does breaking the rules make you a good entrepreneur?

ImagesFred wrote a post about the Womens Entrepreneur Festival posting his favorite panel which was the Makers panel.  I loved that panel too.  Five super bright women who have thriving businesses around products that they have created.  Each of them built companies around something they were passionate about which makes for a great entrepreneur.

The comments are worth reading starting with one that says women are not socialized to be mavericks but to follow the rules yet we are all in the system together.  I spoke about this at the kick-off speech that I gave at the Womens Entrepreneur Festival and mentioned it again at the White House panel to promote women led small businesses.  Women need to jump in the game and not spend so much time crossing their t's and dotting their i's until they get it right.  Businesses are never right.  They are always moving forward and sometimes backward.  They are always evolving and so what is right today might not be right tomorrow.  Sometimes you just have to take the plunge and for whatever reason that seems to be something men are more comfortable with.

So does breaking the rule make you a good entrepreneur?  We were all asked at the White House panel I was on by Arianna Huffington, when did you know that you were going to be an entrepreneur?  Truth is, I always broke the rules.  Even while I worked for a large company at the beginning of my career, I very much felt like a lone ranger.  I definitely was great at leading the pack but I wasn't so great at following the rules. 

I chaired a non–profit organization for a few years.  I remember we had a board meeting and were discussing how we were going to undertake a particular project.  One board member, who had been in the non-profit world for years said, "you can't do it that way because that is not how they do it in the non-profit world."   Needless to say, I replied that we were not going to do it the way you are supposed to do it but the way we think we should.  In the end, our way was hugely successful and that NY organization is now a global organization. Did we break the rules, yes.

I always broke the rules but rarely got caught.  Do those skills come inately or can they be taught?  How can we teach our daughters to be whatever they want to be and understand that rules are sometimes meant to be broken or at least be disrupted.

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