Get Over Entitlement in Marketing, Management and Business


– Where do you stand on rules?

– I am OK with them

– Congratulations! How did you manage that?

– It is very simple. Most of the time, I set the rules for others and may God have mercy on their souls if they don’t obey them!

We start a new business season with the hope of better performances. Welcoming the goals that each of us may have, I invite you to put some mind debugging on your to-do list.

Entitlement and Rule-Following

Entitlement is a component of narcissism and a maladaptive schema which affects people in various contexts. I start today a new series of articles, in absolute premiere on Analytic Vision. Has it ever occurred to you how interesting can be the particular manifestations of entitlement in marketing, sales, business management? I’d like you to pretend that you’re a freelancer or an entrepreneur or a manager of small companies or a product developer or a business owner who’s affected by this and read on.

The complete title would be something like:

30 Mind Traps That Freelancing and Entrepreneurial Marketing and Sales Professionals Believe They Are Entitled To. Find Out Now the Truths That Will Set You Free!


30 Myths of the Quality Convinced Salesman And the Truths That Will Set You Free.

(7 posts series)

Have you heard which are the core issues of entitlement in business? Are you a businessman or a businesswoman? If so, do you happen to believe some of the affirmations that follow?

I consider the rules aren’t for me.

I make up new rules and make others follow them.

I’m special and I shouldn’t be made to accept stupid restrictions that others try to impose on my precious professional activity.

I feel that I shouldn’t have to follow the regular rules and regulations employees or other business people do

I know what rules others must follow, I can tell them which are the rules, but I don’t have any rules for myself.

If you happen to slightly agree with any of these, then, boy, is this series is for you!

(keep reading ↓)


Breaking the rules is breaking yourself

The rules aren’t specially designed for YOU. They are for everybody within a certain category. It is true, some (called laws) have been made by villain bloodsucking politicians who hate your guts. They want to see you fail while they get everything they can from you and from others off your back. Still, this is a game that you chose to play when becoming a freelancer or an entrepreneur. Breaking some rules might not have consequences… for the moment.

It is possible to change some systems and make others follow your guidelines. Still, it’s important to keep in mind that people first follow an example. Therefore, while setting up the system, it is important to follow the true rules you made yourself.

There are some rules which can’t actually be broken. If we are talking about fundamental principles, you can only break yourself against them. I want you to imagine that the rules are supposed to be like a lighthouse for a boat on a dark sea in the night. It can only show you the right way so you minimize the necessary time to make decisions. Choosing from the beginning is part of setting up a right system for you. Choose wisely, young grasshopper! You might not get a second chance!


Changing the rules

It definitely takes longer to change a system while using it rather than choosing a different, most appropriate one from the beginning. If you don’t like the conditions of opening up a business in your country, then choose another country! If you don’t like a particular form of incorporation for your company, then choose another one right from the start! If you don’t like the internal policies of the previous companies you worked for or started, make up a new one just the way you like it for your next!

Creating new guidelines and changing already enforced rules is almost always a possibility. That, of course, provided that they are worth respecting to start with. If people within your business don’t usually respect any rules, then it doesn’t really matter what those are. Why? Because they won’t follow rules anyway, so why bother?

(keep reading ↓)

Within consulting, it’s generally important to respect each one’s right to have different sets of principles. Within management, it is imperative that everyone, including the boss, follow the same rules.


Is there room for any new rules?

Great advertisers and marketing gurus like Philip Kotler, Jay Conrad Levinson, Jay Abraham, Jack Trout, Al & Laura Ries, Kevin Roberts have set field principles in marketing and advertising. In marketing, you also have to take into consideration legal directives (like laws), policy guidelines (within the internal organization), technology rules (which are programmed). Besides these, there are really few that you can make up yourself if you respect the frame in which you work.

In marketing, there isn’t really much creativity within setting field directives. All the important and necessary ones have already been set. In marketing, America has been discovered. All the particular implementations are just applying the same principles in different industries and environments. Even if you want to discover Atlantis on your own, you have to respect the navigation rules to get there without dying on your way. Can you make it?

I know this advice sounds a little bit strange for someone who has spent large parts of his life making rules for others to follow. I must say that I haven’t imposed those – people genuinely come to me to find out what works and make sense in their concrete situations. I don’t break rules for fun or for interest.

All this being mentioned, it is true that some rules are stupid or ridiculous. The way to test if it is useless or it deserves to be neglected is following up on the question: what would happen if everyone would break it? For example, many years ago, the European Union proposed a ridiculous standard that all cucumbers that don’t fit certain dimensions should be destroyed. Of course, there wouldn’t be any negative major consequences if everybody ignored this, so it got dropped. This is not the case for many rules.

Sometimes, for understanding a certain rule it is important to understand the principle behind it and respect the principle. This, however, presents the risk that you might misidentify the principle and then break both the rule and the right principle.



The rejection reaction to rules might be connected with bad experiences. Also, it might stem from the need to feel significant or to have recognition, appreciation as the one who says how things go. Even though it might not create instant issues, it doesn’t mean trouble won’t appear later. This is a very abstract setting that affects behavior. To change the behavior, you must change the sense that you make for yourself in breaking the rules.

The attitude towards rules lies at the essence of entitlement as a problem, not as a legal benefit. While on the short term the results are not so obvious, on the long term, businesses can be ruined if limiting beliefs about what must be done around specific areas are not properly addressed.

Breaking the rules is a huge topic, very important both in Spiral Dynamics and in the metaprograms field from NLP. I won’t go into much detail, because I risk starting to write another book I won’t have time to finish and publish. Main practical and specific issues will be approached on this topic the following months here, on Analytic Vision. Please follow the blog. About every two weeks a new article will cover 5 to 10 specific areas on how some ruin your business with entitlement. In the summer of 2020 you will be able to get more awareness about this issue.

Marcus Victor Grant

Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant 2017-present Series started in 2017 and updated for publishing in 2020. Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant, all rights reserved.

The materials on this blog are subject to this disclaimer.

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