Be the odd one out

Oddity isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, people will pay handsomely for it if it fits the tenor of the times. Oddity just means you’re making decisions that other people aren’t yet, whether it’s composition, toning, timing, or anything else. If it works, people catch on and catch up, and pretty soon, it becomes common sense. That ship can sail fast, because very often, it doesn’t actually mean you’re making different decisions. It just means you’re just the person willing to share what many are keeping hidden. So if you have the ideas, get them out there.

Don’t worry about it sinking the ship. You need quite a few bad ideas to really wreck a business, but indecision and inactivity will always take you down. The problem is that before common sense is common, most options appear equally valid. Only the market will tell you if what you’re doing is really going to work. The puck mouse? Seemed cool at the time. But who thought the world needed a new search engine at the time Google made its entry? There was Alta Vista, for God’s sake. And Firefox and Chrome shouldn’t exist. The battle was over when Internet Explorer killed Netscape. Remember a time when plaid shirts were considered the epitome of uncool?

In the end, It’s about keeping your eyes focused on the road. Don’t be afraid to move forward. Be afraid to stay still. The longer you’re at it, the more important it is. As you figure things out, it becomes increasingly tempting to stick to the solutions you’ve found. But the biggest benefit of experience is not those solutions. It’s the intuition you build that will kick in when you step out of your comfort zone. It’s your ability to react quickly and effectively in the face of new challenge. Don’t waste it by entrenching yourself in your past.

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