I found out I’m not really a special snowflake. Now what?

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
—Soren Kierkegaard

If you run a business long enough, at some point, someone will tell you how you need to find your unique selling proposition. Maybe they’ll call it a value proposition. Maybe they’ll just tell you to find your special snowflake-y-ness in this big, melting puddle of snowflakes.

Whatever it is, it’s inevitable.

And it sounds pretty good, right?

snowflake

It’s the idea that if you can own your little spot in the universe and set up shop there, just like the pioneers who settled into the plains, you too, can live off the land we know as the marketplace.

So you put pencil to paper, and … Read more...

The real reason we lose the passion

Things not to ask your dad: Do you think I have what it takes to make it in life?

So, of course, on one very vulnerable day as a teen, I asked just that.

I think he relished the opportunity to finally share some of his wisdom.

He stared at the floor pensively, lips pursed. After a long, pregnant pause, he took a sip of his tea and looked up at me. “You can succeed at anything you put your mind to.”

Phew. Very diplomatic, but, OK. I can live with that.

He took another sip of his tea. “But I’m not sure if you really will…you don’t stick with things.”

Thanks Dad.

spark

Of course, he was right. By nature, … Read more...

The not-so-secret brand strategy photographers don’t do

There were two photographers. Both from the same school, starting business the same year, shooting the same thing the same way: weddings in New York City.

But one had twice the bookings and twice the pay.

Why?

It sounds like one of those riddles that leaves you banging your head against the wall, because you can’t figure it out. Except it’s real life.

What makes the difference?

What a spectacularly overpriced burger tells us about value

This hamburger costs $175:

burger

When I first heard about it, I couldn’t contain myself. “What? Who the hell pays $175 for a burger?!?!” The couple sitting at the table next to me looked over like I was a mumbling nut job.

Then I realized … Read more...