Thursday, April 30, 2009

The ONE thing


The origin of this blog was my thesis about being The One & Only (1&O). A simple idea that follows Gerry Garcia's thought: "Don't be the best at what you do. Be the only one who does it." If that smacks of monopoly, then I am sorry, monopolies always work for the people who own them. People who create things have relied on the monopoly afforded by copyright, trademarks and patents. I have a feeling that system is fraying at the edges, but we can talk more about that another time.

To be unique or utterly distinctive you have to determine what will set you apart. I had a fascinating conversation with a friend the other day. She was dissatisfied with her life and felt that she should improve all sorts of things that she - frankly speaking - sucked at. She felt anxiety about her weaknesses and had become fixated on them. How could she accomplish anything if she could not communicate in writing? (She has dyslexia). My advice was not to bother with writing. Her talent for interpersonal contact is achingly obvious - attractive, personable and well liked, why not concentrate on those strengths and forget about writing. Or, if writing was important then turn the madcap malapropisms into a strength. Write insane stories of everyday life in uncorrected prose (seriously it would be hard to duplicate her quirky style) - don't apologise. Hey, Bob Dylan has to be the world's worst singer - and yet he has a long, illustrious career behind him and a substantial fortune to match. He has recently inflicted yet another collection on fans, who can't get enough.

What is the one thing that you can do, that guides your energies and keeps you focused. If you're lucky - it will set you apart.

Whether you are a brand owner or an individual - what sets you apart. You might be happy cowering under the rocks with the rest of the river bugs, eking out an existence. But there comes a time when you should let go and succeed or fail in the mad venture that is both life and business. If you've read Richard Bach's story Illusions, you'll know what I mean.

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