I look at the picture my four year old daughter painted the other day (to the left) and I wonder, how can this “ordinary” child paint such an extraordinary work of art? Yes, that’s my opinion, and I’m sticking with it!
Yet as I surf the net today, I can’t help wonder, have we’ve become Generation Ordinary? All I see is more of the same. Of course, there’s the occasional diamond in the rough, but it’s generally the exception and not the rule.
Now I don’t want to be critical. I admit I am part of this equation; so this question is directed as myself as well. And I do have to say that we are living in very exciting times. Technology continues to expand, entertainment continues to … well, entertain! And as people, overall I feel we are evolving and becoming more present to the impact our lives and behaviors have on the world at large.
We are seeing that the needle and haystack are no longer separate, but rather one whole.
So when I say Generation Ordinary what I mean is, have we forgotten to be innovative as individuals? And as I’m reminded today of the passing of Steve Jobs just one year ago – one of the most innovative entrepreneurs of all time – I can’t help but question our roles as entrepreneurs.
A couple of weeks ago, I was at the TribeUp NYC event and the ever-so brilliant marketer, Geoff Livingston, was speaking at the event. He stated:
If you want your content and you want to be a top rank blogger you have to look at the market – look at where the weakness are – look at what people are not doing well and differentiate yourself … When your content’s special, it stands out. When your content’s different, people realize that.
Yet I see so many blogs regurgitating content. I see tons of software created that share the exact same features – stamp it with a different name and try to market it as “different.” There seems to be lacking an innovation, a consciousness of thought, a concerted effort to think outside the norm.
Now I admit, we can’t all be Shakespeare. We don’t all have the eloquence of the written word. But you don’t have to be a writer to step out of the box and speak of things from a different perspective.
Is it laziness? Is it information overload infiltrating our thoughts and clouding our creativity? Are we so programmed to follow the “rules” that we can’t seem to bend them? Is it the acceptance that good is good enough – so why bother trying to be excellent?
I’m not going to bore you with a list article on all the things you “should” do to turn you blog from an ordinary to an extraordinary conversation. Hell I would be a fraud for doing so, as I know I can often fall into the trap of mediocrity myself. I don’t profess to have cornered the market on creativity and innovation.
But I will challenge you to ask yourself this one question - If I were to transform my content to be the complete opposite to what it is, what would that look like? If you write about blogging tips, what would writing about un-blogging tips look like? Huh??? Yeah, has you in a pickle doesn’t it? But maybe it will get your creative juices going so you can begin to see things from a different perspective than you have up until now.
In order to see a 360 degree view you have to step out of the circle.
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Think about that.
In a conversation on Social Persuasion, Michael Stelzner’s interview with Derek Halpern on studying your competition stated:
I like to look at my competition, see what workings for them, and then figure out how I can even make it better or make it irrelevant. There’s other people who will see what their competition is doing and just [wholesale] lift it and test it in their business. That doesn’t work?
In all that we do are we constantly thinking, how can I do this better? How can I do this differently? How can I bring to light a new (or different) perspective to this?
I’ve been blogging for many years; and I’ve been an entrepreneur for most of my life. I’ve learned a lot throughout the process. Things that seemed to be so significant once, don’t any longer. Ideas on how I thought the way things “should” been done, has shifted. I am now more willing to explore different ways of doing things and I question things more. The question of “WHY” can be very powerful!
Stepping out of the crowd and being willing, and courageous, to expose sides of yourself and your views is no easy task for sure. Thought leaders and innovators are not only reveled, but often judged.
The question remains – do you want to be known as a thought leader and innovator or an observer?