The basics of managing a career are fairly boring. The rules, the ways, the routines and so on. Well here are a handful of Successful Rule Breakers who proved to us all that sticking by your own beliefs and not following the rest of the pack can actually work out for the best, not to mention put a couple millys or billys in your pockets during the process.
My word of advice: Don’t wait for anyone to give you the green light. Do what you want! Break the rules! Here are our Top 5 Rule Breakers who broke the norm to reach #1.
The Top 5 Successful Men Who Broke The Rules
As a co-founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg created one of the most popular services on the internet. As its current CEO and president, his creative control seeks to keep the company on top for years to come.
Rule Broken: It’s all about the bottom line
Given Facebook’s incredible growth and popularity, many have questioned whether the company could be earning more. In a May interview with Wired magazine, he admitted: “Yeah. I guess we could. There are really simple things we could do. For one thing, we keep advertising pretty sparse. If you look at how much of our page is taken up with ads compared to the average search query. The average for us is a little less than 10% of the pages and the average for search is about 20% taken up with ads… that’s the simplest thing we could do. But we aren’t like that. We make enough money. Right, I mean, we are keeping things running; we are growing at the rate we want to.”
In addition, Facebook has passed on purchase offers and even investments of capital, denying itself higher profits and focusing instead on market growth.
Elon Musk is the South African entrepreneur who found X.com, later changing its name to PayPal. Through the continued growth of the site, Elon remained the company’s largest shareholder, until the site’s sale to eBay left him a very wealthy man.
Rule Broken: Stick to what you know
Having navigated a financial website from launch to a substantial buyout, many would assume Musk’s next venture to be related to finance, or at the very least web-based. Instead, Musk currently serves as CEO of two ventures, neither remotely related to his previous field. SpaceX is a company developing vehicles for space transport (rockets and spacecraft meant to move spaceflight forward). His other company is likely one you’ve heard of — Tesla Motors, the company bringing drool-worthy, highway-rated electric cars to market. While both ventures are still establishing themselves, Musk’s companies are poised at the cutting edge of future technology. This position gives him the “make-or-break” chance at changing the world he wouldn’t have gotten by trying to copy his former success.
As the current president of the UFC, Dana White has overseen the UFC’s return to popularity and taken it to the next level. White’s management has taken the UFC to pay-per-view, sold-out events and a reality TV show. The former promoter is now the face and voice of the UFC.
Rule Broken: Know when to walk away
By the end of the ‘90s, the UFC was struggling. Public perception of the sport was low, and no-holds-barred fighting had been banned in 36 states. With the UFC struggling, its owners were looking to sell. White used his promotional know-how to craft a plan for the UFC. He contacted a wealthy childhood friend who purchased the UFC and installed White as president. Under his leadership, the “dying” sport has seen a resurgence in popularity many major-league teams can only dream of.
As the co-founder and CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs has been a mover and shaker in the tech industry for decades. After resigning from Apple in the ‘80s, Jobs continued to work in the tech field, until his return to Apple in 1996 spurred the company’s meteoric rise to fame with the iOS line of devices.
Rule Broken: Play with the big boys
Throughout his career, Jobs has passed up opportunities to get in bed with larger companies when it didn’t serve his vision. A prominent example was his refusal to make the Mac OS compatible with non-Apple PCs. In his role at Pixar, Jobs was also willing to let the company’s profitable relationship with Disney come to an end when Disney would not agree to his terms. Finally, when he returned to Apple in 1996, the company was far from the titan it is today. With struggling profits and market share, Apple was hardly the most attractive position Jobs could get. All of Apple’s woes, however, were secondary to the vision he had for the company.
The chef at elBulli, Ferran Adria is listed among the best chefs in the world, often holding the No.1 spot on those lists. His restaurant, elBulli, has been named Restaurant magazine’s No.1 restaurant in the world a record five times (2002 and 2006 to 2009), finishing a more-than-respectable second place in 2010.
Rule Broken: Focus on your core business
With that kind of publicity and acclaim, many would expect Adria to be obsessively committed to his work in the kitchen. In fact, elBulli is only open for a limited time each year, typically about six months. The other half of the year is devoted to Adria’s growth as a chef and exploration of new ideas. Reservations for his restaurant are booked on a single day, and the restaurant turns away literally millions of customers each year. In spite of this, the restaurant has operated at a loss for over a decade, relying on sales of books, products and Adria’s income as a presenter. As both the best restaurant and hardest reservation in the world, then, it was no small surprise when Adria announced earlier this year that elBulli would be closing for two years, and that the current format is “finished.” He claims not to have a plan for what’s next, simply telling journalists: “Our challenge is just to find out if there’s anything beyond what we’ve already done.”
By: Nate Steere