On following the rules

I’ve always been a rule follower…like, to an incredibly annoying degree. I really never got into trouble as a kid, but I’ve always been terrified of being in trouble, so I  just always stuck to the rules because, well, because that’s just what you do. Period. This attitude, no doubt, caused all the other kids around me to do anything they could just to get me to do something I wasn’t supposed to do (I won’t name any names, but I might be related to one or two of them). You might think I would have ended up with a bad boy, but I managed to find the one guy who probably got into less trouble than I did as a kid. He always has to one-up me on everything.

This way of thinking made things a lot easier on my mom and my teachers, but when it comes to building a business or taking on any kind of adventure, it’s pretty inhibiting. You see, I grew up thinking that if I just followed the rules, I’d be successful. It had always worked for me before. You get the right grades, pick the right college, pick the right major, graduate in exactly four years and bam…the world is waiting on the other side of the stage with your dreams. Hmmm…that was quite a wake-up call.

We’re living in a very different world today than what I grew up thinking I would come into. That little girl consulting the rule book never quite conceived of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or blogs. It never crossed my mind that the conventional ways and the gatekeepers would be obsolete. Permission wouldn’t exist. Um, excuse me, I’ve always thrived on permission! What am I supposed to do if no one is there to give me permission? You don’t have to wait for RCA to come calling to release that record anymore. Tired of waiting for that Hollywood agent to notice you? All you need is a YouTube channel. A grassroots campaign powered by a group of people who have never even voted before put our current President in office. Times, they are a-changin’.

The bad news is, if you’re like me, this can be a little disconcerting. It’s like navigating a new planet. But if we’re willing to acknowledge that we don’t need permission anymore to do whatever it is we want to do, and if we’re willing to accept the challenge of taking responsibility for what we want and for making it happen, then we come to a place where there are no limits. We can follow our biggest and wildest dreams and we can build our ultimate lives and leave a legacy that will rock this world.

So, to all you fellow goody two-shoes out there, are you with me?

Image courtesy Lara Casey (laracasey.com/blog)



Filed under Personal, The Business

2 responses to “On following the rules

  1. Dave

    You Go Ashley!!Move Forward and Do Not Look Back!!

    I was recently told be a member of Senior Management that I push and push to make things happen and break the rule when I feel it is in the companies best interest, until I get reigned in a little!! He closed with “and Thank God You Do”

    In Business you have to live in the Gray area more often than you may like to make things happen. The trick is learning what rules are Black and White!! On occasion I’ve broked them at much greater risk of course. If you let the 10 Commandments be your guide the risks will not be terminal in nature!!

    I hope this makes sense!!

  2. Ashley, you’ve got so much in common with my wife it’s crazy. (She’s a big rule follower too!) Since I’m more of a ask forgiveness not permission kind of guy, we are a good balance. My one observation is that, it isn’t that there are no rules, it’s that the rules have changed; the good news is it leaves a lot more room for finding opportunity. And luckily you are young enough and small enough (business-wise I mean) that you can be flexible. You are doing great and we are proud to be able to support you anyway we can!

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