I did it my way” is certainly a familiar lyric from Ol’ Blue Eyes. But how many people can actually attest to the fact that they did or plan to do it their way. When it comes to being an original whether in your personal life or running your spa or massage practice, it can be daunting to do it your way. For starters, you might shake up a few people – clients, your team, and your business partners - and that’s always a risk. But you may be missing out on opportunities and greater success when you fail to follow your instincts about new and unique skincare treatments or massage therapies, a non-conventional marketing or sales program or even decorating your business in a bold and daring way.
As Z. Hereford points out in “Dare to be an Original,”being an original means putting yourself on the line and subjecting yourself to scrutiny, judgment and even worse ridicule. But not doing so means you may be resigning yourself to complacency and possibly never living to your full potential.
To be your own person and do it your way, Hereford advises you first need to know who you are. Without self-knowledge, you can’t be genuine. You also need to trust your intuition and instincts, otherwise you are going against your fundamental nature and what satisfies you. And you need to believe in yourself and not worry what others think.
Here are some other things you’ll want to do to be an original:
Focus on what makes you stand out: You may be thinking that you’re not original. If so, you need to change that voice in your head. There are things that make you unique and it’s not just your looks. Maybe it’s your outlook on the world, sense of humor or compassion that makes you unique. Don’t take these things for granted. Use them to help fuel your confidence about being original. After all there really is no one else quite like you.
Don’t take things personally: Keep in mind that when someone else is attacking or challenging you, they really are defending their own beliefs. Challenging you absolves them of the responsibility to re-evaluate own convictions.
Question yourself: Examine where your ideas and values come from. Ask yourself why you think about something a certain way. Talk to others to get their views on things to see how they differ from yours. . The more you question yourself and long-help opinions or beliefs, the more you generate new and fresh ideas.
Get out of your routine: Routine can stifle your creativity. Shake things up. Think about what you do each day or each week and try something different. Apply yourself at something you believe you aren’t good at.
Become more knowledgeable: Learn as much as you can. The more you learn, the more ideas you’ll have. Use the information you have to evaluate your own ideas.
Steve Jobs famously said in a 2005 commencement address to Stanford graduates:
“Your time is limited; so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
With that advice, take the dare. Identify one or two things that you always have wanted to do in your own way and boldly move ahead.