Be disruptive. Don’t ask permission.

Have you ever heard the saying “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission”?

That’s a mind set and I may even go as far to say that it’s a personality type.

While I was growing up, until sometime in the middle of my high school career, I was very much a ‘ask permission’ type of person. I’m not sure what exactly caused the change, but I do remember a change in my own actions, becoming more disruptive.

This lead others to take notice of the things I was doing, and eventually helped me build a community of people around my own ideas and goals.

What kind of disruptive?

Being disruptive doesn’t necessarily mean you should go out and pick fights, destroy property, or anything like that. Though it could also mean that, to me it means going with your gut when your gut is saying something that everyone else isn’t.

If everyone is lining up to ‘take the pill’ and you don’t, that’s being disruptive.

We all have that feeling from time to time, but do we always act on it?

What I’ve found as a musician and entrepreneur is that being disruptive often leads to success.

Doing things differently may be a little harder than playing it safe. Yet if you get a win it’s that much more exciting and liberating.

For me being disruptive has meant writing progressive music that probably doesn’t fit into any specific box. That may have kept me off of the radio, but it’s also allowed me the freedom to create art that I like, the way I like it, and build an audience of listeners and other musicians that want the same.

It has also meant not working in the corporate world. Having a cubical next to 50 other minions in a company where you never even get to see the owner was never appealing to me. Instead I’ve chosen a path that has allowed me to play a more substantial role in any business that I work with, including starting and running my own business for 6 years.

If you constantly feel that you would do something different than what everyone else is doing, go for it and see what happens. You are likely to come out with a new perspective and start doing that more often.

Don’t ask permission

As mentioned, this is something that took me a while to come to terms with.  Growing up I wanted to play by what I ‘thought’ were the rules to win. That didn’t always work out and I came to learn that some rules were meant to be broken.

A good example is my first indoor soccer game. I was on defense and someone was running towards me with the ball.  I stopped them at the edge of the field and remember this kid looking over my shoulder towards the goal. I stuck my foot out so he couldn’t get by me. At the same time this kid kicked the ball off the wall(remember this is indoor soccer) and it bounced around me.  He ran by me and got back to the ball no problem.

I will never forget that happening. I thought that was ‘out of bounds’. Turns out it wasn’t and later in life I used that same move.  If anyone had asked me before that game if you could kick the ball off the wall, I would have said no, that’s not legit.

Asking permission for something that is outside of the status quo will often lead to that answer, No.

People who are not disruptive (most people) and play by the rules will always stray from something that doesn’t fit the mold.  At work, your parents, friends, etc will always tell you that you can’t do something, especially if it has not been done before.

If we always listened to them, we wouldn’t make any progress.

Another great example is what happened recently with our presidential election.  How many people said what happened could never happen, for many different reasons.  Yet it did.  It happened because they went for it anyway despite what the majority thought (and somehow despite what the majority voted for).

You don’t need to run for president, but whatever it is in your life that you want to go for than you think others might not approve of, do it and see what happens. You’ll surprise yourself.

 

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