The 20% Rule is the latest book from mutli-award winning bestselling female author, Catherine Gladwyn.

The 20% Rule

The 20% Rule

In a world where business books are largely dominated by men it’s refreshing to see a woman championing the small business world with her business knowledge, experience and a refreshing humour.

Catherine’s rightly proud that she’s been a best-seller above the likes of Elon Musk, Seth Godin and Simon Sinek and has just published her second book, The 20% Rule® - how to ensure your business is safe, sustainable and profitable.

In it she shares her tips and advice on how based business owners can work to ensure that they’re covered should life get in the way.

After three brain tumours and living with Addison's disease, Catherine built her business to stand anything life threw at her.

And that was put to the test in October 2019 when Catherine was told she imminently needed to have surgery to remove her third brain tumour and be prepared to take at least four months out of work.

‘It was scary, there was no way I wanted to lose my business, but I had to have the surgery and the period of recovery. My planning had worked; I was able to walk away from my business with no loss of income because I’d built my business knowing that sometimes, life gets in the way’.

Here Catherine shares some of the tips from her latest book to help you ensure your business is safe, sustainable and profitable, whatever life throws at us:

The 20% Rule®

This one is fundamental. No one client should take up more than 20% of your time, or your income.


Well, what if you lose them? What if they can no longer pay you, what if they go out of business, what if you fall out? Lots of ‘what ifs’ but they’re all real life scenarios that can happen without any warning.

If you have a client who takes up more than 20% of your income and you lose them, you lose a lot of income that you need to recoup and that doesn’t happen overnight.

If you ensure your clients never take up more than 20% of your time, or your income and you lose one - or perhaps you decide to get rid because they’re a pain in the backside - then you’re going to be just fine. It’ll not harm your finances too much and give you some breathing space to find replacements.

Avoid relying on social media

Social media is a wonderful way to build your brand and your audience, in fact some people rely 100% on social media, some go so far as relying on one platform! Don’t.

It’s not your platform.

Just this week one of my clients has lost access to her Facebook page and there’s nothing she can do about it. She’s appealed their decision and just has to sit and wait to see what they say, but she has been told it could take months.

She’s fuming!

Social media isn’t yours. It’s borrowed. There’s nothing you can do about it if you’re kicked off.

Therefore you need to make sure you’re building an audience away from social media too, by building a newsletter list.

I know it can seem daunting, but just remember - everyone starts at zero.

Multiple income streams

Have various ways to bring the money in, but the secret is to ensure they align. In other words, don’t be trying to sell stuff that doesn’t have anything to do with the other things you sell.

So if you’re selling business coaching, don’t try selling Arbonne too. Sell things that complement your business coaching. Like a course, some downloads, a book, merchandise, etc.

It makes it easier to market your services / products and also means your audiences don’t get confused thinking you’re constantly chopping and changing direction.

You need to be known as the expert but not a Jack of all trades.

See every hour as your hourly rate

If you don’t know / work with an hourly rate, take a moment to work out what it might be.

Consider your expenses, what you need to bring in, etc.

Then when you’ve worked it out, start looking at every hour as your hourly rate.

This helps to stop the procrastinating, or the long lunches with employed friends who get paid lunch breaks / holidays.

Learn to say No!

It’s hard, I know. Especially when someone asks for a discount / something for free, or you think you owe them something because they’re investing a lot in you, or you think you need to undercharge to get the business.

You don’t! I promise.

There are people out there getting paid what you’re worth without offering money off.

When someone asks for money off simply say ‘No’ and pause. It’s hard to begin with because human nature is to fill a silence, but allow the other person to fill it. You just stay quiet - they will fill the void in seconds. Have a go.

If you believe in you, others will too. I believe in you!

These are just five tips from Catherine’s second book, The 20% Rule®