Last night I had what one might call an “Ah Ha” moment. I was surfing possible shows to watch with our new Fire T.V. Stick, looking through the Amazon Prime content on T.V., and picked a newly produced Jane Austin-like period movie. After reading the summary and deciding it did not sound that interesting, I clicked the down button to the row of suggested movies that were similar to the one I had chosen. There were SO many similar movies, several that were the same movie just produced and acted by different individuals, in different locations, at different times. These smart, rich, popular producers and actors continue to produce the same or similar movies over and over again. Such thinking conflicts with my business basics, the need for new and unique, never been done before. I thought “Why do they do it?” Then it dawned on me that they feel that what they bring to the table is unique, unique enough to entice a large enough group of people to part with their money and see and like their film.
My thoughts immediately took me back to my Peace Corps days where so many of my life lessons took place. During my time in Benin as a Small Business Development Peace Corps volunteer, my role was to help the people of Benin improve their business skills. One big business problem I saw that I could not convince them to fix was the proliferation of hair dressers. It felt like there was a woman’s hair shop every other doorway in the main city and multiple ones in small villages. I told them you need to diversify to make money; don’t you understand the supply-demand models I am showing you???? They would look at me with that look of “this white girl is crazy if she thinks I am changing my trade, but I better smile cause I don’t know what she is capable of.” Then she might ask if I wanted my hair braided.
What I did not understand then was these women had a unique sense of self, just like the producers. Yes, many probably did not know any other trade and they had to do this to make any money at all. However, I think many really believed that what they could do with the hair was unique enough from their sister two doors down that they needed to have their own shop.
It is a powerful concept to realize that there is NO ONE on earth that is a carbon copy of you. First of all your DNA makes you unique physically, mentally, and emotionally right from birth. Then add in parents, friends, environments, education, classes, work, hobbies, sports and so much more and you become uniquely you. Your voice cannot be copied. Someone, somewhere will find what you have to say or do inspiring in a way that no one else can inspire. Don’t let fear stop you, the fear that your concept, movie, writing, recipe, photo, artwork, paper….is not good enough or unique enough or worth anyone’s time. Whatever you do is unique from the minute you think of it. Rihana might have millions of followers who hang on her every word. On the other hand I bet I have at least one follower who could not care about anything she says, and feels inspired to do something positive in their life because of what I have to say.
So please for the sake of those that need you write one more lifestyle or cooking blog; sing Frozen’s Let it Go one more time; bake one more chocolate chip cookie; create one more Jane Austin movie and set up another hair salon. It is a lie to tell yourself what you do is not good enough to put out there. By whose standards? There are billions of people out there and I can guarantee something you say or do will affect at least one. Isn’t that person, or those people worth it, however many and whomever they might be? Let your uniqueness shine for someone to see.