The Do Not Do List

From: Ameen Kamadia

Everyone has a to-do list. Most people have more than one.

  • Write a new sales letter
  • Pick up the kids from gym
  • Get the dry-cleaning
  • Go to the bank
  • And on and on

We're so busy doing stuff that we don't take out time to decide what we should be doing and what we should not be doing. That's what the Do Not Do List is.

It is the opposite of the To-do list. The Do Not Do gives you the freedom of time. It lays some boundaries in your life and your business. This list is essential to having a sane life.

Some of the things on my Do Not Do list are:

  • I will not wake up before 7 am.
  • I will not work weekends
  • I will not wear a tie to the office

Not having a Do Not Do List can lead you down the wrong path in life. For example, 2003 was a great year, the refinance boom was in full swing and loans were stacked up all over the office. The money was just flowing in. But I did not have a Do Not Do about investments. In fact, I had never even thought about what I would do with the money.

So when a fellow approached me about a housing development he suckered me hook, line, and sinker. The development would've worked if the guy had more experience and I had more time to give it. But in the end I lost over $125,000.

Well, now I have an item on my Do Not Do list that reads:

I will not invest my money in a venture I do not understand and which I have not studied for at least 30 days.

If I had done my homework, I would have noticed that it was going to take a lot more money to start the development than he was seeking as an investment. It was doomed from the start. Oh well. Live and learn. But you can learn from my mistake.

Take a few minutes as soon as you can, and define the things you will not do in your business. I was reading the book "Pour Your Heart Into It" by the CEO of Starbucks, and he said from day one, they had the vision of saying that they would not do anything that would dilute the quality of their coffee.

What standards can you set for your company?

  • I will not grovel for business
  • I will not lower my fees to get a loan from someone I don't really like
  • I will not buy the new car until I have enough monthly income to pay for it comfortably
  • Etc.

In the book "From Good to Great" the author talks about the same concept. He says that all the companies that they classified as 'great' companies, all had a center of focus in their business, and they would not go into any venture or product that was outside their focus.

You have probably seen, as I have, people whose business cards read like the yellow pages:


Bob Jones


Real Estate 

 Financial Planner


 Garbage Man


If this fellow cannot be successful at one thing, why should I do business with him?

Let's get back to the topic.

Think about some of the things you are unhappy about in you life and your business. Make a list of things you will no longer do. Then don't do them. Only you have the power to control yourself. Only you can make you do the things you do. Decide to live a better life. Decide to live a happier life.

Make your Do Not Do list today.

Happy Originating!




Add Your Own
Your Name:
Word Above: