Aiming at Success, Be sure it’s time to break the rules

Following through on the previous post asking; Success, what does it mean to you?

Rules are found everywhere in life and most of them are good, reasonable and helpful. Rules make a lot of sense for people to live in harmony. They keep us safe and also help us to get things done in an efficient manner. It’s therefore no doubt that rules are important, especially when it comes to management and governance in communities and even in business. Rules are made to bring order and to gain conformity in an area that might otherwise be chaotic and they protect us from missteps and help us get where we want to go. In business, there are predestined rules and have been applied by business owners, scholars, and other business minds throughout the world over the years. Rules on management, operations, innovation and marketing among others if applied correctly are believed to help in the running of businesses. Have you ever had such questions running in your mind?

  • What are you doing in your career, job or business that you were told is the only way to do things?
  • What are you doing just because you have been taught that it’s the “right way” or the “socially acceptable way”?
  • What are you doing in your business that seems right because “it’s what everyone else does”.

We have always known that you cannot get through a meeting with your Bank, Business Consultant or even a mentor without learning the so-called unbreakable rules of business.

Just think of this;

Times are changing and individuals and businesses are constantly looking for better ways to stay keep ahead of competition to achieve more. Could this be advocating for ignoring the well-known business rules? Yes, rules define the acceptable way for things to get done but rarely help you to do things in a new and better way. The rules I am talking about involve doing things differently.  It is making things happen versus letting things happen. How you view rules will affect how you do things.  To obtain exceptional results, results that are better than the normal results you have been getting all along, you must be willing to experiment by testing, expanding and even breaking the rules. Breaking the right rules is about innovation, creation, and finding new paradigms. Remember that we are talking about rules and not the Law.

Some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs ignored the treasured and accepted business conventions. This we have learnt from the different from business discussions, magazines and books, newspapers and so forth. To attain the kind of success that makes them newsworthy and notable in the world, they have had to learn and understand the rules in their field, so that they could know which ones to break to be able to get ahead. You must also know which rules to break and which ones not to. Breaking a rule because you don’t know or understand, is just being ignorant and does not apply in our context of breaking the rules.

Will breaking the rules lead to success?

Not really.

So, why doesn’t successful rule breaking occur more often?

In simple terms, rule-based activity is where procedures are consciously controlled by a rule; knowledge-based activities occur in unfamiliar fields, when rules or procedures cannot be recalled.  Educating yourself by inquiring into where knowledge-based activity can be applied to a rule-based environment can provide you the unique tricks needed to send you over the top and into becoming an above-ordinary success.

Every “rule-breaker” must be ready to accept the consequences of breaking the rules; if it works, you’re a genius. If it didn’t, figure out what went wrong, count your losses and restart afresh. The costs of breaking the rules will include; criticism, self-doubt, isolation and loneliness in many instances, punishment from superiors, loss of a job or money among others.

Thoughts to pique your mind;

What’s keeping you from breaking the rules?

What is keeping you from adopting the new ways of doing things?

What’s keeping you from mowing forward?

Is it fear?

Is it limited understanding and knowledge?

Is it resources?

To this I say, break the rules. The simple steps to this are;

Trust yourself; Don’t be afraid to fail; and Don’t listen to the pessimists.

Otherwise, go straight to empower yourself and business to defeat fear and rise above the rest.

The One Unbreakable Rule: Hard work

Like the common saying that goes; you can’t phone-in success but, if you work hard at something you are passion about, success will call you. Aliko Dangote, the richest black man said “I enjoy myself a lot but I derive more joy in working. I believe in hard work and one of my business success secrets is hard work.” If you want to win, there is absolutely no way around hard, hard work. Just remember, you can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets. So ask yourself, “Which rule can I break today?” and begin your journey to becoming extraordinary.

Brian Ahabwe KakuruBrian is the Managing Director at BLEGSCOPE®, and has over 9 years of management consultancy experience notably in the finance and banking industry, MSMEs, FMCG companies and in the service industry. You can follow him on twitter: @BrianAhabweK


BLEGSCOPE is the brand name representing all BLEGSCOPE business and other initiatives that operate under BLEGSCOPE Capital Ltd (BCL).

BCL is an investment holding company based in Uganda that was set up to provide a valuable and unparalleled platform for like-minded entrepreneurs to exploit the numerous business and investment opportunities in the Great Lakes region.

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