Different Should Not Be the Only Reason

I am a huge advocate for different. Different gives you a competitive advantage. But I do not think different should be the sole reason to make a decision. Different is branding more so than a core value. Different does not sustain when other people copy you or if you fail. Different should support, qualify or celebrate a decision; it should not be the decision itself.

Clichés exist because they worked before and can work again in certain situations. You should not rule out an opportunity because it feels familiar. Sometimes familiar solutions to a problem can be focused, modernized and differentiated to a competitive place. I’m not saying different is bad. In fact, I encourage different 99% of the time. But you have not made a thorough decision if you support something only because it is different.

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The Idea Storm

We are our own worst enemies when it comes to inventing ideas. More than anyone else, we criticize and censor our own thoughts. We wave opportunities away at the first sight of obstacles – and never look back. Unacceptable. All great things come with challenges. We cannot rule out possibilities before staring them in the face long enough to determine their credibility.

Practice brainstorming. Sit down for a dedicated period of time. Challenge yourself to come up with a specific number of ideas, preferably addressing a problem you want to solve. Set a timer and feel the pressure. Write every idea down. Do not judge them. Do not cross them out. Never read the list until the brainstorming session concludes. Free your mind from the type of critical thought that restricts creativity. Dream big and ignore consequences. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You will surprise yourself by your own creativity.