Geez, how is it Monday again already! It’s almost July and the summer is in full swing. My goal over the next couple months is take advantage of the warm weather and beautiful Colorado scenery by spending more time with my laptop in fun spaces (i.e., today’s office is at the pool with the kids) versus staying stuck at my dining room table. Changing environments and perspectives helps so much with energy and motivation – two elements I lack from time to time.
Today, I was inspired by this video of a LSU gymnast who took her floor routine and completely flipped it upside down (ha!). She took a sport that traditionally can be routine (ha! …again) and ridged, and made it completely unique to her. She made it beaUtifully branded by adding her own personality and style. Everything fit her from the song choices to the dance moves. Not just a little bit, but in a major way! With this one routine, she has become unforgettable. More importantly, incomparable to other gymnasts. And whether she knows it or not, she has paved the way for others to come after her and completely disrupt the mold of what a floor routine “should” look like.
Here’s what was so brilliant about her performance:
– It was memorable! Who could forget that?
– It evoked emotion. Just from watching the video I couldn’t help by cheer her on.
– Her energy was contagious and genuine. She really loves what she does!
– No other gymnast could pull that off!
– It still contained all of the traditional core elements of a floor routine. In other words, it wasn’t lacking a darn thing!
As an entrepreneur it’s very common and completely natural for us to look around at others in our industry, be drawn to (and in my case, fall in love with) the way they do things and then find ourselves doing the same thing. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. There’s nothing new under the sun. Why reinvent the wheel? If it isn’t broke…, etc. I get it and trust me, I do it. But I also challenge myself to take what may be working for someone else and make it my own. Unique. I continually ask myself “Is this really me?”
Before launching anything new for your brand or business ask yourself a these 7 questions while you’re in the development stage:
- Does this really represent me or am I unknowingly copying someone else’s style?
- How can I leverage the existing knowledge of others while tapping into my own unique background/experience?
- What personal story can I share in relation to the topic that will make the content more memorable?
- In what ways can I add my own personal stamp on this product/project? Visually, audibly or conceptually?
- Is there a unique twist or spin I can put on it to make it ownable to my brand?
- What can I add that will be unexpected in this topic area or am I just playing it safe?
- Will people look at this and say to themselves “That was totally _____ (enter your name)!”
A last word of caution. When you apply your unique secret sauce to what you do and make it your own, you have to be prepared for the results. The right people will fall madly in love with you and your brand, and the right people will be completely turned off by your personality. Know that while this gymnast received some of the most amazing comments and feedback on YouTube, there are those that left negative comments, gave the video a thumbs down and didn’t appreciate her “blackness”. To those people I say good riddance!
Be you. ALL of you!