There is a paradox to doing things the “right” way. It means you are doing things the way everyone else who can follow rules does it. As we move into the digital world, success means having high discoverability. But how are you going to be found it you’re doing everything just like everyone else is doing it.
In my Who Dares Wins program I discuss what makes the Special Forces elite. While there are many elements, one key one I learned early on was that breaking rules was an accepted way of doing business. In fact, we were encouraged not just to think “outside the box”, we we taught that the box didn’t really apply.
In Special Forces our unofficial motto was: If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.
However, that doesn’t mean we could just do whatever we felt like. When I applied Who Dares Wins to the world of writing with Write It Forward, I listed the paradoxical rules of rule breaking.
1. Know the rule (breaking a rule because you don’t know or understand it, is just being dumb)
2. Have a good reason for breaking the rule (I ask WHY a lot in my workshops. I don’t believe there are any rules of writing—you just need a good reason why you are doing something)
3. Accept the consequences of breaking the rule (if it worked, you’re a genius. If it didn’t, figure out what went wrong, reboot and restart)
How do you feel about ‘breaking the rules’ and have you done it successfully with your digital publishing career?