In his early twenties, Tim Ferriss, bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek was running an online sports nutrition company and realized that he would be risking his business' survival if he followed the industry standard of accepting payment up to twelve months after the product was shipped.
“Everyone followed those rules,” Ferriss revealed. “I realized I was inviting disaster and financial ruins if I risked my cash flow that way by following the standard protocol, so I insisted on prepayment. Nobody had ever done prepayment. I think that is one of the reasons why my sports nutrition company succeeded where a lot of other startups of that type failed.”
Straying from the norm isn’t easy when you’ve spent your whole life following rules laid out for you at school and at home. It takes a major cognitive shift to understand that the way things are, and have been, can be challenged.
Ask yourself what rules in your industry you accept as fact. Why do you follow them? If the excuse is 'that’s the way it’s always been,' it’s time to consider pulling a Tim Ferriss.