In a digital era of information and social media and instant communication and global flattening, individuality has a tendency to get blurred. Grand highways of ideas are clogged with people following the newest fad or most popular inspirational speaker. True creativity and innovation seems to occur at a macro level and run down valleys and gutters to the small business owners, franchisees, restauranteurs, and Uber drivers. These engines of the economy are in a daily eat-or-be-eaten struggle, yet we have a tendency to follow the leader, take the beaten path, simply because it looks easier or less risky.
What is lost in this mimicry is the sense of uniqueness. You have stepped out, started something new with your hands, your mind, and your capital, and then settle in for the ride while someone else drives. Your brand is diluted and stagnates. Your marketing efforts become vanilla or stale. And you begin to look like every other business on the street or the internet. The impact of your uniqueness (read: competitive advantage) is minimized.
What makes your business special?
What do you do that is remarkable?
What do you make that is significant?
How is your story exceptional?
Translate the answers to these questions into your own trail. Forge your own way forward. If the strategy doesn’t exist, create one. If it does, improve on it. Imitation is the highest form of flattery… become the one who is flattered. Paint your own path.
(Image found on Twitter, source not provided)