Over the years I learned an important lesson when it comes to business that I’d like to share, especially with creatives: If anybody can do it everybody will do it, eventually. That means if something is easy to do and doesn’t require much effort it can and will quickly be replicated by someone else. This is certainly not a revolutionary insight. There is plenty of advice out there urging artists to be unique and authentic. But how to accomplish that? By being you. Anything you do must relate back to who you are. Do not try to artificially invent yourself or spend a tremendous amount of time coming up with a really clever idea. Chances are that by the time you’re ready someone else has already done it, and done it better, because it was in their blood.
On the other hand there is a constant lure of quick fame and money (though it’s diminished a bit in this economy). It may be tempting to execute on an idea without further refinement hopingtoinstantly turn it into a revenue creating business. The problem is that the resulting product(s), at that point, often lack character or personal trademark, something that connects them in a personal manner with their creator. The result is often a constant fear that someone will “steal” the idea or copy the product. Again, if it is easy to do then others will do it eventually, it’s common human behavior. We imitate the moment we are born. This is how we learn, this is how we acquire skills. But here is the important part: while we learn and grow we have to come into our own. We have to expand on the knowledge we’ve acquired by injecting our unique personal traits, anything that makes us ‘us’ — the way we hold the brush, the way we see and photograph our environment, the way we hear sounds and melodies, the way we talk, walk, feel, perceive and judge.
We could distill the preceding paragraphs into “be your personal best at what you do”. And while doing so do not compare yourself to others unnecessarily (it’sf