Oh, but we are different.

If I had a pound for everytime I’ve been told this …

Every company I’ve joined, every business I’ve consulted to, every person I’ve mentored. We all believe our circumstances are unique and therefore we can do things differently to everyone else. The laws of physics don’t apply to us, we can walk on the ceiling, leap over buildings and squeeze ourselves through keyholes.

Oh, that sounds ridiculous? Well, you started it.

We confuse what IS different with how much is the same. Yes, there are some features of our market and our business that are very different. Perhaps up to 20%. The rest, that’s pretty much like some other industries and businesses. And probably 50% is just the same for everyone. We all have customers, we all send out invoices, and we all get told the cheque is in the post.

The 20% that is unique is incredibly important, it’s your differentiation, your purple cow. But it won’t be any use if you screw up the other 80% because you won’t learn the lessons of others.

Believing you are different from everyone else is a dangerous self-delusion. Acknowledge and accept that, in the main, you are not that different after all. Then celebrate and shout for all you’re worth about the bit that is.

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2 responses to “Oh, but we are different.

  1. How true this is! I’m about to change jobs and have been spending some time taking a hard look at the competition. The one thing most of them have in common is saying how different they are! Yet, all pretty much offer the same service, with some slight tweaks and fluff around the edges (pr agencies are good at fluff).

    • PR agencies good at fluff! Surely not?
      I think they convince themselves they are different because it’s easier than being distinct and it’s a good excuse for not doing the necessary stuff that you don’t like.
      Good luck in the new job, look forward to hearing all about it next time we meet.

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