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There is different for different’s sake and then there is doing things differently to get different results.

​One of the sayings that we repeat over and over again at the Rebel Business School is: if you want different results, do something different.  But what does that actually mean?

Alan Donegan burning a business plan

Alan burning a business plan
If you want exceptional results then do something exceptional!

The traditional way to do things

We are all trained to follow the traditional path in western culture (and I am sure in other areas around the world too!) by our parents, by our education, and by what society says to us through media, advertising and friends and family.

Before we can look at what different is, let’s look at the traditional path:

  1. Go to school and get good grades
  2. Go to college and get good grades
  3. Go to university and get good grades
  4. Get a job
  5. Get a house/flat (the biggest you can afford)
  6. Get a girl/boy
  7. Get engaged
  8. Get a pet (to prove you aren’t going to kill the kids if you have them)
  9. Get a bigger house
  10. Have kids
  11. Work for 50 years
  12. Retire
  13. Die

Now, before we get down on the traditional way to do things I want to say that if this is what you WANT to do then that is cool.  What I am saying is that most people blindly follow this path without ever deciding for themselves what they actually want to do.

Society trains you to follow this path in so many different ways.  It’s the:

  • Teacher that asks where you are going to university (presumptive question)
  • The parents that say stretch yourself when buying your first property, and to buy as big as you can
  • The questions your friends ask, like, “When are you going to ask her to marry you?” “When are you going to have kids?” “What car are you going to buy next?”
  • It is the radio stations that ask, “How are you going to spend your money?” rather than, “How are you going to save or invest it?”

Society is always training us to do things that fit in.  Through the messages online, the media, the people and every interaction we have.  We are being influenced to fit in.

And you know what!?!?  It takes ENERGY to stand out and do things differently.  That is why most people never do it!

Ways to do things differently

Let’s have a look at how most people in the UK do things and then how we might do things differently:

  • According to a recent study 1 in 4 UK adults have NO SAVINGS! Most people never save and invest to get to financial independence
  • Nearly 50% of the customers of the StartUp Loan Company in the UK are in default of their loans! Most people think it takes money to make money
  • The average retirement age for men in the UK is 65.1 years old and the average retirement age for women is 63.9 years old.  Soon most people will be working to beyond 70!

We are conditioned to think that starting a business takes money.  The government conditions us by launching programmes like the TERRIBLE Start-Up Loans Company to lend us money, the banks are one of the main sources of entrepreneurial advice out there and they make their money by lending us money and in school, college and university they train us to write business plans and work out how much money we need to borrow to start a business so they have something to mark!

Is it any wonder that people find it hard to do something differently when EVERYONE is telling them they have to do it the traditional way?

Is it a wonder that people just follow suit rather than think for themselves?

As you can probably tell I get very passionate about this subject because it has caused me a lot of pain over the years.  Standing up to the system, doing things differently, not falling into line takes energy, confidence and an attitude.  And even if you are successful doing things differently the world will continue to tell you to fall into line!

It is your duty to stand up for what you believe and say to the rest of the world NO.  We do things differently and for a good reason.

Here is some examples of how I have done things differently over the years to give you some inspiration

  1. I didn’t go to university.  I didn’t get a degree.  I wanted to go into entrepreneurship and work with my Dad in his business as quickly as possible.  Has this stopped me?  No.  Even without a degree I have started my own company, taught at Oxford University, Henley Business School and run workshops for the biggest companies in the world
  2. I bought a small flat.  We live in a small 770sq ft flat in Basingstoke and despite pressure from society asking “when are you going to buy a house?” we have stayed here for 8 years.  Because we bought a small liability we have been able to save and save and save and this allowed me to get to financial independence by 40 years old.  I never have to work again if I don’t want to.
  3. I started all my businesses without debt.   I have started and built a small training business, a global retreat business and a social enterprise with a team of 12 with no debt.  I have never borrowed a penny to start a business and have done it all from sales. It doesn’t take money to make money; it takes energy, learning and sales.

In every area of my life I like to look at what everyone else is doing and then do the opposite.  If everyone is borrowing money to start a business I’ll do it with none.  If everyone starts their presentations with their name then I will put mine at the end, if everyone else is buying bigger houses I will buy a smaller flat.

I don’t do it just to be different.

I do it because   “If you want exceptional results you have to do something exceptional!”

If you are just following the traditional path, if you are doing the same as everyone else then you can expect the same results as everyone else.

I wanted to write this post to challenge you to do something different.  Have a look around you and see what everyone else is doing.  Have a look at their results and ask yourself “am I happy getting the same results as the average person?”

If not then do something different………………..

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