10. Swim upstream.
Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom. If everybody else is doing it one way, there's a good chance you can find your niche by going in exactly the opposite direction.
This is #10 on Sam Walton's list of 10 rules for building a business and I think it pretty much sums up a big component of our success. There will always be businesses that will just copy and follow and achieve some level of temporary success, but you don't get to be #151 on the Inc 5000 list by doing that.
I'm certain I wasn't the only one last night watching the news and feeling proud of the company that I work for and lucky that I was going to get to come to work today with this awesome team. Let's keep swimming upstream and innovating and succeeding together as a team!
I've written about Seth Godin before, and how he routinely drops knowledge in the most basic way possible. And that's a compliment - it's all too common for authors, creators, journalists and really, anyone who writes, to over-complicate the message they're trying to convey with big words and long sentences. Seth doesn't fall into this trap, and typically ends up saying the most with the least.
His blog post this morning read simply:
Not because it will sell.
Not because it's on the test.
Not because it's your job.
Merely because you can.
The alternative (waiting for the world to align in a way that permits you to make something great) is hardly worth pursuing, right?
Basic words, simple principles and a powerful meaning. Humans are made to be creators - whether the creation is as basic as our great ancestors creating shelter in a cave, or our modern contemporaries creating shoes and websites and novels and airplanes and architectural marvels and SlideBelts.
Everything you see is a result of human creativity. The Shake Weight and the Selfie Stick are examples that there really is no limit to that creativity. So go, see, do and create - not for the money or the fame or the recognition, but because it's what we are meant to do.