I went from pier guard to pro blogger and island hopper by following some rules and breaking other rules.
According to many people, I acted in complete irresponsible fashion during my journey. People taught me to pay bills and put a roof over my head. Do what you need to do by working a job to cover the basics, right?
During my 10 years of pro blogging, I sometimes did not pay bills. I dodged creditors. I went bankrupt. I went broke a few times. Three times, I believe. According to humanity, I was an irresponsible drain on society. But deep, pulsating fears I faced in breaking basic financial rules helped me to help tens of thousands of people through my blog. Plus I lived my dreams clearly because I broke some rules and faced deep fears.
Both you and I benefited because I broke rules.
But I also followed some rules to live the life of my dreams. I followed basic blogging rules, generously helping people and trusting in the process. Naturally, following proven rules helped me succeed, too.
Find Your Mix
Last week while I was in NYC, 99% of people on the subway stared at their phones. The guy who conceptualized this idea – Steve Jobs – broke many basic rules in the peripherals industry. He envisioned consumer wants before consumers wanted these desires, especially during his early days.
But Jobs followed basic rules too. He tapped into raw human emotions unlike few humans who ever lived. He knew how to create a palpable buzz before any product release. The great Steve Jobs broke some rules and followed some rules to leave an imprint on humanity.
Find your mix. Be courageous to break some rules but honor other rules. Living in a civilized culture requires basic rules for us to peacefully co-exist. But never follow all the rules that society follows; this is a recipe for failure.
Break the Mold
My first post on Positively Positive taught you how to break rules and still win:
I would never have become an island hopping pro blogger unless I broke specific life and blogging rules. I became more fearless, generous, compassionate and prolific because I broke financial rules which forced me to face my deepest fears.
I never grew much of an email list – breaking a cardinal rule of blogging – but learned how to develop genuine, strong bonds with power brokers to reach my audience. No way I am an outreach champion unless I moved away from list building, toward relationship building.
Break the mold. Pick and choose rules to break. Never live like a robot, being boxed in by rules, mechanically following society, step for step. Be fluid. Be willing to break some rules. Follow your heart. Be willing to look like a fool in rule follower's eyes.
People who follow all the rules and live a comfortable, normal life laughed at me a decade ago but would run through a brick wall to live my movie-worthy life now.
Follow some rules. Break a bunch more rules to live your wildest dreams.