We all want to be better than we are…want to look better…have a better six-pack, thinner thighs…a smaller nose! We want to act differently…often like famous people who we see as cooler, funnier, cleverer, more successful than ourselves.
In business, you’re positively encouraged to model yourself on someone who has been or who is, successful…to work out the way they do what they do, and copy it. Usually the chosen subject is Richard Branson, or occasionally…no…on reflection it’s pretty much always Richard Branson. The thought of all of these people being successful in their quest is quite frightening!
When I worked corporately, I tried to model myself on a really good friend of mine. I was always really impressed by the way she could separate work from play…how she had two different personae…one for in work, and one for out of it…almost two different people, with contrasting personalities…and it worked for her. She was very successful.
I soon realised though that it didn’t work for me. For better or worse, I needed to be the same me in work and out of it, it was just who I am.
And that’s the key point for me really. It’s all well and good to model someone…to watch them do what they do so skilfully, to break it down and look at it as a series of steps and individual actions…to make a process of their skill that you can copy to the point where you can mimic them perfectly.
But…the best way for you to do something will always be your way.
Take a look at how other people do things, yes. Pick out the best bits, certainly. But move away from ‘the best way’, ‘the right way’, ‘the usual way’…and do things your way, in your own unique and inimitable style.
You are unique, and special, and people want to work with you, not some poor imitation of Richard Branson. As the great little book ‘The Go Giver’ would say, ‘ ‘No matter what your training, no matter what your skills, no matter what area you’re in, you are your most important commodity. The most valuable gift you have to offer is you.’
Being yourself – that passionate about what you do, great at what you do, authentic you – is the best sales tool you have. So if you’re going to spend time modelling someone…model yourself. You may just find that your way is the best way after all.
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