In the classic book The 80/20 Principle, author Richard Koch lays out his 10 Golden Rules of Success, applicable to both business and to life in general. I have my own particular take on them, which is a little different than Koch’s, and are more specific to the creative lifestyle.
Most of us, especially those of us in creative fields, will have few if any employees. What we need to control are the types of people we choose surround ourselves with, whether they’re employees, employers, collaborators, colleagues, acquaintances, or friends. I’m not saying be mercenary and only hang out with people who can do something for you. I am saying surround yourself with people who care about you, support your vision, encourage you, and inspire you. Whatever you want to be in life, hang out with the people who do that well. Find peers. Find mentors. Learn from them, follow their best practices, and allow them to add value to your life.
My personal caveat here is that people who mean well and are trying to be supportive don’t count as net value creators. Someone telling you to be realistic about your prospects, encouraging you to lower the bar, or to focus on Plan B because they don’t think your goal is achievable, aren’t helping. Fire them, or at least contain them and keep them out of your process. Well-intentioned sabotage is still sabotage.