Excuse the slightly theological sounding title, but this weeks post, I promise, is highly practical and designed to help you move faster… 

It’s fairly well known that Facebooks original internal motto was “move fast and break things” which they’ve since changed although continue to keep breaking things, like the law… #sickburn

But they had a point. One I’ve recently been observing in lots of people I look up to.

I’ve spoken in a previous newsletter about how we’re all actually just making it up as we go along but I didn’t think about who it was that I see doing that. That made me realise something.

The most successful people I know are indeed making stuff up as they go along, sure, but to get to that point they do something else first – they give themselves permission to just go and try things without fear of failure.

We all know that person, it may even be us, that talks about doing a lot of things but never really does them. Holidays are a great example, where some people just won’t seem to make a move until someone else does. Why is that?

It’s called “Seeking Permission”.

I’ve spoken about this briefly before but wanted to delve deeper into it this week.

I see tonnes of people spend way, way, wayyyyy too long thinking about that thing they want to do but not doing it. For some reason it seems like they’re waiting for someone else to tell them it’s ok – the psychology, of which, fascinates me.

(I’m certainly not immune to it myself so I can definitely understand both sides of the field here and would love it if one of you reading this was a qualified psychologist and wanted to grab a coffee/beer and discuss!)

Either way, it happens.

We either :

1. Find ourselves in the mode of ‘seeking permission‘ – where we’re waiting for someone to tell us it’s ok…


2. Go ahead and doing it, fixing any issues that arise later on, where you’ll ‘ask forgiveness‘ for the screw-up.

The reality is that a pursuit of perfection and possible deep-rooted childhood teachings about needing to be told it’s ok to do something potentially rule breaking, all add up to lots of us feeling stuck, not doing what we really want to do, not making that move, fearing failure and risking it all.

But when the alternative is no change, can you really afford to risk not exploring the opportunity?

Laws exist, yes. But societal norms can be broken. The reason the 1% exists is because they broke away from the 99% (and I say that as quite a liberal person, so don’t shoot me down).

The people who do remarkable things are rarely ever/never considered normal. They also likely didn’t seek permission, need or want it to do what they did. While the rest faded into the background, waiting for permission to be granted by a society they didn’t need it from.

Yena is the perfect example of this. 

It’s a learning I’ve taken from previous businesses moving too slow because I was waiting for permission from someone to tell me it was ok or the right thing to do but true innovation won’t have those people by default. No one can tell you it’s ok to do a new thing, because it’s new ground and hasn’t been done before.

We’ve been building the membership for around 2 years now and it’s changed a lot over that time.

At one point all members got free drinks at events.

We had special member events.

You had to be a member to attend events or you’d pay.

We were doing 1:1 support calls/meetings all the time.

We offered a book to people who joined.

…And So. Much. More.

All of that is gone now. But we didn’t hang around to decide to add or take those things away. We acted. Sometimes too slowly but annoyingly you don’t get to know that until after the fact.

And we’re still here. 

More members than ever and a product that is now – I’m glad to say – great. It still changes and we still experiment like any good, developing company does. If we didn’t, we’d stagnate. The reason our benefits are great is because they’re contemporary vs other membership orgs. That’s because we change them often, according to demand & trends at the time. Not because that’s what worked 2 years ago.

So here’s the moral of the story: 

Do something.
If it doesn’t work, fix it and ask to be forgiven.

Otherwise you’ll be sat seeking permission forevermore.