I think in both the realm of starting a business, and even when it comes to interviewing for jobs in the corporate world, we put a lot of emphasis on the question "What makes you stand out? How are you better or at least different from all of the other options out there?"

I was at an hour-long seminar (check out Connecting Things Co. if you're local to Orange County!) and the speaker was a calligraphist who had successfully started a business creating wedding cards, stationary, prints, etc. She said these words that really encouraged me (I'm majorly -- is that a word? -- paraphrasing, because I did not creepily record her):

"Don't worry so much about being unique. There are billions of people in this world with billions of ideas, and I'm sorry to say this, but it's basically impossible to come up with an idea that no one else has ever thought of. Everything's been thought of! Besides, even if you do come up with an amazing original idea, if it's truly amazing, someone will copy it and you'll no longer be the only one doing it. 

Think instead about what you love, what you're good at and what sells. If it sells, it doesn't really matter if someone else is doing it too!"

I think those are such helpful words! She, for example, is a hand-letterer. There are literally (I mean that) probably thousands of hand letterers in the world, and many of them have similar styles, similar materials, similar price points... but if all of those thousands of hand letterers are making a living at the same time, it must not all be about uniqueness or even about being the best out there. 

Think about Justin Bieber - I'm pretty sure we would all consider him to be successful in business, whether we like his music or not. He is making money doing what he loves, and it is not because is music is so unique and definitely not because he is the best singer in the world. His success probably didn't come because he had something better to offer than everyone else, and he probably had no idea what would make him stand out enough to get his big break. 

I suppose the secret to success is different for each person and there's no straight forward answer. Maybe for you it'll be your awesome networking skills; Maybe it'll be your wisdom about how to invest well; Maybe it'll be your support system or your endurance or your creativity or maybe it'll even just be pure luck. I don't know how your business/career/project/idea/dream will launch, but I'm trying to say you can relax if you're not the best in the world. 


That's great news.

ps I <3 J Biebs.