What does it take to be truly unique? What do you do that no one can reproduce?
A meeting I had this week caused me to think a great deal about this. This person said that they sought out people who were truly unique and that could make an impact to their company’s bottom line. They clearly understood and articulated their vision.
The words “truly unique” continue to ring in my brain.
My mind sifted through thoughts on this topic that came from the Collapse of Distinction by Scott McKain. (I reviewed the book here.) The slant of Collapse was toward businesses. The premise: companies choose their services, products, marketing and direction. Companies can choose to be distinct or they can choose to copy someone else, follow best practices. Success often went to those who chose to pursue their own path with clarity, creativity, communcation, ultimate customer focus. When we choose to copy rather than pursue distinction, we try to out-perform the original or we are left to compete on price. It seems easier to do what others are doing. How many business models are simply minor evolutions or twists on some other successful idea?
Few rewarding things are easy. Uniqueness requires courage. Forging your own path is hard.
So back to individual leaders in general and myself in particul
ar. While thinking about the words “truly unique,” I began to wonder where Mike Henry stops and the rest of the world begins. Do you ever think how your combination of interests, desires, skills and passions are absolutely unique? You can’t be reproduced. You’re one of a kind.
But if that’s true, why do we get sidetracked? Why do we tend to end up trying to be like everyone else or do what everyone else is doing? If you’re like me there are at least two problems:
It’s easy to wonder what is going to happen with a small consulting practice or any business for that matter. We live in tough economic times with rapid technological and cultural change. If you’re like me, you see others making more money, being more successful, or just doing things you might like to be doing and think you have to do the same things. Can you be you when that looks like a bad strategy? Whenever you’re tempted to copy someone else, remember that’s fear talking. It takes courage to be true to yourself, but regret is a heavy consequence. When you know you tried to do the right thing, when you did what you sincerely thought was right, at least you avoid the burden of regret for your motives.
Do you do things people appreciate without considering what your own strengths, desires or what energizes you? We can get so sidetracked in commitments we’ve made to others that we never honor the commitments we have made to ourselves. Do you ever find yourself disappointed at what you’re doing just because you agreed to do it without even thinking? Unless you’re careful, the most important things you wanted from life, the truly significant things, will never happen.
One of a Kind
You and I are absolutely unique. We entered the world that way. Nothing will ever replace you. Others will duplicate your efforts or break your records, but there will NEVER EVER be another you. Don’t settle for the temptation of copying someone else just because it works for them. And don’t give away your life because you can’t say no. Our world needs you to do your best, most noble, thing. The world becomes a better place as we each make our own unique positive difference. You matter!
So what keeps you from doing your thing? Add to my reasons below or straighten me out, unless of course your thing doesn’t include commenting on blogs.
Would you rather succeed at being like everyone else, or risk failure as you invest your life making a difference through your unique contribution?