The universe is made of rules. Nations, religions, Monopoly, Scrabble, Clue, football--they all have 'em. There are rules on the highway, in airports, schools and hospitals. And there are rules in science, like the law of gravity, the Doppler Effect, thermodynamics--hey, wake up!
The business world has rules, too. Some of them rules will probably never change. You still have to pay for services rendered to you, and being caught toilet-papering your competitor's house is never a good idea. But breaking some rules can be a shortcut to success.
"Rules are meant to be broken," says entrepreneur Dara Craft. "I think you have to be of that mind to be an entrepreneur. If you're going to follow the rules, you might as well forget it, because the rules will beat you before you even get started."
For those who don't know, below are the most common rules of entrepreneurship. Now that you know them, don't be afraid to break 'em.
1. Listen to the experts.
2. Have a business plan.
3. Be adequately capitalized.
4. Start a business in an industry you know.
5. Don't launch a business in a crowded marketplace.
Geoff Williams has written for numerous publications, including Entrepreneur, Consumer Reports, LIFE and Entertainment Weekly. He also is the author of Living Well with Bad Credit.