutions.  Stop being afraid of the P90X version of your grind.

I didn’t drop 80 lbs and get my blood sugar, blood pressure and hormones under control by spending 7-minutes a day exercising and continuing to eat crap because it’s easier.  I took massive action and changed my life – from what I ate to how I spent my time.  For 60 days I spent 90 minutes a day on an elliptical machine.  And then I did Insanity.  Twice.  Obsessive?  Maybe.  Results?  Like people couldn’t believe.

Now I’ve got abs and can leg press 1,000+ lbs.  Not because I do a 7-minute a day DVD.  But because I’m at the gym 5 days a week for at least an hour, doing cardio I hate, lifting I love, and choosing to mostly skip the carbs (because pizza isn’t always worth it, but sometimes it is and no rule is absolute).  The point?  I’ve embraced the grind.  I fell in love with the hard work it takes to achieve the results I want.

#4 – Take Care of Your Body

Exercise.  Eat right.  Get enough sleep.

Taking care of your body is the only way to keep yourself functioning at optimal levels.

You can’t think clearly, you can’t brainstorm creatively, you can’t do your best work, if you don’t take care of your body.

Create healthy habits.  Build them into your daily routine.

Draw “non-negotiable” lines in the sand of what the essentials are that you WILL complete each day.

Discover bio-hacking.  Get into physical and emotional intelligence.

#3 – Challenge Yourself

Set timers, cut your deadlines in half, challenge yourself to get things done faster.

Tasks expand to take the amount of time we allow.

I taught myself to speed read.  Because knowledge is power.

I spent hours practicing with typing programs.  Now I type nearly 100 wpm.

These are things anyone can do, if they choose to.

Don’t give yourself a pass – improve the skills that allow you to improve.

Challenge yourself at every turn.

#2 – Passion Not Perfection

Stop trying to get things perfect.  They’ll never ever be perfect.

Instead, go after what you’re passionate about.

Let your passion keep you fueled and motivated.

And let it shine through in everything you do.

Because THAT is what will attract the right people, opportunities and business to you.

#1 – Forget the Rules

Don’t follow the rules.  Question them.

Sure, there are certain lines you’ll always want to color inside of (mostly with things like, you know, the IRS…).

But question any other “shoulds” or “musts” or “gotta do it this way, in this order.”


Why do you need to follow the rules and someone else’s process?

You’re a renegade.

You know deep down what works for you.

You know deep down what you need to do right now.

You already KNOW what to do to succeed!

So, why aren’t you doing it yet?

What’s stopping you?

If you’re ready to have the uncomfortable conversation about where you’re at vs. where you know you’re destined to be – get on my calendar and let’s chat about how I can give you the kick in the pants you’re ready for.

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  1. I’m most definitely a renegade :D Thanks for the kick in the pants about some of these
    Linda recently posted… Play More to Enjoy Life MoreMy Profile

    1. Yes, you are!

      Most of my favorite people in the world are. ;)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 10 Rules for Renegade Success in Business & LifeMy Profile

      1. True :) Some just have to find that part of themselves again

        1. It does tend to get lost sometimes… but so important to find it again!
          Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 10 Rules for Renegade Success in Business & LifeMy Profile

  2. Aww, Michelle, speaking the words that motivate me to kick my mind shi_t into gear.
    I admire your commitment and your ability to challenge yourself (and others).
    You are truly radiating your Renegade-ness.
    SaraBeth recently posted… Short Reports: How to Transform PLR Content to Grow Your Mailing ListMy Profile

    1. *boom* (gentle kick haha)

      Thanks – it’s an every day decision, as I know you know.

      Just keep challenging yourself one day at a time.

  3. You always have such great articles. I tweeted every tweet you set up but almost every sentence in the article could be a tweet. So much great information. Thank you for sharing. It is time for me to consider a coach. I did attend the 2nd NAM’s three-day workshop but now it has developed into a “sell-a-ton so I no longer follow it with much interest.

    1. Thanks William – I appreciate the feedback. :)

      Working with a coach was one of the smartest things I did in my business. The outside perspective, experience and accountability really helps me.

  4. Thank you very much, Michelle! I’ve been sagging a little lately so your words are a much needed boost. For sure I am a renegade. Tired of trying to fit in the box.


    1. Glad it was helpful, Lily. Make your own box to fit you! ;)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 10 Rules for Renegade Success in Business & LifeMy Profile

  5. Okay, here’s the thing, Michelle. I really don’t like to be fussed at. At all. I left a ton of churches back in the 90s because the preacher fussed every damn Sunday. I don’t go to church now. Shoot, I can fuss at myself. I lost almost 90 pounds eating comfort food. It was vegetarian comfort food, but it was lovely. I didn’t exercise, either. I am exercising now because winter, and therefore, carb cravings are coming. But my rebellion is not thinking I have to do it the hard way. Maybe a softer, easier way can work. When it can’t, I need encouragement, not yelling. Other than that part, I liked the post. But it sounded a little like, it’s okay t break the rules if you follow mine, instead. BUT … I love what you said about self-care, breaking your goals into manageable chunks, finding a way to hold onto momentum, saying no when you need to, being motivated by your values. So I was glad to hear all of that. But then it took a turn, as James Corden likes to say. ;)

    1. This is so interesting, Jeanine! People who know me in real life would crack up at the idea of me yelling at people (I’m very quiet and non-confrontational) so I actually had to go back and read through the post to figure out what could have come across that way. :)

      My intention was to offer a suggestion of alternatives for people to think about, starting with, “Consider these…” And the idea of “rules” for “renegades” was a joke since the very concept of a renegade is a rule breaker. Clearly though, I need to work on my humor attempts. ;)

      So here’s my take on the whole “ease” thing…

      People are being sucked into believing that in an hour day they can run a million dollar business – the problem with that is 99.9% of the time it doesn’t work (the millionaires I personally know work HARD). Then when it doesn’t work, people feel like they’ve failed, something’s wrong with them… and I’ve seen behind the scenes in enough businesses now to know first hand the people posting videos on yachts about how they work 2 days a week… it’s not nearly the whole, true story. They get people into their programs and companies with promises of “easy” systems and fast money.

      There’s a difference between “easy” and “ease”…

      Because what I DO absolutely believe is that when you are doing what you’re passionate about, what you love, there is an “ease” to it. When you’re in your “genius zone” you know it and you feel it. It doesn’t FEEL like hard work, but it’s still doing the work.

      I LOVE my time at the gym. Yes, it’s a grind, it daily work, it’s HARD. But it’s not crush-my-soul-and-spirit hard. No one would call it “easy” to throw 20 or so 45 lb plates on a leg press machine and push that up and down. But it doesn’t feel like hard work to me, because I love it and I’m choosing to push myself, to see what’s possible.

      Hopefully that explains my thinking behind this post a bit more. :)

      I know better than to suggest renegades actually follow any specific set of rules. ;)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 10 Rules for Renegade Success in Business & LifeMy Profile

      1. I think I get your point about people being led to believe it’s all going to be easy when it actually takes lots of hard work. And I missed that the rules thing was a joke. I am rather literal. So I misunderstood, to some extent. But I can’t get myself to do anything that is going to be painfully, miserably hard — even losing weight. So I do look for ways that won’t feel so bad. And those like me need advice, too. :)

  6. Michelle, I love what you shared. I too, don’t play by the rules. Sometimes, I wish I could because maybe my business would be more profitable, yet it I am not in alignment, I just can’t pretend it is. So, I am all for the grind, the hard work and the massive action with tiny consistent steps.

  7. Hello Michelle,

    Good one over here :)

    Indeed we need to perform some hard task if we want to get going with our business. There are indeed some little and big
    things which we want to laid focus upon.

    Gaining momentum is something that we need to keep that going, hard work, consistency is the key which will keep us
    going. Accepting challenges is very important if we want to crack something new.

    Thanks for the share.

    Shantanu Sinha recently posted… 13 Content Marketing Trends Happening NowMy Profile

  8. Hello Michelle, indeed uprising a business takes a lot of courage and determination. the moment to be successful need to have hard work and perseverance. Accepting challenges though negative or positive we need to accept it and keep going on. thank you for your word it really hit me.
    Mike Marko recently posted… GONNA BEMy Profile

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