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Know the Rules

“Learn the rules like a pro so that you can break them like an artist.” – Pablo Picasso

 

Every job in the world has proven formulas or templates that are tried and true, that one learns and masters to be successful.

Why do we master them? Because they work.

There are business formulas, writing fiction/non-fiction formulas, baking formulas, lesson plan formulas and customer engagement formulas. You can find a formula for packing a bag or piling wood. There are formulas for everything.

Formulas will get you decent results too, but they also get you into trouble.

The problem with formulas – and for fun we’ll pick screenwriting as an example – is that there are a zillion people (let’s call them hacks) who are churning out formula-driven pap every day, and almost none of them turn into great movies.

The great movies are the ones that break part of the formula. Think Reservoir Dogs, Psycho, Memento or better yet, The Sweet Hereafter. The same thing is true for businesses; think Zappos and NETFLIX and Amazon.

All of us need to know our formulas, and when it comes time to do the work, we have to get creative with them. We have to break them and reinterpret them. Let them exist in your subconscious, but obey your gut when it comes to creating whatever it is you’re trying to create.

If you don’t master the formulas, you can’t mess around with them.

If you can’t mess around with them, then you can’t create anything amazing.

So what is the formula for owning a successful financial planning practice?

Right.

Break that.

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