Seth Godin recently wrote a guest post for Pamela Slim’s Escape From Cubicle Nation blog. In it, Seth had some great things to say about doing what you think is right instead of doing what everyone says you should do:
If you have your own business, you’ve already taken a huge step, but it’s tempting, really tempting to let fear take over and let it push you to start following the rule book.
You know the rule book I mean. The one with the musts, the shoulds and the of courses in it. The one that’s amplified by most how-to books and blogs, and enforced by banks, in-laws and anyone else who means well but doesn’t get it.
It’s like this: if you’re a freelancer and you’re doing what everyone else in your market is doing, why on earth is someone going to hire you? Why will you be able to charge more? Where will your freedom come from?
Why do we fall into this unfortunate pattern of trying to fit in and do what others are doing? Fear.
What will make things better, a lot better, is embracing the insight you already have and doing things that are right, not things that are widely accepted. If you want to get better than conventional results, it’s important to ignore the conventional wisdom.
You have everything you need to become indispensable, the linchpin, the provider we can’t live without. Time to step up and step out.
I fight this temptation of doing what others are doing quite often with my product and my services business. I see others who are successful and I sometimes wonder if I should follow in line. Then I look back and realize that I have achieved what I have today from doing what I think is right and focusing on the problem I’m solving rather than how others would likely solve it.
So, let’s all agree to take Seth Godin’s advice and don’t take a risk, start a business, and then become a cog that we so much wanted to avoid when we started our business.
Be different. Utilize your unique point of view and experience to solve problems in a different way. Make a positive difference in the lives of your customers. Step out.