The Five Second Rule

This is for everyone - not just procrastinators. Thanks to Xero for sharing this from their XeroCon.

Mel Robbins created the premise for one of the most powerful TED Talks of all time when she couldn’t get out of bed.

Mel is a Human Behavior Specialist and entrepreneur, and created the Five-Second Rule while her and her husband were going through a difficult time in their professionals lives. Today, the video of her TED Talk has clocked more than 7,000,000 views.

Speaking at Xerocon in San Francisco, Mel told how the Five-Second Rule means every time you have an impulse to act on a goal you must physically move within five seconds and act on it in that time frame.

Thinking about calling someone? Five, four, three, two, one, do it. Thinking about going to the gym? Five, four, three, two, one, do it.

As an entrepreneur herself, Mel knows what it’s like to struggle with hesitation. She shared two areas small business owners can use the Five-Second Rule.


Mel said small business owners are constantly struggling with where to focus their time and their energy. The moment they walk into work, they feel they have lost control of their day. Small business owners should take time at the start of their day to prepare for what’s ahead.

“Force yourself to spend 10 to 15 minutes planning your day and working on the one strategic objective that you keep avoiding before you leave for work,” Mel said.

“Most small business owners wake up, look at their phone and start panicking. You want to grow your business, you’ve got to put the phone down, you’ve got to get up… you’ve got to sit down with a notebook and spend five minutes and think about what you are going to get done today that will help you expand your business.”

Mel said small business owners should clock this time in the morning and use the Five-Second Rule to do it. When your alarm goes off in the morning? Five, four, three, two, one, do it. Get up.


Mel said small business owners need to put a stop to the self-doubt that will ultimately cripple their small business if it isn’t stifled. The biggest obstacles small business owners face is the worries they place in their head.

“The moment you feel yourself doubting yourself, push it out of your head,” Mel said. “Five, four, three, two, one. Your self-doubt has no place in your business.”

If small business owners use the Five-Second Rule in their business and do away with hesitation, they are sure to thrive.
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