Rewrite the Rules

  • November 27, 2011 by Corbett Barr
  • 33 Comments

It’s time to rewrite the rules we live by.

You don’t have to live how everyone else expects you to, or according to any limits society places on you or you place on yourself.

You don’t have to do work you don’t enjoy.

You don’t have to play it safe.

You don’t have to settle.

You can be happier, healthier and more alive.

You can learn new things and change old habits.

You can consume less and live more.

You can be the incredible version of yourself waiting inside.

You can support yourself through your creativity.

You can trade your commute for a morning walk in the sand.

You can travel or live anywhere in the world.

You can make breakthroughs you didn’t know were possible.

YOU can do this.

That’s what this site is all about.

I want to be at the top of your reading list. Join me on this journey to rewrite the rules and unlock more possibilities in life.

A little more about this project…

If you’re new here, here’s a little about me and this site. I’m Corbett Barr, and I’m an independent writer and entrepreneur. I started and maintain a few sites online including Think Traffic and Expert Enough.

I gave up my high-paying but mind-numbingly-boring corporate career back in 2006 because I wanted to find out if there could be more to life than a few weeks of vacation a year and a 401k.

In 2009, my wife and I set off on a six-month-long sabbatical / road trip throughout Mexico. That trip changed my life, partly because I started this blog, and partly because we finally realized what was really important in life to us and found the courage to pursue those dreams without holding back.

Today we spend six months in San Francisco each year, winters in Mexico and summers traveling to other places like Europe. I work wherever there is an Internet connection and inspiration.

Every day I get to do something incredible: I support myself entirely by helping awesome people through the content I publish. I’m independent, self-reliant and completely responsible for my own fate.

This site is about rewriting the rules and living life as an experiment. Every week I write about doing meaningful work, living a fun and adventurous life, and becoming the best version of yourself possible.

If this sounds interesting to you, I’d love you to join us.

Ready to connect with me and join the conversation? Read more about me, follow me on Twitter or connect on Facebook, or sign up for email updates so you don’t miss a post.

What rules are you working to rewrite? What are you working to change about your life right now?

Please share with a comment below.

Written by . Corbett is cofounder of Fizzle, a place for creative entrepreneurs, writers, makers, coders and artists, all working to support themselves doing what they love independently on the Internet. Follow Corbett on on Twitter.


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Natalie Sisson November 27, 2011 at 2:39 pm

I’m rewriting the rules of my life by bringing in a Weekday Weekend – it’s going to be my new motto. Redefining my week of work and play and adventure. I know it’s going to take some changes but ultimately it’s my motto on the Suitcase Entrepreneur – to create freedom in business and adventure in life. So here I go.

Corbett November 27, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Awesome Natalie, sounds like a great challenge to me. Are you saying you’ll be taking a day or two off each week, in addition to the weekends?

Sean Davis November 27, 2011 at 9:19 pm

For me, I started rewriting the rules a few weeks ago when I left the US Army after 8 1/2 years. Most stay in after that long. I had no trouble kn the military. I was extremely good at it and I could easily do it for 20 years. That was the problem. I wasn’t being challenged. I’m rewriting my professional future on two ways:

1) Always keep myself in a position to follow my dreams… not the dreams of some other organization.

2) All crutches (stability, security, etc.) out the window. It’s time to live my life.

Leaving the Army was the hardest part. Next up… everything.

Corbett November 29, 2011 at 9:35 am

Congrats on the big changes Sean, and best of luck operating with out all the “crutches.” :)

Christina November 27, 2011 at 11:17 pm

ReWriting my Mojo – I have a good friend who spoke at TED tell me, “People don’t get you – you’re an expressive, but they don’t get you. You’re sharp – keep going.”

Keep going seems easy – duh – is there another option?! So now I have a great friend/coach who gets me and isn’t afraid to help me succeed-in fact she can’t wait to see it unfold. That’s huge – I help a lot of people, and it’s the first time an A-list web personality reached out and said, “I believe in you, and I want to help.” I grew up laughing at my “eccentricities,” but with kids to pay for and take care of – it’s no laughing matter. No one wanted to help, so I was ready to quit (it’s hard without friends). Now I have one person who gets me, and isn’t freaked out – she’s excited – and that is huge.
Perfectly timed for the end of the year for me, Corbett – thank you.
The rules have broken more people than they’ve helped in many ways.

Corbett November 29, 2011 at 9:38 am

Hey Christina, my usual advice is simply not to worry about the people who don’t “get you” and to spend more time looking for people who do. It’s a big world out there, and there are likeminded people for any personality. When you water yourself down to suit other people, it usually doesn’t come across as authentic (and will probably make you rather unhappy).

Congrats on finding a coach who’s pickin’ up what you’re puttin’ down ;)

Adam Dudley November 28, 2011 at 10:19 am

I’m working towards rewriting all rules that say I have to do tasks that are not my highest creative contribution to our business.

Corbett November 29, 2011 at 9:39 am

That was a huge one for me, Adam. All those little things I thought I had to do really kept me from making breakthroughs. Have you tried making the “stop doing list” I suggested a while back?

http://thinktraffic.net/3-ways-to-make-business-more-fun

Jackie November 28, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Okay then…There’s a couple in that list that were particularly jarring…a clear indicator of work to be done.

Thanks for providing the prods to dig deeper, and become more of the person that I know I should be.

Sharyn Dimmick December 1, 2011 at 8:38 pm

“You can support yourself through your creativity.” Well, I’m trying. I lost my day job seventeen months ago and I just don’t want another one ever again. Everybody tells me I look great and I’m not on the street yet (mostly because I live at home with my 81-year-old Mom).

In the past year I’ve started to sell paintings. I’ve been painting for eighteen years and the first day I put a painting up on Facebook I had a sale. That hasn’t happened again on Facebook, but I’ve sold eight paintings this year. I also taught a little writing practice (things I learned from my teacher Natalie Goldberg). I hired a coach for awhile. I’ve taken some marketing classes. I started a blog this August — that’s the most fun new thing for me.

I’m also a folk musician. I sell a few CDs a year. I write songs. I sing. I do covers. I sing traditional ballads.

I look forward to learning more about how people make their livings from their art. I’m excited to be here. Sharyn

Corbett December 2, 2011 at 10:04 am

Hey Sharyn, thanks for being here, and congrats on staying committed to your goals. Making a living as an artist isn’t easy, but I assume you’re not doing it purely for the money anyway :)

Sharyn Dimmick December 2, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Thanks, Corbett. I’m working on losing that assumption of yours: ” Making a living as an artist isn’t easy.” What if it were? What if a lot of people were wrong? For me, it seems to be easier than even contemplating a day job, much less taking another one.

If i could do things purely for the money I could probably handle another day job…

Gabriel Varaljay December 6, 2011 at 7:31 am

Hungarian translation of your rules ;-)
http://letezes.posterous.com/ird-at-a-szabalyokat

Corbett December 6, 2011 at 8:49 am

That’s awesome, thanks Gabriel!

I hear Hungarian is one of the hardest languages to learn. It has such an interesting look and sound about it.

Tracy December 13, 2011 at 11:53 am

Hi Corbett,
Thanks for the motivation! I love hearing stories from people who don’t settle for less, and take ownership of their lives.

Sprichie January 7, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Hi Corbett. First off, I’m jealous. Not because I want to be in SanFran then Mexico and Europe, but because you are living the life YOU truly want. By the way, that wasn’t a knock on the traveling, just a compliment for the person I aspire to be, you! I’ve always known that working for the MAN is not the way to happiness. I don’t care if you get millions a year working for someone because if you get millions a year, you’re only going to be that much more unavailable to your life. Before you know it, you’ve got all this money, but have missed out on the LIVING part of things. I’ll get there too, still putting in my 10,000 hours of work though with this whole blogging adventure. I can’t wait to read more.

Kevin Riedel January 16, 2012 at 10:23 am

Hey Corbett… I recently came across your site here and I love it. I relate to so much of your content.

I’ve been locked in a corporate cubicle (aka cell) for over 10 years and have been miserable for just about every second of those 10 years.

I’m starting a company this year that I hope will allow me to break out of that cell. I’ve been working on the side gig during late nights and early mornings. The goal is to run it in tandem with my day job and grow it to a point were I’m comfortable cutting the corporate chains.

Keep the great content coming. I’ll be returning frequently for inspiration that will help me keep momentum this year.

Lois February 11, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Hi Corbett! I got to your site through my blogger friend Possibly Pinay. An hour and a few article reads later, you are already on top of my reading list! This post really resonated with me and I hope to be able to live life as a great experiment too. Your site will be my resource for my baby blog Passion in Action: loisyasay.com. Thanks for being an inspiration to so many people out there. and most recently- me!

Corbett February 12, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Fantastic Lois! I saw your site a week ago when Eileen mentioned you. Nice work, keep it up. Thanks for stopping by.

Gabriel Varaljay December 6, 2011 at 8:55 am

Thanks Corbett. I have one idea, but I let you know in private message :-)

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