Oh, but we are different.

If I had a pound for everytime I’ve been told this …

Every company I’ve joined, every business I’ve consulted to, every person I’ve mentored. We all believe our circumstances are unique and therefore we can do things differently to everyone else. The laws of physics don’t apply to us, we can walk on the ceiling, leap over buildings and squeeze ourselves through keyholes.

Oh, that sounds ridiculous? Well, you started it.

We confuse what IS different with how much is the same. Yes, there are some features of our market and our business that are very different. Perhaps up to 20%. The rest, that’s pretty much like some other industries and businesses. And probably 50% is just the same for everyone. We all have customers, we all send out invoices, and we all get told the cheque is in the post.

The 20% that is unique is incredibly important, it’s your differentiation, your purple cow. But it won’t be any use if you screw up the other 80% because you won’t learn the lessons of others.

Believing you are different from everyone else is a dangerous self-delusion. Acknowledge and accept that, in the main, you are not that different after all. Then celebrate and shout for all you’re worth about the bit that is.