How Entrepreneurs Benefit From Non-Conformity

Stand Out [Photo by VinothChandar] (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The two traits which can best help to predict the success of an entrepreneur are previous experience and non-conformity.

Non-conformity is the desire to be different from the status quo, in both thought and action. This takes a lot of courage, because most people spend their entire lives doing their best to conform so that they don’t draw negative attention from bullies, the law, teachers, friends or family. Typically, schools reward kids for conformity in terms of learning, performance, presentation and behavior.

Yet successful entrepreneurs share a talent for thinking outside of the box, and applying the same knowledge that everyone else has access to in innovative ways. Entrepreneurs must have the courage and determination to put their innovative thoughts into action, and to ignore their detractors. This explains why entrepreneurs remain a minority in a society structured around conformity.

Non-Conformity For Online Entrepreneurs

The internet and online business is one area in which non-conformity can be especially beneficial to entrepreneurs. It is also a type of business that is often subject to cries of illegitimacy from society at large. This stems from the fact that it is relatively easy and inexpensive to start a web-based business in relation to a traditional business. A domain costs as little as $10, and hosting can be had for pocket change. More businesses, including social enterprises, are going online.

Wired on Stained Glass [Photo by gogoloopie] (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Since the barriers of entry are so low, it creates the illusion that anyone can do it. However, it is these same low barriers to entry that hinder most people from succeeding, because it makes it very easy to walk away from a business in which you have little investment. Therefore, for online entrepreneurs especially a life of non-conformity is easy to get started with but harder to maintain.

How Non-Conformity Leads to Success For Entrepreneurs

Author Chris Guillebeau has become famous for his book on the Art of Non-Conformity, and he is also a rising start among lifestyle bloggers.

In true non-conformist style, Chris released all of his secrets to success in blogging for free in a manifesto called “279 Days to Overnight Success.” Chris said that he chose to focus on non-conformity because it’s the only thing that he’s really an expert on. According to Chris, what matters most is a person’s own definition of success and living their life accordingly.

His writing speaks to those people who are interested in unconventional living but feel stuck in traditional work or marginalized by peers when they try to change. His advice for people who want to become self-employed but don’t know how to make the leap is to start small, but start immediately.