When Was The Last Time YOU tried Something New ?

When I look at my Twitter stream, I see a lot of pissed off people. They are pissed off, because they have to endure sameness that’s permeating our beloved blogosphere:

“Oh, not another ebook that teaches you how to sell ebooks”

“Damn, not another product that teaches you how to make money online”

“Hey, check me out, I’m a social media consultant”

Blah, blah. blahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Guess what ? If you are one of them – a copycat that’s only following the “tried & true” principle, you are a goner.

You are stuck in a limited mindset, a mindset that keeps you away from innovation, which is today’s only cure in an ocean of insane competition.

So how can you avoid the dangerous trap of copying what everyone else is doing ?

Keep on reading.

Over at my new digital baby “I luv Empire”, I’m in the process of launching a new service. I call it “Epicx” – personally drawn, digital images that OOZE with inspiration and epicness.

They consist of a motivational motto that the client (maybe you?) can choose, plus a kick-ass drawn avatar that represents that belief. It’s cool for wallpapers, backgrounds and covers.

It’s something that I have never done before, and I’m curious to see how it works. It’s certainly a different way of displaying your services, but I’m bored AS HELL to repeat the old shit, and I own the curiosity of a cat.

What will happen ? Will it work ? Or will it bomb like an aircraft carrier during Pearl Harbor ?

How the hell should I know. I’m not Jesus. Nor do I want to be (although I DO like wearing sandals.)

But I DO know that if I don’t try ANYTHING new, I’m toasted. Because then I sink back into the me-too abyss, and that’s when I can kiss my digital career GOOD bye. Failing by doing something new isn’t something you should avoid, it’s something you should SEEK out like a hunter bringing DOWN his prey.

I remember that kick-ass line from Seth Godin:

If I fail more than you, I win.

Why ? Because every NEW thing you launch will give you INVALUABLE feedback. Maybe it rocks, maybe it flushes down the toilet. Don’t sweat my friend. Every reaction is valuable, because your experience will GROW.

You’ll never find out unless you TRY.

Here’s how it works out (for me, at least):

Try & Fail. Learn. Try & Fail. Learn. Try & Fail. Learn.

If you do that on a CONSTANT basis, you will gain KICK-ASS experience that OTHERS will never gain ‘cause they NEVER TRY.

Sooner or later, you take ALL the experiences you got from your “small” failures & they will help you create something FUCKING awesome.

Seth Godin is good example – again. IF you check his earlier stuff, you can’t help but feel sorry for him:

One of his books was called “E-Mail Addresses of the Rich & Famous” and yeah, it was EXACTLY about that: listing email addresses of the rich & famous people.

Or the foundation he wanted to support by selling light bulbs from door to door.

Or his company that sold video tapes showing an aquarium in an endless loop.

When I found out about these ideas, I immediately asked myself:

What kind of illegal substance was good old Seth smoking when he came up with those ventures ?

I still don’t know, but I DO know that these “little” failures turned Seth Godin into the legend we respect today. He was doing things that no one was doing, and that’s why Seth is Seth and everyone else is “just” a marketer.

Some people say you should copy what works then adjust it to your style.

That’s cheap ass, and it won’t make you successful in the long run. Because repeating the same stuff all over, even if it’s successful, will become “averagely good” soon, and then it won’t be remarkable anymore.

For god’s sake, if you found something that works, milk it as long as you can. Milk it like a fat cow that’s filled with juicy white magic. But don’t get stuck on it.

Make the money, write that post you know that’s going to get shared, create that thing you know could sell. Do that even 70% – 80% of the time, IF it works. But with the rest, try SOMETHING new. Even if you know if it will work out. HELL, ESPECIALLY if you DON’T know if it works out.

Because only THEN will you create something that blows are people AWAY.


Here’s a challenge.

Launch something new. And with “new”, I don’t mean launch a fucking cookie-cutter ebook (how to make money from your blog –zzzzzzz). I mean come up with something NEW – a unique service, a new product, a new design. It doesn’t have to be BIG, but it must SCARE YOU. Because if you are scared, you know your pushing your comfort zone. Surprise yourself and your audience.

What’s a new thing you can start this week ?

  • Anonymous

    True story. Your formatting here is a bit crazy. Agreed on your high-bandwidth feedback from failing point. 100%.

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      haha, yeah, I was trying some new things with the formatting here. It’s a bit confusing. A small failure, but I got a new experience from it ;)

  • http://www.hollandz.com Brad Holland

    Hey Mars,

    Did the new concept of Epicx. I’m sure it will kick ass. If it doesn’t then throw some plates against a wall and then give your computer the finger. Either way you get to create something.

    Word to your motha!

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Thanx Brad, I’m curious as hell to see if AND how it will work out.

  • http://twitter.com/thebenchannel Ben Austin

    “What kind of illegal substance was good old Seth smoking when he came up with those ventures?” …. Priceless!

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Yeah, when I heard his ventures for the first time, I thought he was just pulling a joke. But no, he DID those ventures. Kudos for trying crazy things like these. He is the man.

  • http://www.silveredcopy.com/ Patrick Vuleta

    Good luck with the Epicx service Mars!

    I just added an illustration to my about page and it adds so much. More people need illustrations on their blogs instead of stock photography.

    As to your other points: I agree. I’m constantly trying to ask if what I’ve done has been done before. It’s produced some interesting refinements in the last month that has made my service much stronger.

  • http://twitter.com/FollowMarcoLee Marco Lee

    It doesn’t have to be BIG, but it must SCARE YOU. Because if you are scared, you know your pushing your comfort zone. <- This got me scared Mars. This is a good realization and I wonder how to get myself to be scared and push my boundaries.

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Exactly man, if it SCARES you, you are on the RIGHT WAY. EPicness comes from taking tiny steps, EVERY single day !!

  • http://twitter.com/FollowMarcoLee Marco Lee

    It doesn’t have to be BIG, but it must SCARE YOU. Because if you are scared, you know your pushing your comfort zone. <- This got me scared Mars. This is a good realization and I wonder how to get myself to be scared and push my boundaries.

  • Robin Raindropcatcher

    Hey Mars,
    That’s funny cause you write exacltly what’s going through my mind recently. My blog, the World Hacking Guide is changing extremely on the 15th of May and I’m incredibly nervous. But I also know that the new concept is something completely new. I haven’t seen it like this before in the blogoshere. So I always think, even if it goes wrong, the least I can benefit from it is experience and the knowledge that I was brave enough to do something new!

    Oh and also I was rowing for the first time. Was really spontaneous. Something I never thought of doing and now I consider to make my way down to the danube more often for I’ve enjoyed it so much ;)

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Hey Robin,

      that’s cool that you are trying new things and pushing yourself. Nervousness is ALWAYS a good sign, because it means you are expanding your comfort zone.

  • http://cruisesurfingz.com roy | cruisesurfingz

    Hey Mars,

    Totally agree with the “Try, Learn, Fail” motto. And I love this idea of drawing custom images. In fact I’m in the works of setting up a similar service. But wait, I’m not copying you! This idea has been around for a while – if anything, I’m copying the idea from Horrible Logos / The Oatmeal / Hyperbole and a half.

    My point is I totally respect that you’re doing something more interesting than another boring ebook launch. But can you really say it’s new?

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Hey Roy,

      it’s not new in terms of “OMG – I have never seen this before !”, but it’s new in the way I present it, the story behind and the way I interweave it with my comic blog.And to my knowledge Oatmeal and Hyperbole and a half aren’t offering custom digital drawings – they are doing merchandize and books, which is a grrreat way to finance your comic brand.  

  • EchoGblackuk

    True true. You may try and fail, but if you don’t try, you may not succeed either. I guess, try win a competition without entering. Try win a race without running. Try, and at least we know what needs doing to make ourselves even just a little bit closer to succeeding. Nice post Mars!

Join my insider book list

Get notified about my new sci-fi book releases, free advance copies, and cover sneak peeks.