11 Rules for Moguls in Training

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Over the last dozen years, I’ve devoured thousands of books on business, leadership, success and lifestyles and learned a ton through my own experience as an entrepreneur and marketing hired-gun. In an effort to shortcut the knowledge acquisition process, I offer these 11 rules for Moguls In Training or MITs:

  1. On Leadership: Give a damn
  2. On Product Development: Solve a huge problem at the point of greatest pain
  3. On Customer service: Give a public damn
  4. On Employee Management: See rule 1 & be ruthlessly honest
  5. On Marketing: See rules 1 & 2, then show, don’t tell
  6. On Advertising: The more you need it, the more your product sucks
  7. On PR: See rules 1 & 2, then light a match. If a fire doesn’t catch, do rule 2 better
  8. On Operations: See rules 1, 2 & 4, then add trust and accountability to a result
  9. On Sales: See rule 1, then solve, don’t sell…and only if you can
  10. On Success: The only metric that matters in the end is impact
  11. On Life: If you’re a macintosh, don’t try to be a gala.

Got more to add?

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25 responses

25 responses to “11 Rules for Moguls in Training”

  1. Colin Lewis says:

    Brilliant Jonathan, I learnt much of these the through the school of hard knocks too – many (customer service for example) came naturally…and word of mouth more than satisfies and that means zou are making an impact.

    Great reminders and succintly stated


  2. Jonathan,

    Not sure I agree on #6. You could be the most awesome guy in the world with the best book on the planet, but if you’re a nobody, then it doesn’t really matter how good your product is. I guess word of mouth is better than advertising, and I suppose that comes with time. For me, without advertising I would not have the client base I have now. Does that mean my product (counseling) sucks? Nope, because people need to know I’m out there, and that I do good work. Word of mouth followed, so they went hand in hand.

    I’m probably misunderstanding you somewhere, so please don’t take offense. Is there a difference between starting out advertising and a few years in advertising? I think there might be a distinction.that can only happen if you

  3. Jodi Kaplan says:

    12. If you’re a pc, don’t try to be a macintosh.

    (be yourself, not someone else)

  4. Srinivas Rao says:

    On all of it: Be Present. If there’s anything I think that has held me back in the past, it’s that I worried too much about the future.

    • David says:

      Regarding being “present” I think it was Eckhard Tolle (could be wrong there) that said something like: The present is the only thing that really exists. The past is nothing more than a memory that we have made through our own filter. The future is nothing more than a movie we construct of what might be. Spending too much time thinking about the past or dwelling on the future assures one thing – you will not be sufficiently here in the present to do or experience much.

  5. Awesome post Jonathan! All “X number list of things” blog posts should be this brief and meaningful.

    More usefulness per cubic inch than anywhere else on the web. Thanks

  6. HCM says:

    Quite honestly I am disgusted by your insensitivity to the gala. It is known for firmness, crispness, AND sweetness! Any potential mogul would recognize that rare combination and seek to embace its “uniqueness”. Mr Fields you are obviously so far out of Corporate America that sensitivity training is in order. As a legal professional I am sure you recognize that you have slandered a proper fruit with a sterling reputation and damaged your firm in the process.

    The above very nearly happened in a meeting today (I was there)at a Fortune 50 company….facts have been changed to protect the innocent. In other words “stay renegade”! Good post JF

  7. Laurie Gay says:

    I like it – clever and succinct. My fave is number 11 – be your own flavor.

    My number 12? Maybe #12 On Strategy: “It’s never time to quit.”

    Thanks, Jonathan.

  8. Direct and simple – the only way it goes in, for me.
    My fave is #2. Thank you for the clarity. M 🙂

  9. olga says:

    Would you please explain to an alien what is a gala?

  10. Great rules, Jonathan! Here’s my add:

    On Human Relationships: Read How to Win Friends and Influence People. And then PRACTICE.



  11. Oleg Mokhov says:

    Hey Jonathan,

    I’d add to the list of how to be an awesome mogul:

    – Be remarkable (by being an amplified version of yourself); why should people care about what you have to say

    – Offer solutions, not merely features and ideas (we want tangible stuff, not the abstract)

    – Focus on results; for others, and getting them for yourself as well (not traffic, but subscribers; not visitors, but customers)

    – Be genuine, honest, and offer stories (personal or testimonials) to show that what you say is based on experience, no theories


  12. very concise. giving a damn is probably the best work and business advice there is. It makes all the difference in both approach and outcomes.

  13. Patty Hatch--"No blog, just me" says:

    I guess we’re at number 13 now…

    13. On Teamwork: Append the add-on for rule 8 to all other rules.

  14. Andreea says:

    wow, very well said and to the point. THANK YOU!

  15. christine says:

    LOVED this. Thanks for the years it has taken for you to get this kind of clarity and then give it back. Love it love it love it and will share far and wide.

  16. jskipburns says:

    this is really concise and to the point. I think it’s dead on. #10 is wicked hard to measure and I think that people/myself measure the wrong things. I like this list. My #12 would probably be Work Ethic: be relentless

    wicked sweet post

    skip “take top” burns

  17. Kelly says:


    Good stuff and an easy-to-digest format. #2 and #10 should be taped to every business owner’s nose for the first year. Excellent.

    My adds…

    On Value: Would you buy it? If they didn’t pay you to like it?

    On Clarity: Ask your mom if she “gets it.” If not, keep writing/ designing/ prototyping.

    On the Experience: Walk it like you’ve never been there before. Then do it again three months later. Repeat…



  18. David says:

    The points are great and love the way they loop back on each other. I like simple things.

    Being successful today is not that difficult if you decide to fight your way to the top and not the bottom. The above points are all on target to do just that.

    Starts with:
    1. Care – yes have the courage to really care about what you are doing
    2. Help people – help them capitalize on opportunities and solve problems; you are always working for people – even when doing business with big companies
    3. Do what you say you will – plus a little bit more without being asked to or expecting something extra
    4. Enjoy the ride – if it isn’t fun, if you don’t get a thrill doing it then what’s the point. Spending 80% of your life doing something that doesn’t bring you joy so you get to do something that does the remaining 20% doesn’t seem like a good deal.

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  21. Clint says:

    Pedantry alert:

    I did not understand your number 11 (“If you’re a macintosh, don’t try to be a gala”) until I understood that you were talking about the apple (which is spelled Mcintosh), not the computer brand (or possibly the raincoat). Knowing that, #11 made much more sense!

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