Do you sometimes feel like your ideas or aesthetic are not trendy enough when it comes to your own industry? When it comes to your work, or how to present your business or your branding, there's a natural temptation to compare your ideas to everyone else's, especially those who are riding the popularity wave at that particular point in time.
I know how easy it is to get into that state of confusion, where you want to follow your heart, but everyone else in your industry seems to be doing something different. It definitely doesn't help when everyone has an opinion, especially when those opinions seem to be the polar opposite to yours! I'm not saying that it's not valuable to be aware of what others in your industry are doing, or to hear how someone else made things work, but in terms of moving forward with unique ideas that feel authentic to you, it sometimes serves us better to listen to people who have absolutely nothing to do with our own industry. In her latest guest blog, Emily talked about taking inspiration from outside of your industry. I would encourage you to dig even deeper into that direction in order to discover a path that is truly unique to you and makes you stand out in a positive way. Here are some ways how.
1 Talk to people outside of your industry, preferably with a completely different background to yours
Pitch your ideas, or show your plans to someone who has nothing to do with your industry. The more casual the relationship the better, as you will get a genuinely neutral, fresh opinion. Not only that, but hearing someone with no prior knowledge of your industry talk about your service or product might help you generate completely unique ideas that you wouldn't have thought of otherwise.
2 Seek out passionate people
Surround yourself with people who love thinking of news ways of doing things. People who will set your imagination on fire. These people might be naive about your business, but interested and excited about solving problems. They could be someone with different values to yours, which makes them look at your issues from a completely different angle. They could be big travellers or readers, people who devour new information or places. The more people who are passionate about life you have around you, the more chances you have at staying passionate and fired up yourself.
3 Be interested in strangers
Everyone has a well of stories, ideas and creativity inside of them, you'll just have to be open to seeing and hearing it. Have a conversation with someone you're stuck waiting for the bus with, or someone who works at your local cafe. Treat any casual encounter as an opportunity to learn something new.
4 Learn to listen
The biggest obstacle for most of us to learning new things is our inability to really listen. We are always so quick to counter with our own opinions, that we rarely properly take in what is communicated to us. One of the most valuable skills you could learn is the skill of listening without judgment, with patience and desire to learn rather than to counter.