Have you ever been to a lighthouse? It is tall, dark, has steep stairs and there’s nothing to see really.  The climb to the top will tire you. But for someone at sea, a lighthouse during a storm or at night is godsend. It is what keeps them steady on their course and helps them survive. Your principles are your guiding light, just like the light from a lighthouse. In your darkest times and during your lowest hour, your principles will guide you in the right direction.

Entrepreneurs go out into the world with their ideas, not knowing how it will be received. Most entrepreneurs have no support in the beginning. Even in this day, a person who quits their job to begin his own venture is looked at with ridicule. Why would you leave a cushy job for an uncertain life? During a time like this, a person’s convictions and principles are the only support they have. While forming a company, entrepreneurs are often advised to define the principles governing their company.

Principles keep you organized and dedicated

For every entrepreneur his company is his baby. The idea was borne and conceptualized out of their minds. The success they have achieved is probably not something they thought would happen when the idea was conceived. Each benchmark is an important achievement. Principles play an important part in this. If you define what your company stands for in the beginning itself, you will have no trouble staying focused on your end goal. Your guiding light will ensure you are dedicated on the right path.

Principles help you be tough and fair

With dedication, principles also bring discipline to the forefront. When you have a set of guidelines to follow, there is no vagueness as to the path you have to take. Discipline means your work will not suffer. At those times in your career when you are unsure about your next step, your pre-determined set of principles will provide you with answers. After all, each decision you take must be consistent with the image of your company. At times, an entrepreneur also has to make tough decisions, whether it is hiring or firing employees or where to put in the latest round of funding. Again, an entrepreneurs code will define what is the best decision for the company.

Principles stop you from making mistakes

 There will always be opportunities to take shortcuts. However tempting,  shortcuts are not always the best idea. The code that you have defined for yourself and your company is made to keep you on the right path. When you are about to make mistakes, or take the easy way out, remember to go back and think about the principles you found your company on. Giving a bribe for a permit, or illegally buying new office space or blowing off your funding on unnecessary things are all decisions that you will not take if you are disciplined and following your principles.

For anyone who has ever said that I don’t need a set of principles, I know right from wrong. Think again. Having a code will keep you on the right track. It will also help your employees work better in a structured environment as well as respect you for having laid down the ground rules. Let your principles be your guiding light because when you are down on your luck, they will definitely help you find your light.