Whether daily, weekly, or for a longer term, do you have a list of things you will NOT do?

As part of a recent self-exploration of how we’re measuring success, my friend and mentor Michele Miller suggested coming up with a to-don’t list about, for lack of a better word, fame.

I’m on the precipice of breaking wide open, she said. With the second book and the momentum we’ve gained in building our platform, we could choose to rocket our company into the stratosphere.


That’s right, Michele pointed out, we get to choose to do that… or not.

It never occurred to me that, after twenty years of pushing and striving and aspiring and learning and reading and writing and growing, that I may not want to be famous.

After some quiet reflection, prayer, and a long discussion with my wife, it’s clear to me this holds very little interest to me – to become famous – and in fact kind of repulses me. It always has. Michele just gave me permission to say it out loud and choose to focus on growing and delighting our clients and picking and choosing opportunities that will either lead to a nice new client or non-profit opportunity while finding ways to stay home with Dee and our young children.

“That’s nuts!” you might be thinking to yourself.

“You worked so hard! You’re… right… there…” you may be thinking.

Yeah, but I get to choose, and I’m saying “no thank you.”

As a result, I’ve put together a short to-don’t list of the things I’ve associated with “successful famous” people in my industry.

Tim’s Six To-Don’ts

  1. I don’t want to be gone more than four days a month unless I can take my family with me. I was on sixty airplanes without them last year. That was about fifty too many.
  2. I don’t want to speak at conferences for marketing people… I’m only interested in speaking to owner-operateds, family businesses, colleges, and nonprofit orgs.
  3. I won’t retweet it when someone says something nice about me.
  4. I won’t plug a bunch of affiliate links for income.
  5. I won’t relentlessly recruit people to promote my stuff for me. I don’t want my own affiliate program.
  6. I won’t put name-field merge tags in emails to make people feel like I know them when I don’t.

So, those are mine. Now, none of them are bad or wrong. They’re just not for me.

For now. I may add some… I’m thinking about leaving twitter and LinkedIn because I don’t enjoy them.

When we were moving out of our old house and city last week, I kept having flashbacks to great moments. None of them were work-related. That’s nothing against work, but that’s exactly how it went down.

And I’m choosing to do something about it.

How about you? What are your to-don’ts?