The Four Agreements, Life & Solopreneurship

You’ve probably read this book. It applies to daily life, yes, and even as importantly, the Four Agreements can transform the way you run your business. Think of them as a Guide to Life & Solopreneurship, angels on your shoulder whispering words of wisdom, helping you chart your course.

Four dead simple, challenging commitments.

Agreement 1: Be impeccable with your word

Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

As a solopreneur, you have a responsibility to speak your truth. As a coach or creative, you have your own uniqueness that MUST shine through. If you aren’t being authentic and in integrity with your values, how in heck will you help the very people you’re here to empower?

Consistency is a part of integrity – however, you get to define what that means to you. And then stick to it. Respond to emails once a day or once a week? Write daily or weekly? It doesn’t matter what you do, it’s how you do it. It doesn’t mean doing it the same way every time either.

Simply put, it’s doing what you said you’d do, when you said you’d do it.

Some ways to be in integrity in biz:

  • Be You and fly your freak flag high
  • Say No to energy vampires
  • Amp it UP, ie, let your voice thunder!
  • Be passionately in love with your work
  • Share information, appreciation and resources
  • Start doing the thing you say, or don’t say it till you do
  • Be your own champion – speak words that affirm you daily
  • This one above, is your # 1 key to success and happiness
  • Don’t make promises you might break*
  • And don’t apologise every time you do*

* Eg: You boldly state you’ll write a post every Mon, Wed, Fri, send a newsletter twice a month. One day you aren’t inspired to post. Life gets in the way and you miss a newsletter. Next thing you know, it’s been 3 months and you’re back apologising profusely. Don’t, just don’t do that. Either make it a priority and have systems in place with 1-3 months of material ready to go, or just pick up and keep moving. Enough of the apologising.

Agreement 2: Don’t take anything personally

Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

Someone unsubscribes from your email list. Blog comments slow down. The phone isn’t ringing off the hook with clients. Your spouse and friends are wondering when you’ll give up the idea of solopreneurship, do the sensible thing and get a job.

It’s not you. It’s them.

It doesn’t mean you’re not worthy, brilliant, a good writer, a great coach, a talented designer. All it means is, what they want and what you offer aren’t a match right now. There are tons of other people who DO want what you’ve got and when you’re in integrity with who you are, they’ll be drawn to you.

Whether in life or business, nothing is permanent. People come, people go. Numbers change. Commitments waver. The only thing you CAN be sure of, is that you’ll learn, grow, experiment and be more than okay.

How not to take anything personally:

  • Don’t take it personally
  • Remember: It’s not you, it’s them
  • Unless you’re breaking Agreement # 1
  • In which case it’s you and you gotta hitch up your pants

Agreement 3: Don’t make assumptions

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid sadness, misunderstandings and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

“I can’t do this / I’m not good enough / I need more experience before I can __, __, __ / I’ve never done this before so what if I fail / I need more money / I don’t have time / If I launch a course no one will sign up / If I launch a course it will sell out / Why would they want to collaborate with me, I’m just a newbie / Of course they’ll want to be in on my thing, I’m fabulous / If I ask I’ll just get a No / What if everyone said Yes”

What’s the common factor in these statements? They’re all made up. Everything is made up. YOU make it up. You can make up whatever you want and bring it to life.

The only way to find out?

  • Get curious about your assumptions
  • Ask questions and listen to the answers
  • Say what you want to say, Ask for what you need, Do what you’re afraid to do.

Agreement 4: Always do your best

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

This one might seem kinda redundant. After all, aren’t you always doing the best you can from where you are with all you’ve got (to paraphrase Mike Dooley)?

Often, you think you are but really, you’re waffling, procrastinating, wrestling with saboteurs and falling into the comparison trap that keeps you from doing something phenomenal with your business or seeing that you already ARE.

Aren’t you sick to the GILLS with reading about “stop the comparisons” and even more, with how you can’t seem to stop comparing!? Be patient, my friend. You’re undoing a LIFETIME of training to beat the Joneses.

Listen, the day you get that it DOESN’T MATTER what your competitors do, it only matters what YOU do, that others doing their stuff and being successful doesn’t make YOU less successful, that’s when you’ll truly be living your life your way. And in that, be richer, happier and make a far greater impact than you could ever have imagined.

What if you take this one to heart – print it out and put it on your office wall, use it as a screensaver. Remind yourself of it every time you break one of the first 3 agreements. Cos love, it’s gonna happen.

And when it does, agreement # 4 will nourish, soothe and encourage you back into being the sparkling, wonder filled and life affirming awesome person you were born to be.

I’d love to hear from you – how have these agreements impacted your life and business? Which ones resonate the most with you? What one thing can you implement today to bring the agreements into your business?? Thanks for sharing!

Facebook comments:



  1. says

    I’ll start – the one that’s impacting me greatly at the moment is agreement # 1 (be in integrity in business). It’s pretty evident from my writings over the past 6 months, the people I’m connecting with and the things I’m saying and doing. As for #s 2, 3 and 4, they are in a good state of integration thanks to vigilance and daily nurturing.

    In life, rule # 3 is where my work and focus currently are. And that’s related to # 2 a bit. Fascinating to see how inter-related the agreements are and yet, how they differ in impact in any given moment. These 4 are a fantastic way to live and work, don’t you reckon?

  2. jane says

    speaking my truth is the challenge that i am dealing with right now… feeling vulnerable and tender but speaking anyway – a bit raw and a bit bruised but much much much more alive

    i love these words – thank you

    • says

      That’s brave and courageous of you Jane. When you acknowledge and become aware of your truth, it becomes a hot burning ember that sears through you till you start expressing it, then explodes into starbursts and dazzling sparkles!

      Hang in there, stay supported and love yourself for taking these steps. I’m cheering for you! Anytime you feel especially tender, shoot me an email and let me be there for you, k? Big hugs & welcome to YLYW.

  3. says

    Thanks for reminding me about the 4 agreements! I really need to dig this book out of a box and put it in a more prominent place in our house.

    The cool thing is that…without even realizing it…my husband and I have kinda made these 4 agreements the foundation for how we’re parenting and unschooling our girls. We’re both students of the agreements from way back…but we haven’t really talked about it in ages. Now, I can see the parallels in how I live my business and what values we want to instill in our kids. I guess it all seeped into our subconscious without us even knowing it.

    Thanks again!

    • says

      Ditto – been a while since I read my copy but I was reminded of the words yesterday and realised how it applies to work as well. Love that it’s such a part of your subconscious and even more, that it’s a part of your relationship.

      That’s truly beautiful and your kids are blessed to have such conscious, aware parents. Kudos Laurie & hubby! Thanks for chipping in with your thoughts, gorgeous girl!

  4. says


    This is a great book. I’ve got the card deck as well and have given them out at my life shops. Good conversation starters.

    #3 can be a challenge in a world where we are not encouraged to speak our truth or to ask questions – the do as you’re told mentality causes untold misery. I try to ask questions if I feel boxed in or anxious or whatever. Sometimes the other person doesn’t have a clue what I’ve been feeling or can explain whatever I’m confused about.

    Like another commenter, I should review my copy!
    thx, G.

    • says

      I’d love to get to the point where questions come first before the reaction but I’m guessing that would be when I reach Yodaism (my preferred state over enlightenment ;)). Love that when I’m reacting, I start asking questions of myself soon after though. So much easier to get past the upset and rackets we create when we get curious without judgement.

      You make an important point – 99% of the time, upsets are in our head and the stories we create around them would be laughable if they weren’t so painful. Drama sucks. I’m going to reread mine when I get back to Vancouver, for now I’ll just read the 4 daily! Good to see you, G.

  5. says

    The agreements all speak to integrity, but they are not the root of integrity but the branches. In other words, it’s not “I have integrity because I keep my word”, but “I keep my word because I have integrity”; or, more accurately “my word is a reflection of my integrity”. I think that all of these principles rest on a solid, internal security, self-knowledge and strength of purpose.

    I can see times in my life when I haven’t been totally impeccable with my word. It wasn’t from being deliberately deceitful or lazy. Just a general kind of flakiness. And the flakiness comes from not having a strong direction that is independent of the agenda, or the good opinion of other people. Or just not really knowing what you want. Without a strong, individual purpose, you’re likely to be drawn into the agenda of others, in a less than conscious fashion. Say ‘yes’ because it feels expected or because you can’t think of a good reason why not. But not really feeling committed to the outcome.

    Like Stephen Covey said—it’s easy to say “no” when you have a big enough “yes”.

    • says

      Good point Lach. It’s a bit of a circle though, isn’t it? You can’t have integrity unless you keep your word and you won’t keep your word unless you have integrity.

      That word irks me sometimes. We get so tied up in knots about it .. after all, integrity really just means acting and speaking in consistence with your thoughts. So a murderer is in integrity with himself just as much as a saint is. What then..?

      Bouncing off to the side, I once heard that you are credible when you say you are credible. It really does come down to beliefs – what you believe about yourself, you prove about and to yourself.

      That strong sense of purpose is often what we can go our entire lives without, which is when we’re out of integrity cos as long as something doesn’t feel right, we’re out of sync with our inner compass and thus, not consistent with our true desires.

      Which is what we’re changing about ourselves and by proxy, the world around 🙂 Glad you’re on this boat sailing the seas of awareness and purpose my friend!

  6. says

    Tia, thanks for bringing this book back to my attention. I read it years ago and can see I need to read it again, as I could use a lot of work on all 4 agreements! Right now I feel like I’m undoing a lifetime of all kinds of stuff. One thing at a time, one day at a time, I’m making headway.

    I think the one that resonates most with me now is #3. Questioning so many assumptions about the way I’ve lived my life up til now, and questioning the assumptions about “how things are supposed to be” vs. how I WANT them to be from my own unique perspective. Every day is a conscious effort to let go of my scared, worried old self and sail into my newfound freedom.

    • says

      Hey Laurie, you’re totally welcome kiddo ;)! This is the work of a lifetime, as we’re ALL labouring under the misapprehension of how it’s supposed to be. The process goes on and on, 1,2,3,4 rinse repeat rinse repeat. Don’t you love seeing the level of integration rise higher each time though? What are your assumptions and what do you want them to be? Would love to hear. Thanks for sharing and you’re doing GREAT WORK!

    • says

      Wow – that sounds really interesting, Chas! Love the quote on your site “Good Luck Is The Result Of Trying Again” – I’m so stealing it for tomorrow’s status update on the facebook page, hehe. Thanks!

  7. says

    Tia – I realize this is an old post but I just had write a comment – I *love* the Four Agreements! I think reading it (about 8 years ago) is what really prompted me to get my shit together. 😉 And I love how you’ve put each point into your own words here and given readers something to think about. Fantastic post!

    • says

      Annie, I love it when someone finds an old post that really speaks to them 🙂 Thank you for commenting! Yes, the 4 agreements really apply everywhere, ay. Mo’ power to DMR!

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