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How to Be Different (Without Being Lucky)

How to Be Different (without being lucky)

Good is no longer an option.

Great is no longer an option.

Different is the all that's left. Being unique is not a 'branding decision,' or a 'strategy,' or a 'unique style' you find on Pinterest.

It's a relentless, consuming, torturous pursuit.

Of searching for what makes you you, and, after finding it, turning it into something for everyone else.

And you only find it through output.

No one wants more podcast clips, but turn a podcast into a 4k cinema production, and people pay attention.

No one wants more workout clips, but upload a 45-minute raw workout vlog, which is really a podcast, and people pay attention.

Stop consuming what everyone else consumes. Unfollow big accounts. Leave your phone at home. Let your mind wander to random streams of consciousness, to quiet corners of bookstores, to visions you wish existed.

Iterate violently. This is a game of experimentation disguised as consistency. Try something new until your audience likes sharing it, and you like making it. Then, hammer it relentlessly, until it's time to experiment again.

What's the one sentence summary of what you create? How do fans tell their friends about you? How do you make every word of that sentence different from what's out there?

Go back further. Watch old movies. Read old books. Explore mediums that barely exist today- magazines, VHS tapes. When you tap into content outside your 'for-you' feed, an entire world opens up. Different output starts with different input.

Turn off your mind. You will see things 25 minutes into a sauna session you can't see otherwise. Go for a long walk. Paddle to the middle of a lake. Voices will come. Paths will appear. Truths will be deafening.

Play. Time travel is real. Play a sport. Play a game. Play anything- that makes you feel like a kid again. Tapping into that version of yourself makes life simple. Your stress will seem ridiculous. Your passion will feel obvious.

Pay attention. What do you see that no one else sees? A word. A feeling. An aesthetic. Do you notice fonts all around you- on neon signs, and restaurant awnings? Do you notice colors? Do you feel taste? Do you pause to appreciate a shot in a movie that no one else cares about? Your edge is often at what you notice, and the world ignores.

Be real. If you are truly authentic, different is natural. Your 'brand' is a true extension of you. Your 'values' are the brands' throughlines. Your 'content' isn't you speaking to a camera. It's you speaking directly to a friend. You're the voice they always needed, but never heard before.

And that's all people want- a friend, a mentor. Someone real, to guide them, and keep them company on the path of life, love, and obsession.

To sum up, there's three steps:

Step 1. Make something.


Step 2. Make something every day.

Pick a core activity you can start, and never stop. For me, I'll write about obsession every day. Forever. I don't have to be forced. It doesn't take discipline. I'll pull over in traffic to write down a good idea. I'll type with one hand while biking down Broadway. Obsession matters more than oxygen.

Step 3. Make something better every day.

This where 99% fail. Showing up is irrelevant if no one is coming to watch. Iteration is often invisible, because by the time you see someone's work, you see the good stuff. But go to the 'oldest' videos on YouTube, or scroll down someone's Instagram, and you will see the same story 1000 ways. Relentless. Iteration.

Step 4. Don't stop. For five years or more.

That means all the steps- consistently making and iterating, for 1825 days. Then, people 'might' care.

The only route to being different:

Don't follow a route.

Give the world something it's never seen before.

Do it relentlessly. Patiently.

Most of your stuff will be forgotten.

But one day…you’ll make something so real, so true, so unique, that it can’t be ignored.

It embeds itself into people's lives. It becomes a part of them. And helps them become more themselves.

Once you experience that- creating something new, from within you, that other humans love...

Your life will never be the same.

Then, the game actually starts.