One of the first hackneyed expressions I learned in business was, ‘Don’t Feed With The Fish.’ As simple as it may sound, it took me a long time not only to understand the full meaning of the quote, but longer to know how to implement it.
I should rephrase that last phrase. It took me an extremely long time to be courageous enough to even try to implement it. To move away from what everyone else was buying, selling, recommending and doing took fortitude. It’s much easier to follow, go with the flow and amortise your failure along with everyone else who failed in the crowded grab for a sure fire winner. That same sure winner that everyone knew about.
The pity is that it has taken me too many years to fully appreciate the wisdom behind this truism. Not only to dare to be different, but also to have enough self confidence in believing that I can find enough to eat away from the school has taken self belief if not just pure pig headedness. My motivation has been independence.
It is a flaw in my personality perhaps, but I hate being just one of the crowd. I much prefer to be the loner on the out skirts of society. The lone wolf, the radical, the one who chose to be different. Call me normal and one of the crowd and I’m likely to projectile vomit.
Be careful however. If you start to believe too passionately, you tend to ostracise yourself and believe that being a loner is somehow spiritually uplifting and necessary for fulfilling a life with purpose, and then you go hungry. As with anything, balance is the key.
My preferred truism now is ‘Dare to Be Different.’ Same philosophy, but slightly easier to implement, and also to live by. Look at what others do and analyse how you may adapt, alter or modify their ideas to suit your own specific needs and individual abilities. Don’t rush to simply copy. I love stealing ideas, but then changing them to my own needs and importantly, my capabilities. Once I have done this, no one recognises the original idea that I so eagerly stole.
As Pablo Picasso famously said: Bad artists copy. Good artists steal.
But every now and again, I have an original idea and then I get as excited as hell.