We’re in a space that is known for having a lot of imitators.
It’s very rare to see someone do something different and stray from the safe zone. I use the term “space” very ambiguously on purpose. That’s because what I am saying, I feel, applies to almost every industry, and every niche.
I rarely catch myself saying, “Those guys are doing the same thing as everybody else,” because this observation has become so normal that it no longer even registers. However when someone does something different, it makes me drop everything and pay attention.
That being said, I cannot remember the last time that actually happened. Sure, I’m a believer in the philosophy that states that you can learn something from everyone, you just have to decide if it better teaches you what to do, or what not to do. But let’s cut the crap.
Same Song Different Chorus
I’m sick of reading the same rehashed copy on blogs, and hearing the same questions asked to guests on podcasts. That’s one of the reasons Joe and I started our podcast. We fell in love with many of the guests that “make the rounds”, but by the fifth or sixth time you hear them asked to tell the story of their first business, you either want to break your phone or break the host!
The last thing I want to do is toot our own horns, because good grief we have a long way to go. However I can honestly say that 9 out of every 10 of our guests comment on how much fun they had on our show, and how they wish more people would do something different. In fact, an even higher ratio of listeners give us the exact same feedback.
Do you hear that? EVERYONE WANTS SOMETHING DIFFERENT! So why the heck do so few people do it?
I think that lack of creativity is a big reason. Many of the “dweebs” who have the desire to start an online business, or want to crunch code for the next startup, are these so called left-brained thinkers. We (yes I am one of them) are great with numbers, analytical thoughts, and rationality. So to ask us to use the other side of the brain? The one that is great at thinking outside the box and taking risks? This has to be some kind of joke…
But there are ways to break free from the left side lockup:
Surround yourself with people who are right brained thinkers
You might clash from time to time, but consider it for the better, and keep an open mind (and an open notepad)!
Consume content from outside your normal areas of interest
If IOS App development is your true passion, and all you want to do is read books on the subject, how about shaking things up. A book about creative marketing might do you some good. Or how about listening to an episode of Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History? You never know what lessons Atilla the Hun might be able to teach you about creating the next Farmville!
Freaking log off!
I can’t count the number of times that I’ve been spinning my wheels for hours on end trying to come up with ideas, only to discover that about ten minutes after I step away from the computer for a jog, something mildly epic hits me. It is crazy, but doing something completely unrelated to the matter at hand often times produces the best results.
Want to Make a Difference? Act Like It!
So what does all this mean? It means to put forth effort. Many people preach that they “Want to make a difference.” But how can you make a difference when you yourself are not different? Somehow this key factor gets lost, unfortunately, and you need someone to slap you in the face for you to take notice.
What do you do to bring out your creativity, and what do you do to ensure that you do something different?
Author: Dan Franks
Dan Franks is a full time CPA, and moonlights as a podcaster, blogger, and professional wrestler. He considers himself an all around good guy!