What lengths would you go to, to fit in?
Are you like this puffin?
*disclaimer* I have no idea if the following story is actually true, but it made me laugh and cry. *disclaimer ends*
So, biologists wanted to reintroduce puffins to the islands of the east coast of the USA. Puffins are really social birds, so they made a fake puffin and stuck it on a rock.
Unfortunately, said fake puffin was a peg-leg with a single spike holding him up.
So when the first puffins arrived on the island, they just wanted to fit in with the current residents. So they imitated Peg-Leg Puffin and stood on one leg too.
Totes adorbs, right?
As I said, I’ve no idea if this is true. But that’s not the point, because it’s all about fitting in.
We have to fit in to a certain extent if we want to function in society and not be desperately lonely… but we don’t have to become carbon copies of the people around us.
In fact, most of us are constantly trying to find ways to differentiate ourselves from the muggles down the road with our outfits, our choice of technology and car and bike, our haircuts and our taste in music.
So why is it, when someone starts a business, they immediately look at what all their competitors are doing, and copy them?
That’s easy: it’s because at the start, you don’t know any better. I get it. I’ve been there, and so have you.
That strategy will often get you started and it’s not a bad thing.
But at some point, you have to take the training wheels off.
At some point, you’re going to find that copying everyone else is just a recipe for marketing incest.
(Which is like normal incest — eventually, everyone gets stupider)
So what to do? Well, at it’s simplest: look at what everyone else is doing with their marketing and business, and do the polar opposite.
Most businesses are mediocre by definition. Most are struggling in some way or another. Most are not making the kind of profits they want to be making.
That being the case, then…
Why would you want to do the same as them?
If you do the same as they’re doing, you’ll get the same mediocre results.
Isn’t it time to do something different? Something extraordinary? Something that’ll help you stand out like a neon unicorn at a penguin conference?
Start looking at your business differently. Start focusing on your Mission. Start making more bloody money with less stress.
Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.