A Favorite Sun Tzu Principle

“In warfare, the orthodox method is used for engaging in battle; but the unorthodox method is used to be certain of obtaining victory.”

To be clear, let me explain the properties of the orthodox and the unorthodox…


The Orthodox = Linear, positive energy, form, the known and familiar, predictable, traditional, expected and anticipated.

The Unorthodox = Circular, negative energy, formless, the unknown and unfamiliar, unpredictable, untraditional, unexpected and unanticipated.

Next, let me give some examples from the business world…

The orthodox in business could be illustrated by accepting a recognized business standard as truth, by imitating a successful business model, by not taking any chances, by aiming for a modest but reliable return on your investment, by using accepted solutions in order to deal with anticipated problems and barriers.

The unorthodox in business could be illustrated by having a visionary approach, by blazing new ground, by the possibility of huge returns or huge losses, by being willing to take a gamble, by using unique and clever solutions to deal with unexpected and unforeseen problems and barriers.

Whichever personality type you are might dictate which approach to business that you should take. If you are a reclusive, retiring type that hates to gamble and would rather achieve a modest but reliable return on your investment, then the orthodox approach would probably be the route for you to take.

If on the other hand if you are an outgoing visionary who likes to gamble and is looking for large returns and wants to change the world and do something that has never been done before, then obviously the unorthodox approach is likely for you!    


Nicholas Chase