The Paradox of Originality
There are approximately 7 billion people on the planet. A number so big your brain can't really make sense of it. Odds are someone, somewhere has had the same, brilliant thought that has just occurred to you for the first time. Odds are someone, somewhere does something similar to what you're doing in business.
Yet we crave originality.
Some marketers will talk about being 1st to market with a new product, a new prototype, or a new patent as if anything less isn't worthy of their time and attention. When, in fact, it can actually be a good thing to know that others have gone before you because it shows there's demand for your idea, service or product by the market you're serving.
Hell, even when we do know you're competing in established markets with products or services that can be found elsewhere marketers & copywriters among them *guilty* will often ask you...
What makes you unique?
What makes you different?
What makes you stand out from everyone else who does what you do or offers what you offer?
Which puts ALL THE PRESSURE on us to be original.
I've been there. I've put that creative pressure on myself. I've so desperately wanted to do something "different" (whatever that looks like) - that I've allowed myself to get completely stuck. Frozen. Immobilised by imperfection, creative insecurity and lack of originality.
I've despaired over the creatively barren brain I've been given when instead I should've been grateful for all my talents. Because here's what all those voices demanding 100% originality haven't figured out yet.
You don't have to be the first to market (almost no one is).
You don't have to be 100% original. (although stealing is definitely not okay & not only unethical but also against the law)
You don't have to be devastatingly unique with every little thing that comes out of your mouth.
You just have to be yourself.
Your REAL self.
Not a copy of the biz that you admire or your girlfriend who's doing better than you. Not the corporate mask you cling to like a security blanket or the "self" that only shows up when your performance is under review.
Be yourself. With your personality. Your values. Your voice. Build a brand that's meaningful to you.
With 7 billion people there's bound to be some overlap. But no one can do it the way you can.
So, the next time someone asks you what makes your company unique? The answer is easy - it's you.