Rebel in the Workplace – Entrepreneurs Share How They Buck the Norm

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We all know the rebels in business. The people who take risks and, fail or succeed, put the entire world on its toes. These rebels think differently, act differently and see the world of business in a whole new light. They aren't bogged down by the usual rules and regulations business people before them have followed. They are out to make their own rules and make sure everyone knows about it. Sometimes rebellion works and sometimes it doesn't. But no matter the outcome some rebels just have to take the leap because for them there's no other way to go. Below we have gathered some examples of how some show their rebellion stripes in the workplace.

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The majority of meetings aren't necessary

 First and foremost, realize that the majority of meetings aren't necessary. We live in an age of smartphones, e-mail, and video chat. If you can get it done with one of those, do it. Second, if a meeting really is necessary, you should always have a clear agenda – many companies invite too many people to a free wheeling meeting so everyone can feel like an “important business person”. Sitting in a room for 60 minutes slogging from one loosely controlled subject to another has never resulted in a company growing, so don't fall into the trap of thinking that the number of meetings you go to in a day is reflective of your importance.
Thanks to Steve Duffy,

Putting a new spin on the same old rules

You rebel by not doing what everyone else is doing and if it's getting you the results you need, or you truly believe it will, then feel good about it! I start work at 10am most days. I take every Wednesday off. I leverage with people and other people's money to grow my business and buy investment properties when most people would be saying, no that's too scary. Have work in Asia? I pack up the kids and take them with me for a big adventure. I find a way to do things when others think it's just all too hard. I rebel by finding out what the rules are and then I am creative within those rules. There is never just one way of doing things!

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Thanks to Maureen Pound


All about the sparkles

As a business owner, I have one word as to how I rebel in business: sparkles. I stray away from traditional business attire and make a point to arrive at meetings and events in festive, sparkly clothing. Whether I am meeting with a medical practitioner, a corporate attorney, an industrial manufacturer, or a real estate professional, each client seems to genuinely enjoy “a breath of fresh spirit” when I arrive for our meeting. It is an overall off-the-beaten-path approach that I attribute to my success.

Thanks to Jennifer Toone Corrigan, In Toone Communication


Embrace a little white lie

There is a wide market of people interested in my work around the U.S. and abroad, but I have often had trouble booking locally for my boutique commercial film/video studio, which was frustrating. I kept getting emails that would say things like, “I wish you were in New York so that I could book a commercial with you.” Finally, I decided to respond to these types of emails by telling them a white lie: that I was planning on being there soon. The first time I tried this, it worked, and I booked 3 sessions on a trip I hadn't even planned to take! Now I've changed my business model, and center it around traveling to my clients instead of waiting for them to show up. I've never heard of any type of film production studio going on tour for clients, and yet I'm doing it. I actually have a U.S. tour over the course of this summer and sessions have began booking up before I even had all the information out. The lesson I've learned in business is this: don't wait for clients to come to you– get off your chair and go to them.

Thanks to Luke T. Harwath, Studio Koyo


By truly being yourself

We'd all like to think that we're being ourselves all the time, but it's not really the case. We're influenced by our surroundings and bend to fit in. It's a survival mechanism, and it makes sense. In the business world, though, it can get intense. In order to fit in, we're sometimes required to walk, talk, and dress like everyone else. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, straight out of undergrad business school, I was more than happy to blend in. I bought black suits, awesome heels, and matching bags. I formatted my resume perfectly. I wrote proper emails and cover letters. A few years into my career, though, I realized that I didn't have to do everything the “right” way, and in fact, I'm at my best when I stand out. I did away with the suits, started wearing jeans and t-shirts, designed an infographic resume, and have been rebelling ever since, being the me I want to be. When I speak at conferences, I don't fret over what I'm wearing, but rather what I'm saying. And when I meet new people, I'm not worried about impressing them. I care about connecting with them and understanding their story. My life, both business and professional, has been much more fulfilling since I started being myself and stopped succumbing to the status quo.

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Thanks to Erica Swallow, Deliverish

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Making the impossible possible

I like to focus on big audacious goals in massive and rapidly growing markets. I like to try to make the impossible possible by doing the hard stuff that others avoid. When you do this, it results in ‘Gandhi-like’ outcomes – first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then you win.

Thanks to Alan Knitowski, Phunware


Breaking the mold in our industry

Rebelling in business involves breaking the mold of any industry by getting things done in a completely different way. This goes without saying that success will be tied to doing things in such a way-that the market will pick up the methods virally, and that the methods will become the new standards. Previously, in our industry of government auctions, everything worked by publishing notices in legal and other newspapers, and very few people were able to participate in the wide array of government auctions happening around them. Most folks did not know about the existences of such auctions, and even for the ones that did, most of them only knew one or two organizations that conducted the auctions. Eventually, we stepped in to centralize all the information and created an easy-to-access, browse-and-search type of database for government auctions. As a result, we generated a ton of media interest in our industry, which helped bring to light the world of government auctions.

Thanks to Ian Aronovich, GovernmentAuctions


Giving them what they aren't expecting

While businesses are all trying to profit as much as possible, our business rebels by providing valuable information as a free service to our customers. Because the service is free and we need funds in order to keep the website running, we rely on revenue in the form of ads. Thus, we have to SEO our website in order to bump the website up to the top of search engines and gain more exposure. It's hard work, but it's a long-term investment we're willing to make. Buying and reusing items that are available at various government surplus or seized merchandise auctions around the country is a form of recycling, and our company takes pride in the idea of making the planet a greener place starting with our free service.

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Thanks to Michael Pesochinsky, GovernmentBargains


Having a flexible work culture

I run a ‘virtual' or telework communications firm – which is headquartered on a farm in regional Australia. My seven staff all work from their own homes and we have a flexible work culture. When I started the agency 3 1/2 years ago I wasn't as upfront about how and where we worked but now it's emblazoned on our website and we're very direct about our culture with clients from the outset. Our mantra is that we want to foster relationships with organisations that share our values. There's a raging debate about ‘working from home' but we find it works for us, and we're happy to be rebels!

Thanks to Jo Scard, Fifty Acres

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Making unexpected things the center of your business

One of the biggest things you could ever do is not simply do something unexpected, but to make the unexpected thing the center of your business or project. For example, I've heard stories about a Thai woman in Queens, New York who advertised that only members of a certain foodie website would appreciate her restaurant. Or there's Ryan Holiday, who got his corporate position at American Apparel by riding the publicity he got from his study about being dishonest as an expert in multiple industries.

Thanks to Braxton Wood, Nucendi Marketing


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