How to Do Stuff Different than Anyone Else. A List Post.

I feel like smacking your brain with a valuable list post. Because you need to do stuff that matters. And to do that, you need to differentiate yourself. Here we go, crusaders:

1) Think epic right from the get-go. In my post about the bridging principle, I have stated that in order to do remarkable work you have to own a remarkable mindset FIRST. Even if your current skills blow, and you produce one clunker after another, you WILL do epic stuff as long as you think that way.

Epic mindset + passion = outstanding work in the long term.

Remember, skills are cheap, passion is priceless.

2) Get inspiration from unusual places. Most people get their main inspiration from sources in the same market and niche, and it’s incestuous. If you are in marketing, please don’t just read marketing blogs – “déjà vu”ing know stuff is career suicide.

I take my inspiration from consuming Japanese comic blogs and video game outlets, and this is helping me freshening UP my work.

Pick a complete different niche of inspiration and soak it all in !

3) Get into a good state FIRST. Most people just sit on their ass and crank out stuff we have seen to many times before. Why ? One reason is there in a lousy state. Before I create content & work, I get into a good state. I dance like a monkey on fire, do exercise and listen to my favorite music (Angels and Airwaves – HELL YEAH). This slams me in such a goood mood that writing awesome stuff becomes EASY !

4) keep reading my blog ( a no-brainer, I know)

5) Combine two concepts that normally don’t go together. I use Japanese comics and basic videogame design as my major inspiration to style my new blog. Instead of designing it like cranky-cookie-cutter blog, I use fresh input. Do the same. No matter which market you are in, combine it with something else to create something “new”. If you are into self help and movies, why not create a movie-themed design and blow people away with Hollywood references in your self-help posts ? Go creative.

6) Dominate your own word choice. Have you ever heard epic, digital crusader, white magic, shine and sweet-a-licious ? If you are reading my blog I know you have. Because those are my trademark words, and I’m repeating them until I get sick in the finger.

Gary V unofficially owns the expression “crush it”, and Chris Guillebeau secretly snatched the “unconventional lifestyle” term. It’s a bad-ass way to spread your brand awareness, so start using your own words and see your community spread them like a wildfire.

7) Charge your niche with emotional ammo. In my recent Blogcast interview I . People don’t just want niches, they want to be connected. So when you , be sure to emotionally bond with them. Follow an inspiring mission that leads to a greater future, connect people in your community with each other and charge your word choice with vivid, emotionally-charged word blasts. “I believe good, natural soap drastically improves your lifestyle and wellbeing” is much better than “Natural soap is good because (benefit 1) and (benefit 2).” Emotional and inspiring is the magical fuel that connects people.

8) Become known for your own thing, and then expand. Don’t try to juggle multiple careers in the beginning – singer, artist, speak, entrepreneur etc. This will divide your focus and result in “averaging” in each discipline. Focus on one path first and rule it. As soon as you gain influence and “fame”, you can do whatever you want to do, because your success and expertise in one area automatically transfers to other skillsets.

Seth Godin worked hard on becoming a grrreat marketer. He’s now considered to be America’s (or even the world’s) best marketer, and that status has allowed him to do pretty much anything: consulting, speaking, writing, DIY MBA’s, self-publishing – you name it, he got it.

Dominate your own thing until you become a “name” and then do whatever you want to do.

9)Turn your work into a cause. In Tyler Tervooren’s brilliant guide  “the guerilla influence formula”, he states that you if you want to attract a raving fan base, you have turn your business into an inspiring mission. I agree. Instead of “just” being a designer, be the designer that is “helping web designers to impact the world awesomely”. You will attract a loyal fan base that wants to join your cause.

10) Deliver daily.  Do your work as GOOD as possible and then just deliver the sucker. Perfection is for pussies. Your “art” useless if you don’t share it with the world. I also call this hitting the street running: create, deliver, create, deliver.

The more you get out, the better you get. The better you get, the more awesome stuff you deliver.

Isn’t this a beautiful cycle ?

11) Fail forward. I try a lot of stuff: new concepts, different posts, unique designs. Some of it rocks, a lot of blows. Experimenting with your work must be a habit like breathing. Copying someone else’s success and just slamming your own flavor on it isn’t enough anymore. Weclome to 2011 suckers.

You have to innovate and try new things, and that ALWAYS entails failure…or shall we say learning experience ? Fail forward.

YOUR turn

What’s a principle that you follow CRAZILY in order to differentiate yourself ?

Share it in ze comments.

And support my work by hitting the retweet button.

  • brandon avance

    Great post. Here’s what I’m working on:

    Find whatever sets that fire inside for you and give it away. As much as possible, to as many as possible.

    • Mars Dorian

      True – the more “art” you give away, the more people will you be able to attract to your mission. That’s the beauty of the internet.

  • David

    i like it mars! you brought it all together in one post. its good to have some of these things pointed out. i know what i need to work out, and its refreshing to hear someone else kinda call it out.

    • Mars Dorian

      yep, just felt like writing a list post once in a while. I’m glad it’s valuable to you;)

  • Kristi Hines

    I like #10 and have been working to do that. I have a lot of projects so it would be next to impossible to deliver something daily to each, but I definitely strive to do something daily to one or more of them. :)

  • Danielmercer

    Here’s my list
    1. Missing words in blogposts like this one on a constant basis is for pussies.
    2. Using the soap thing is desperate.
    3. Skills aren’t cheap, people with skills change things.
    4. People without skills like you blog about blogging and marketing guys just talk talk talk about useless nonsense, that’s cheap.

    • Mars Dorian

      Wow, finally a negative comment. It’s been like 4+ months since I got one.
      Thanx for your sharing your voice, Daniel.
      I luv brutal honesty ! And I’d appreciate it even more if you could offer some constructive criticism – like how I can make my stuff even better.

      • Danielmercer

        I thought criticism was clear.
        1. At least proofread your blogposts cause otherwise it seems as if you do not care enough, then why should anyone else care?
        2. Do not write blogposts just for the purpose of placing keywords or linklove for your buddies by using recycled content. People will notice. Only 4 comments right?
        3. Develop some skills, for now your skills are cool designing and good drawings, everything else is recycled and overused content which is at best mediocre. Use your strenghts and focus on them.
        4.Good thing you have a new project because this one is besides the really cool design just not good enough. Don’t try to sell people stuff you actually still need to learn. How can you teach people stuff if you are not even succesful with it yourself? Think about it.
        5. Focus on your strenghs.Don’t have false illusions of what your strenghs are.
        6. 4+ months since your last negative comment? You said it yourself something must be wrong. Mediocrity is calling. Live up to your own principles.
        7. How to make your stuff better? Learn, earn skills, make experience, get personal. For month all you do is recycle your own content over and over again. You’re stuck. People start to only care if they wanna proof you wrong. See your last post/comments.

        Good luck with your new one! Honestly.

        • Mars Dorian

          wow, thanx man. This feedback is insanely helpful

          First I thought you were just ranting/trolling, but I now I can see you have smart things to say. Writing isn’t a grrreat strength of mine, and that’s why my new project/blog is almost PURELY visually based. I lost my passion for this niche a few months ago, and that’s why there isn’t much heart and passion in my latest posts. But wait till you see my new one ;)

          Thanx for taking the time Daniel, it’s truly helpful.

          keep shining !

    • Peter Joseph

      I think i need to buy , I’ll give you a premium feature :)

      • Danielmercer

        Too easy buddy. But ingnorance is bliss, right?;)

        • Peter Joseph

          True lol :)

  • Joshua Millburn

    I especially think #1 is true. I’d also add to it and say: to be epic you need to act like you don’t know your limitations. Without self-imposed limits, we can do so much more.

    Joshua Millburn | The Minimalists

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