If you’re not pissing anybody off,
you’re not doing anything interesting
Be unmistakable. If you want to stand out, you need to have the guts to be different.
Nobody gives a shit
Nobody gives a shit about one more web developer or whatever it is that you do.
Sally Hogshead says stop trying to be better. It’s a losing battle. Sure, you might be able to be the best at what you do today, but tomorrow someone else will come along. And anyway, the chances are, sadly, that nobody gives a shit anyway. Because you’re just one more whatever-it-is-you-do.
What you want, instead, is to stop trying to be a better version of everyone else.
What you want, instead, is to be YOU. Be the best damn you that you can. Because, as Sally says… different is BETTER than better.
The art of being yourself
Caroline McHugh gave a beautiful TEDx talk called The art of being yourself (go watch it, I’ll wait).
And in it, she’s flashing all these larger than life people up on the screen — Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Eleanor Roosevelt, The Dalai Lama.
And as these faces are flashing behind her she says, “What is it that all of these amazingly successful people have in common?”
“The ONLY thing they have in common… is that they have nothing in common.
These are people who’ve figured out how to use the unique gifts that the universe has bestowed on them.”
And our job, she says, is NOT to be better versions of them. Our job is to be as DIFFERENT from them as possible.
“Our ONLY job while we’re here on this planet is to be the best damn version of ourselves that we can be.”
The thing about being different
The thing about being different though… is that it’s different.
We’re doing something that no one else does. We have no idea if it will succeed or not. It takes a tremendous amount of guts precisely because sometimes… it doesn’t work.
And because it’s different, some people aren’t going to like it.
Maybe it threatens the status quo that they’re enjoying. Maybe they just don’t understand it and think it’s dumb. Or maybe it’s something more personal to them.
So yeah. It takes a lot of freakin guts to put yourself out there and do your own thing.
To do things your own way.
But when you find the way that works for you… Look Out World.
The weirder it is (cuz, let’s face it, weird is just another word for different), the more you’re going to stand out in your field.
The more people are going to take notice.
Of course… the weirder you are, the more likely your chances of pissing someone off.
So, in my not-so-humble opinion: if you’re not pissing anybody off, you’re not doing anything interesting.
Go forth and piss people off.
I create websites for people who love what they do. Be unmistakable — don’t get lost in the ordinary. I’ll show you how at digitalmuse.com.