Dare To Be Different
This is a typical dilemma we all face from time to time – should I do the “tried & true,” or create my own path? Should I do what conventional business wisdom suggests, or do something radical and be considered an “upstart”?
Let’s start with the conventional approach.
Do what is “tried and tested” or “learn from other’s experiences” – this is what you read when you open any business magazine, newspaper or ezine. Inside, you’ll see a lot of success stories that demonstrate the basics that have been proven over the years. And it’s not just in business. This pattern is repeated in pretty much every discipline you can name.
I devour these stories because I figured out that it's smarter to learn from other people's experiences and because I won't have enough time to do it all myself. For years, I have been studying business - books, case studies, media reports – anything that might reveal some of the “business DNA” that can make a difference.
Sir Isaac Newton summed up this approach when he said, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.”
But here’s the thing – surely if you do what everybody else does – by definition the “average” - won’t you get the “average results”?
If that’s what you’re aiming for, then it is a perfectly appropriate strategy. Further, if you do the same things that average companies do, only you do them much better, you’ll get better than average results.
If however, you want even more than that, then you have to dare to be different. You may have to buy when everyone is selling, and sell when everyone is buying. You may have to zig when everyone else zags. Or possibly even zug.
Seth Godin talks extensively about being different in his treatise Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable. Francis Bacon said, "If we are to achieve results never before accomplished, we must expect to employ methods never before attempted." And Albert Einstein followed up with, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”Continued on the next page