Being YourselfFriday, April 19, 2013
You're unique. You're not different.
Different is temporary and easy to duplicate. Everyone knocks off your idea, so you change your branding and company's identity. You go through a long redesign and now your website, blog and twitter background are decked out in pink polka dots instead of green argyle. You have a new logo, new fonts and maybe even a new workflow system -- more streamlined to deliver better customer service. You're different than the competition.
Until the competition catches up. Suddenly, everyone's blog and twitter is now pink (or they all now have a "blog-site," even if it makes no sense for their particular company). They also have a new logo and fonts (uncannily similar to yours -- imagine that) and they've ramped up their customer service as well. Everyone is now different -- just like you. You may have been first mover in the marketplace with your fresh look and approach, but you are no longer different.
Instead of striving to be different, focus on being unique. Unique is you. It's in your DNA, it's who you are. No one can ever copy your uniqueness simply because no one can ever be you. They can try, but they will fail, because they cannot emulate your personality (at least not for the long haul), cannot bring your culmination of life experiences to the table, cannot see the world with your particular worldview or perspective. You are who you are, and that is what makes you unique.
As it relates to social media, the entire focus of blogs and other outlets is to bring transparency to the person who is writing. Don't focus on being different, just be yourself. Don't try to be something or someone you aren't, don't try to write or post like someone else because it seems like what they are doing is working and don't try to be what you would like to be rather than who you currently are. Just be the person you are right now, in this season.
Be unique. You already are.
Originally published August 2009.