Stop Trying To Be So Profound
So many times we feel like we have to say things that have never been said before, or think things that have never been thought before, or do things that have never been done before...
And while always being totally unique can have it's advantages, it can also be TOTALLY EXHAUSTING!
But I want to let you in on a little secret that I've been learning again and again lately:
Most of the time, when people come to you, they aren't coming to you for something that you have never said / thought / done before. They are coming to you because of your expertise in whatever niche you specialize in.
They don't come to you because you know 6 different website coding languages, one of which is only used by NASA and a collection of hackers based out of Milan. They don't come to you because you own the latest and greatest camera that won't even be on sale publicly for another 3 months. They don't even come to you because you are in the process of writing the definitive manual about vegan cheese substitutes.
They actually are approaching you because they like what you've already done! They may have seen some of your past work, and want something similar for themselves. What they want, essentially, are "personalized reruns" of your greatest hits.
There is a certain trust that comes from doing great work predictably that just can't be duplicated if you are always and forever innovating.
Yes, you come up with amazing new work when you experiment. But it is really risky, because there's a good chance that your experiments blow up in your face like 80% of the time.
With few exceptions, people don't want risky. They don't want the 80% chance of failure when it comes to their project. They want you to do that thing you're good at, not that thing you're still working out.
I'm not telling you this to discourage you from being innovative. Changing things up and trying new things can definitely attract new eyeballs, spread some word of mouth, and keep you in the forefront of your industry.
What I'm trying to say is that you don't have to live on the bleeding edge every moment of every day.
What many passionate people who have mastered a skill tend to forget is that everyone who is on the path behind you knows less than you. They can't really even appreciate the crazy skilled new thing that you're doing if they don't really understand how the basics work.
So if you are a coach, don't forget that not everyone understands the "easy stuff." And if you can help a student understand and implement even something simple towards accomplishing their goals, then they feel like they have received great value from you- and that is what they were looking for when they hired you!
If you're a fashion designer, of course, spend some time designing that fabulous avant-garde piece that will land you on the cover of Vogue. But don't forget that most of your customers just want something beautiful to wear for their holiday party or anniversary dinner.
Get noticed with the crazy, but keep executing the "normal" things flawlessly as well, because that is where the money is.
So the next time you start to get overwhelmed, feeling like you have to produce something never-before-seen, stop for a second and remember: The unique stuff comes best from a place of pleasure and fun, not pressure. Lighten up on yourself, and allow yourself to enjoy doing things you've already done before, and work to do them as well and as efficiently as possible. And then sell the bejeezus out of them!