2. Be Yourself – Be Different – Be Remarkable.
“Be yourself” may sound cliche; however, this one is huge and definitely worth expanding. There are a lot of people out there right now saying “be different.” The big thing to be aware of is that being different does not mean “find something different and copy that.” The good thing is it’s so easy for people to fall into emulating what’s popular, that being yourself will already put you well on your way to being different.
Once you’ve got that down, let’s say you’re comfortable being yourself and now you’re specifically pursuing expanding how to differentiate yourself. The pursuit of different. Once you find a way to differentiate yourself, and differentiate what you’re offering it, don’t stop there! Things change so quickly in this industry that ‘different’ is an ever moving target. Once you do something different, it immediately becomes that target. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily; use that as tool to always continue to push yourself to innovate.
After you’ve ventured into being different, push it to the next level: Do something remarkable. What is remarkable? Things that are remarkable are worth talking about–worth noticing. Exceptional, new, interesting, etc.
In “The Purple Cow,” Seth Godin writes “The reason it’s so hard to follow the leader is this: the leader is the leader because he did something remarkable. And that remarkable thing is now taken—it’s no longer remarkable when you do it.” Well said Seth, I couldn’t phrase it any better myself. Although, I will add to it:
If you’ve done something remarkable, it will only be remarkable for a limited time. How long is that? I can’t say—and I’m sure it varies depending on any number of factors; but if you do something remarkable and expect to coast from here on out: think again. Be careful or you’ll wake up one morning only to find that you were passed by, long ago. And shouting “But I invented the piano key necktie!” no matter how loud you do it isn’t going to help you.