In the last section, we talked about what happens when many people are on the same page at one time. It’s an amazing thing when a large group of people has focused their energies on one topic or product.
As important as this is, it’s important to realize that concept is all about sameness. Someone, or a group of people, came up with an idea and implemented it. That idea is now old. Whoever created or promoted that product veered left while everyone else veered right. It wasn’t until their idea or product was an obvious success that everyone wanted to follow them.
Someone has to be that initial person veering left while everyone else is veering right. That person is going to be you. This is the time to dare to be different—to dare to create something that will become the next hot trend or amazing, untouchable idea or item.
What happens when not everyone is on the same page? Amazing things happen, that’s what. Important changes are made when someone dares to be different.
Most people try to come up with new ideas based on old data. Or they get bogged down in thinking they have to create something totally new from nothing that they missed the point altogether. They don’t understand that being creative means pulling a network of ideas together to generate new ideas that change the space altogether.
So, yes, open your worldview. Keep up with trends and insights so you understand what it means to veer left while everyone else is veering right, or veering right when everyone else is veering left. You’ll have the power to make connections no one else has made. Hopefully, you’re at the point where the prospect of doing this delights you rather than terrifies you.
The good news is that many people and entrepreneurs are inherently this way. They tend to be different and to want to do things differently. Does that describe you? I think you’ll be surprised to find that it most certainly does. You may have suppressed your natural tendency to want to explore and create. A lifetime of following the status quo has taken away your natural urge to be creative…but now you have it back.
Now that it’s been re-discovered, what are you going to do with it? You need to know what everyone else is doing so you can do it differently.
Examine what your colleagues are doing and thinking about. Notice what they’re creating and what they’re leaving on the table. You will no doubt find holes in what they’re doing–connections they haven’t made. It’s not any fault of your colleagues–no one’s work could stand up to the examination of someone who thinks differently like you.
You should also examine what your competition is doing. Brainstorm what you can do differently to stand out…what you can do better. You always want to do better than the competition—that’s a given.
They think they’re innovating. They think they’re shaping the future, instead of you. You’re going to prove them wrong by thinking on an entirely different plane than they even have access to. That’s the level you’re on right now.
With all this talk about being different, I have to mention that you can’t force the issue. You can’t force yourself to be creative and come up with the next latest and greatest idea. You have to feed your mind so you naturally come to these conclusions. You have to know what’s out there so you can do it differently. This is a process–it’s a journey. And it’s one that is well worth the effort.
Fearing the Difference
If you’re like many newly minted creative minds, then it’s very possible you fear the difference. You don’t want to rock the boat-- you’re used to doing things a certain way. You and your competition are used to small shows of one upmanship, rather than totally changing the game.
But you absolutely can’t be afraid to be different now. Or if you are, you have to move past that. You have to do things that change the game–that’s what you were meant to do. That’s why you’re reading this book right now.
Do you think you can be creative without being different? You absolutely can’t. You have to be willing to take that leap–you have to dare to be different. It’s fear that’s holding you back. But this fear means nothing. It’s a feeling you can ignore and command to dissolve at will.
No, being different and trying different things doesn’t always mean you’ll be better than the rest. Some of the things you try can and will fail. But that’s okay, because it will sometimes work. All you need is one great moment of inspiration to change the world. I have no doubt you can make it happen.
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