I once read a blog post that was supposed to be about leadership. It irked me so much that I had to write a blog post about it on my business blog refuting it. The topic was about whether it was better to be the best or even try to be the best, versus being unique when it came to getting business and leading others.
The way I’m wired, I believe it’s imperative that people always try to be the best they can be, and to be the best overall if possible. Being unique… heck, everyone’s unique when you think about it.
There are times where being unique can help, such as when you’re trying to catch someone’s eye if everyone happens to be very good. Unique can help one get sales whether they’re good or not, but being good, or trying to be the best, keeps people coming back for more.
Then there are times when being unique goes against you. Being a minority in America, I know I’ve lost jobs as soon as I walked in the door and saw the reaction of the person who had to interview me. And if you’re on trial for murder and you don’t really know lawyers all that well, are you hiring the unique looking guy wearing a cowboy hat and a bolo, or are you hiring one of those high priced guys wearing a $1,000 suit to represent you?
In any case, I’m not sure the two concepts of whether to be great at what you do or being unique are necessarily antithetical. Who wouldn’t agree that one could not only try to be the best but also be unique?
I know people who believe that everything Apple is both unique and the best. I know people who believe Ferrari’s are both unique and the best. Personally I think Snoopy is unique and the best, but at a different time I thought the same about Bugs Bunny and Kermit the Frog… even if no one else did (they were wrong of course lol).
I’ve indirectly talked about this all these years when it comes to blogging. Often I see what looks like the exact same content and the exact same lists and the exact same words and the exact same recommendations coming from different people in exactly the same way. Even if it’s good advice there’s nothing unique about it.
At a certain point it’s not even great advice anymore. All it’s doing is parroting what someone else has previously said, while not offering anything that’s even close to great or attempting to be great. I add that because greatness is pretty subjective based on whoever is doing the evaluation when all is said and done. In any case, it’s certainly not unique.
I tend to write about some of the same subjects as other people. I also try to put a different spin on them. For instance, I wrote comparing blogging to a poker tournament, comparing blogging to traveling through airports and learning how to write evergreen content because of reading Harry Potter. I’m not going to go out on a limb and say all of those posts were great (the last one was lol), but I think they’re all at least pretty good.
If you can be unique while at the same time give your all to whatever it is you’re writing about, all anyone’s going to remember is the entertainment and education you gave them. Frankly, I can’t think of anything better than that when it comes to blogging… well, maybe getting a lot more comments would help. 🙂
I’d like to know your thoughts on this subject, but with a twist. I don’t always ask for comments on a post, but I’m changing up just this once. Many long time readers know that I remove lousy comments. Let’s see if some of you newer commenters can leave a response that’s either great or unique while still addressing the topic.
In other words, put your mind to use on this one; unique or great. Otherwise, you’re not even trying; hey, I did use the word “antithetical” after all, and I’ve even linked to it in case you need to refresh your understanding of the term.
Educational and entertaining; that’s what I was shooting for. 🙂 Let me know your thoughts.