Following Bob Parsons 16 Rules And How They Changed My Life

Somehow, either in the newsletter or sent to me by a reader I recieved Bob Parsons 16 Rules. I thought it was worth sharing so I added my two bits and a handful of shrapnel. Sometimes, a lot of guru’s “secrets to success” come down to a lot of sitting on your thumbs and doing some wishful thinking. Although that is part of it, you hardly ever get any meat and potatoes to work on, I hope this is different.

To me this post is just like a readers digest version of The Secret and Tony Robbins all mixed into one! I’ve read stuff from a lot of self improvement super stars but have settled on Jim Edwards because of that fact that he is one of the few that always stresses that action is the key to success (and he didn’t become successful by selling people “how to be successful”). You can have the best battle plan in the world, but if you never drop your ***** and pull on your socks, you wont accomplish squat.

Here are Bob Parsons 16 rules to become more successful

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.” Its true though. After I built up my business to the point where I physically did not have to be there, I realized I was bored. You have to keep on moving to feel alive!

The couch is comfortable but it doesn’t pay you to sit there. You wont get to 100 pushups by reading mens fitness. Get uncomfortable and go accomplish something.

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.

I had my book Fat To Fit ready for years and kept it on the shelf. Then I watched Jack Canfield on “The Secret” DVD and listened to his story. A week later I had my book in Chapters, Mcnally Robinson and had three book signings ready to go. The first one was scary…but all good things are at first!

Learn to fail fast. The more times you can get out and try something and not fear failure, the sooner you will be able to do something amazing. This is so key, that you need to read that over and let it sink in. You are going to make lots of mistakes. The bigger they are, the more you learn from them. Get them out of the way early and fast so you can get on to using what you’ve learned, to get what you want.

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.”

This happened to me with google adsense on my website. I had worked for years and was getting steady income and then WHAM, the bottom fell out of adsense. I kept on going, kept helping and writing, and everything is back even better than before. I learned that I’m a writer from that experience, and that you should seriously think about avoiding having a leg of your business dependent on a third party that you do not control.

When my tour was up and my contract done with the army, I was scared ****less about how I was going to make it as a civilian. All I knew how to do was rush a trench and pull a trigger. Not too many job openings for that sort of thing on the market. I took the leap anyway and got out. Three months later when I had no groceries, every ounce of my being was dieing to get back in for the pay check and to see my friends again. But I didnt. Thats why I am where I am today. Not that it has been an easy process. I’ve worked for many people, done some shitty jobs and had my gym go under during that time. You adapt and overcome. There is no other option.

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.”

You know that really is the bottom line. Anything you worry about is just a challenge to overcome. If it cannot be overcome or accepted, your probably dead and dont have to worry about it any way. If this kind of thinking doesnt ring true for you, then you need to read more. I would suggest Steve Pavlina’s blog on personal development.

There are really only two outcomes to any problem and they are DEAD or ALIVE. The first isn’t a problem that you have to worry about, it would be too late for that. In the second, your alive, what do you have to worry about…being dead? See number 1.

5. Focus on what you want to have happen. Remember that old saying, “As you think, so shall you be.”

This is stressed greatly by almost every success coach/guru out there and is the central theme of the movie “The Secret”. You cannot get where you want to go if you dont set your actions in a way to achieve it. Its that simple. Direct your thoughts on what you want and then take the actions that are required to achieve it. I like Jim Edwards stuff about motivation. He’s a great guy to boot (as well as being a fellow gun nut).

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. Tony Robbins says that everything looks like a huge problem when you are looking at thousands of problems at once. Chunk it down and get one thing done at a time. The problems will be there waiting for you as you finish each one and if they are not then BONUS, they were not that important anyway. Here is a good article related to this topic on

The best example of this is boot camp. One day, one challenge, one extra duty and one confined to barracks at a time. It all works out. Of course you could just remember to clean your canteen cup before inspection too. MCPL Delyea..thanks for that by the way.

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.

If you do not know the idea behind the concept of Kaizen check out here: It is used a lot in weight lifting and personal development. In weight lifting your success is black and white, if you are making small steady progress in your weight lifted it will result in your reaching your physical goals. If you are not always striving for a small increase, your progress will stall.

8. Be quick to decide. Remember what the Union Civil War general, Tecumseh Sherman said: “A good plan violently executed today is far and away better than a perfect plan tomorrow.” Bob Proctor has a series of downloadable MP3’s and I purchased one on decision making. It was great, now I dont stand in front of the movie isle for half an hour…just 20 minutes. Seriously, if you cant make decisions quickly, things will pass you buy. Decide and if it doesnt turn out well, you know for next time. Kaizen baby.

9. Measure everything of significance. I swear this is true. Anything that is measured and watched, improves. Simple concept as of all things true are. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

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.

I ran into this with the accounting in my personal coaching business. If you dont keep an eye on the business side of things, it can get away from you. Sure, you should spend most of your time doing the things you love, but take care of the details too!

The army, although harsh in some matters has spent years figuring out how to run things. The rank structure makes things work and there is seldom anything that is unmanaged. Because of this, things get done efficiently.

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.

Use your intuition. Sometimes people are successful despite themselves. If you make the mistake of copying what they are doing or spend too much energy trying to take them out…you can shoot yourself in the foot. Take notice of whats great about what your competitors do for their clients and use it, but innovate things that are even better on your own.

Tactics baby. The army is like a football coach always looking for better methods and ways of doing things. But none of this is any good until the moment it is used for your own purpose.

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.

Back down all the time and people will walk all over you. If your timid, play some Broomaloo.

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). Stuff doesn’t happen because you “deserve” it, you got to take it. “Putting in your time” does not guarantee success, proper actions and outcomes do.

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.”

Look to others for advice but make your own decisions. Only YOU have YOUR best interests at heart.

You have to base your decisions on what you want to be, do and have, because others go away… they can leave you by choice and they can be taken from you. You will remain with the life you created, from the decisions you made.

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. You just do the best you can and blow off the rest. If you did all you could, what more can you do. Roll with it.

“Dig your trench here”. SIX HOURS LATER. “I meant three meters to the left. Fill it in and start over”. “My mistake, your fault”

16. There’s always a reason to smile. Find it. After all, you’re really lucky just to be alive. Life is short. “We’re not here for a long time; we’re here for a good time.”

Number 16 is the biggest. A tour of duty in Bosnia was just what I needed to see what was really important. Things can happen fast and right now is all you can be sure of. Laughing keeps you sane. Taking a trip to some small towns in Mexico can really show you that money is NOT what makes people happy. It makes things easier but unless you are happy on the inside and love life to begin with, money doesn’t change a thing. You just end up being bored, cranky and tired. When you have a purpose, a mission or at least something that you really enjoy doing and some people that love you, then your set. Money is then a GREAT THING because it allows you to do these things more fully as well as help some people out too.

Here’s an extra one: If you’re in action and your actions are not producing the desired results… do something, anything, different!

On A Lighter Note

Got an email from a buddy with these “military Rules” from differant arms of the forces. Thought I’d tag it onto the end of this post for a laugh. I added my two cents from a Canadian Infantry point of view at the end.

Marine Corps Rules:
1. Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.
2. Decide to be aggressive enough, quickly enough.
3. Have a plan.
4. Have a back-up plan, because the first one probably won’t work.
5. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet ­ even your friends…
6. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun whose caliber does not start with a “4.”
7. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Life is expensive.
8. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. (Lateral & diagonal preferred.)
9. Use cover or concealment as much as possible.
10. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.
11. Always cheat; always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.
12. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.
13. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating your intention to shoot.

Navy SEAL’s Rules:
1. Look very cool in sunglasses.
2. Kill every living thing within view.
3. Adjust speedo.
4. Check hair in mirror.

US Army Rangers Rules:
1. Walk in 50 miles wearing 75 pound rucksack while starving.
2. Locate individuals requiring killing.
3. Request permission via radio from “Higher” to perform killing.
4. Curse bitterly when mission is aborted.
5. Walk out 50 miles wearing a 75 pound rucksack while starving.

US Army Rules:
1. Curse bitterly when receiving operational order.
2. Make sure there is extra ammo and extra coffee.
3. Curse bitterly.
4. Curse bitterly.
5. Do not listen to 2nd LT’s; it can get you killed.
6. Curse bitterly.

US Air Force Rules:
1. Have a cocktail.
2. Adjust temperature on air-conditioner.
3. See what’s on HBO.
4. Ask “what is a gunfight?”
5. Request more funding from Congress with a “killer” Power Point presentation.
6. Wine & dine ‘key’ Congressmen, invite DOD & defense industry executives.
7. Receive funding, set up new command and assemble assets.
8. Declare the assets “strategic” and never deploy them operationally.
9. Hurry to make 13:45 tee-time.
10. Make sure the base is as far as possible from the conflict but close enough to have tax exemption.

US Navy Rules:
1. Go to Sea.
2. Drink Coffee.
3. Deploy Marines

Rules for Canadian Infantry
1. Hurry up and wait.
2. Kill and deny
3. Never ask for more funding…bring you’re own food and duct tape.
4. Use duct tape to fix second hand gear from U.S. and lowest bid Canadian Contractor
4. Don’t question your orders. The President will tell our Primeminister what to do next…
Thats all I got for this “O group”. Tip of the spear. Later.
-Ray Burton

5 thoughts on “Following Bob Parsons 16 Rules And How They Changed My Life

  1. Aaron M. Potts


    Wow, I don’t even know where to start! Your list was amazing, as well your commentary. I was in the Army for 6 years myself in the Field Artillery, and I recognize your “I can get through anything” attitude.

    I won’t make this comment a mile long by saying all of the wonderful things that I would like to say about your list, but I will extend some serious gratitude to you for this powerful post, and for your participation.

    Great connecting with you, Ray, and sharing for a few moments in your bright outlook on life.

    Rock on, Brother!

  2. Raymond Burton

    Hey Aaron, I’ve learned alot from you! Your one of the names I was seeing around the net when I first started Your also an ISSA like me and we share the army background.

    I love what your doing on your site at I guess once you get out, achieving stays in the blood!

    Thanks for stopping by and adding the kind words.

  3. Mark Withrow

    Nice article…

    However, I think you probably want to give “credit where credit is due” to the originator of these 16 concepts: Bob Parsons.

    In case you’re not aware of Bob, he’s the founder of, and a prior-service Marine.

    Semper Fi…

  4. Raymond Burton

    It seems you’ve found the source of my email Mark. Thanks to you and Bob Parsons for writing the original version of this.

    Now onto thinking up my own million dollar idea like so that I can do some more snowboarding and writing!

    Canadian Version of Semper Fi…” Wow, this sucks…”

  5. Tatiana

    Cool article ! I agree the key to success is to think outside the box, believing in ourselves no matter what other people think and to keep a vision of the end goal ! I always try to not be afraid to fail, easy said than done but after all the comfort zone won’t take me anywhere.


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