Let’s be honest, the digital world makes setting yourself apart from everyone else increasingly harder. With so many ideas constantly being shared in the digital space, it can feel impossible to break through with a unique perspective.You feeling me?
See, I’ve struggled with this in my own unconventional life. Back in 2008, I began learning as much as I could about marketing, blogging, and working remotely. I quickly realized that the digital space, where I wanted to share my insights, was already filled with more established people spreading their own ideas.
I felt inundated with content, and the pressure to consume all of it was so intense! For fear of missing out (FOMO) on what could potentially be that “one” article, podcast, or video I would need to succeed in my entrepreneurial pursuits, I kept consuming.
It was debilitating.
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I felt like I would never be anything more than a consumer of other creators’ hard work and dreams. I feared something, but I couldn’t figure out exactly what.
While I was learning some new things, the content starting feeling more and more like reiteration with a diminishing return on my time. Read, watch, listen, repeat. It was an addiction based on fear and ultimately left me with fewer hours to actually execute on those marginally helpful teachings. My fear became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Just like any other addiction, fear needs to be addressed at its root.
The reason we envy or revere other’s teachings is because they did it their own way and we admire that. These creators set themselves apart because they decided to pursue their own path towards achieving something in a way that we are delighted by. But here’s the other thing creators know:
The way you set yourself apart from everyone else is by knowing when to put blinders up to the other creators.
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By the time you have consumed the necessary basics to leap into your passion, whether that be to ride a horse, create a sustainable blog, or pursue a project idea, you become dangerous. This is the intersection at which you choose to either stay a consumer or become a creator.
You might already have the basics –the tools that give you a minimum viable opportunity to be dangerous in crafting something unique—right now. This is what changes the world.
Take Casey Neistat. He knows his stuff. I remember watching him way back in 2011 when he posted this video. He makes a movie every day for his 2.4+ Million subscribers (including me). He knows how to be himself without obsessing over his own style. I’m sure he learned by watching others, but at some point he decided he had consumed enough to be dangerous.
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My question to you is this: Are you consuming because you are in fear of taking the executional next steps to propel your passion forward? Or, are you still learning the basic skills you need to be just dangerous enough?
Whatever your answer is, remember that setting yourself apart from everyone else means taking the leap and become a creator. Let go of the FOMO, put the blinders on, and execute on your pursuits. There is no secret to success. It’s through the hard work and mindfulness of your unique brain that you will get places. But first, start creating.