The above quote, my master business strategist Tom Peters, makes a lot of sense. But in business, especially at the retail, multi-employee enterprise, it's often forgotten. Heck, it's not even a thing any more for a lot of businesses.

Yet, it should be.

Rules are guideposts. Consider them like guardrails on a highway – they keep your employees from going off the side of the road and into the abyss.

But that's not what we're talking about when we say, “Encourage (or authorize) everyone to break the rules “a little bit.”

What we mean is, keep it human. If a customer makes a weird request, consider it. Also consider how to fulfill that request without giving the store away. Give your employees autonomy to bend the rules “a little bit.”

Doing so will not just satisfy (or impress) your customers. It may also encourage employee retention, which is a huge thing. You may have invested thousands of dollars and dozens of hours of time training your employees. Losing one over repeated “you broke this tiny rule” will kill motivation and some may seek other employment.

It's just a fact.

Well, what does this have to do with you if you are a solo entrepreneur?

In a word, everything.

encourage rule breaking
Breaking the rules.

Here's why. You get to make your own rules (not your own laws). You get to decide if your offer is limited. I mean, we sell digital products that NEVER run out of stock. Bits are free, for all intents. But you can say, “This item is for sell only until tomorrow at midnight” or “until 100 are sold.” You get to make that rule.

You can also have a “no refund” policy.

And you can break those same rules. You made them. You get to break them.

Now, I don't suggest you do this “rule breaking” indiscriminately or often. Make them exceptions to the rule. Otherwise, if you break said rule all the time, it's not really a rule. In fact, breaking the rule makes it the rule.

Any way, don't get too caught up in your own rules. Use common sense, logic, and emotion to guide you.

Is it best for your customer? Does it harm your business in the short or long term? By enough that you really shouldn't break it?

You know what to do.

In other news, the Tampa Bay Bucaneers appear to have won decisively over the Kansas City Chiefs. I didn't watch the game nor did I watch the Halftime show or the commercials. I'm kind of done with football and have been for years.

But just in case you hadn't heard, there it is. LOL.

Did you know? Yesterday was “International Start a Blog Day Class of 2021.” It's not too late to start.

To come back full-circle to my original point above (breaking the rules), here's one of my favorite marketers, Seth Godin, on being nimble. It's kind of the same concept.

From time to time on the blog, I want to highlight something new that I learned or discovered. Today, it's copywriter Tania Dakka.

I found her in a Facebook group, headed over to her site, and found this. I love it!

Tania has her own FB group about writing copy – you can find it here.


breaking the rules

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