Screw the Rules

I am currently reading the book The Five Second Rule by Mel Robbins. The book is about picking yourself up and creating action. The principle is to treat everything around you like a rocket ship... 5,4,3,2,1... go. Not giving yourself time to think about your actions, means you don't have time to talk yourself out of it. It's a great concept, but I can't relate to it.

Actions and decisions are not typically a problem I struggle with. As I'm reading the book and paying attention to message boards for groups I belong to, I'm starting to realize that indecision and self-doubt can be debilitating for a lot of people. Mel Robbins is correct, if we take too long to think about something, we end up sitting on the couch, drunk, or laying in bed all day. How has the #5SecondRule helped me? It didn't.


Reading it reminded me of my basic life principles:

Rules annoy me

Mistakes lead to new opportunities

Don't put anyone in a box (including me)


A few years ago I was at work and my cubical neighbor was wearing white pants after Labor Day. A fellow co-worker made a comment about her breaking the fashion rule. My cubby neighbor just shrugged it off and said, "Screw the Rules. I like my outfit." From the other side of our cubical wall, I shouted back, "You are my hero!"

I admit, I am not always a confident person. I struggle with self-doubt. I know I have a lot of weaknesses and make a lot of mistakes. I don't know how to stop moving forward. How do I do it? Out of necessity. I can't afford self-doubt; I have too much at stake to let fear take over. For that reason, I accept my weaknesses, focus on my strengths, and have learned how to redirect mistakes and turn them around.

I accept my limitations and my faults, I do the best I can and approach everything in my life with empathy and compassion because chances are, either I have been there or I'm going to be there. If you ask me what my goals are and what I want to achieve with my business, my answer is probably not what you would expect. I don't have any. I have never been that structured; however, I love what I do, I love looking for new opportunity, and I love to embrace new challenges. Somehow, every year my business continues to grow, and setbacks are temporary and don't bother me.

Each project I work on brings new insight. Sometimes, there is a little procrastination while I figure out how to tackle something new. What I have learned about myself is I can only move forward when I break through the fear and Screw the Rules.

Screw the Rules Success Story: Small Budgets Lead to BIG Successes.

I had a client with a very small budget. The only thing she could afford was a $5/month Weebly website. No marketing people would talk to her or help her. I took on the project. I developed the site, thought of creative blog posts, and ways to generate traffic. The result? Over the course of one year, we began to outrank national competitors. We received comments and genuine engagement on her blog. Her website was actually generating real leads that converted to business!

We broke every SEO rule there was to break. Guess what? We achieved success when we screwed the rules and got real.

Screw the Rules Success Story II: Oops! I Over Marketed.

I worked for a university in Texas in a brand new department. I had to find a way to let everyone on campus know that records management could store and destroy their documents. What did I do? I ordered pens with our logo and contact information. I mistakenly ordered 1,000 cases instead of 1,000 pens. I had over 10,000 pens to distribute. Believe it or not, this was a very inexpensive mistake; however, 10,000 pens is a lot. I took boxes of them and left them laying around the student union.

What happened? Six months after my inexpensive mistake, we had companies from all over the country calling asking about our services. I went on vacation and was enjoying dinner at a local restaurant. At the end of the meal, I realized I was signing a credit card receipt with one of my pens!

© 2019 by Margaret Civella

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