The founders of 37Signals have a new book out today, and it promises to rethink the traditional business plan with simpler solutions to creating a successful business. Stripped of all big words and fancy strategies, Rework's collection of short, inspiring essays advocates a "less is more" approach to starting your own business, handing out tips on increasing productivity and debunking myths in business. And based on the success of 37Signals, the software company started by authors Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, looks like their advice is worth holding on to.

Here are some of their key points to work your budding idea into reality.
"Workaholics aren't heroes. They don't save the day, they just use it up. The real hero is already home because she figured out a faster way to get things done."

It doesn't pay to be a workaholic. Instead of getting more done and being on top of your game, you actually start a chain reaction that results in decreased productivity, poor morale, and lazy decisions. And don't forget the inevitable crash that'll hit you soon enough.
No time is no excuse
"When you want something bad enough, you make the time--regardless of your other obligations. The truth is most people just don't want it bad enough."

There's always enough time, no matter how much you protest it. Just a few hours a week can take you a long way if you use it wisely. Maybe it's time to cut out American Idol from your schedule? Voila, six free hours!
Be a curator
"You don't make a great museum by putting all the art in the world into a single room...The best is a sub-sub-subset of all the possibilities."

Edit everything down to the bare essentials. Simplify things to showcase what you're best at, instead of trying to take on everything. It's easier to add than to take away.
Go to sleep
"Some people still develop a masochistic sense of honor about sleep deprivation. They even brag about how tired they are. Don't be impressed. It'll come back to bite them in the ass."

This should be a no-brainer, but for all you workaholics out there: frequent all-nighters are a terrible idea! As much as you'd like to relive your undergrad years, too many sleepless nights will end in stubbornness, diminished morale, irritability, and worst of all, lack of creativity.
Who cares what they're doing?
"It's not a win-or-lose battle. Their profits and costs are theirs. Yours are yours."

Worrying too much about your competition becomes a stressful obsession. Focusing on them doesn't allow you to focus enough on yourself, and you'll end up replicating your competitors instead of creating your own unique company and products.
Say no by default
"Start getting into the habit of saying no--even to many of your best ideas."

"Just Say No" doesn't only apply to peer-pressured junior high kids. Learning to say no is the first step in getting your priorities straight. Only say yes to ideas that you believe in, instead of trying to make everyone happy. Keeping a stance on something and explaining your reasoning will separate you from the companies who try to take on too much.
Emulate chefs
"What's your 'cookbook'? What can you tell the world about how you operate that's informative, educational, and promotional?"

Some of the most well-known chefs out there are famous and respected because they share their secrets in cookbooks and TV shows. Of course, business models are a little different than recipes, but the idea is the same--there's no need to be secretive about what you know and what you're good at. Once you realize that nobody's going to steal your "recipes" and put you out of business, you'll be able to attract some fans by being a helpful resource.
Pass on great people
"You'll be doing your company more harm than good if you bring in talented people who have nothing important to do."

Just because you hear about the "perfect" person, doesn't mean you should create a position just to have him on your team. Don't hire someone until you actually have a need for a new hire. There will always be talented people out there to choose from.
The best are everywhere
"Geography just doesn't matter anymore. Hire the best talent, regardless of where it is."

With all the technology these days that allows us to connect easily with people around the world, there's no need to limit your team to just one city, state or country. Of course, working remotely takes a little bit of juggling in order to stay in touch every day, but you'll miss out on a lot of talent if you're exclusive to one location.
Put everyone on the front lines
"Don't protect the people doing the work from customer feedback. No one should be shielded from direct criticism."

The customer support team shouldn't be the only one dealing with customers directly. People working in the "back-of-house" often get a filtered version of what customers are actually saying. By having everyone involved in customer feedback once in a while, they have a better sense of what needs to be done on their end.
Put everyone on the front lines
"You don't need more hours; you need better hours."

Contrary to many companies' beliefs, an employee who has plans after work is more efficient than one who has no life at all. When they need to get to their families or have other hobbies, they make sure they get their work done on time so they won't have to stay late.

"You shouldn't expect the job to be someone's entire life--at least not if you want to keep them around for a long time."
ASAP is poison
"Funny how everything is high priority until you actually have to prioritize things."

ASAP is essentially implied when requesting anything of anybody. Adding ASAP to everything puts every request at the same level, which means nothing is actually at a high priority. Then everything that hasn't been ASAP'ed eventually becomes unimportant, and ASAP becomes a prerequisite for getting anything done. Reserve your ASAP's for actual emergencies and avoid a "boy who cried wolf" situation.
Inspiration is perishable
"If you want to do something, you've got to do it now."

Inspiration and ideas are two different things. Ideas can last forever, but inspiration is fleeting. Once you lose the motivation to move forward with something, it'll be difficult to get that back in the future. Being inspired to do something will magically increase your productivity and motivation.

37Signals' 13 Simple Rules for Success in Business

Rework, the new book by the founders of 37Signals, is rethinking the traditional business plan. Here are some key points to turn your idea into a successful business.

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