Musings on creative genius + uniqueness + Albert Einstein.
Have you ever loved something so much, that you rave about it to everyone you know?
You indulge in it frequently?
Give it as gifts?
And it would probably make your all-time Top 10 list?
But then, out of nowhere, you have a super sour experience that leaves you wondering. . . WTF?!
Well, I had this kind of experience at a mega-popular L.A. eatery not too long ago.
I was told by management as I waited for my to-go-order, that I wasn’t allowed to take photographs of anything in the store.
Now, in the days of Instagram + Twitter + iPhones + Samsung Galaxy’s, I don’t really get this kind of policy.
Not sure about you, but I’ve never been told that before. Ever.
And I’ve been to A LOT of places in my life.
In fact, restaurant and shop owners are typically thrilled to have someone spreading their gospel for them. For FREE.
I was peeved, but I obliged.
I walked out and was left feeling reprimanded over something I didn’t believe was wrong.
Has this ever happened to you?
Before I left, I asked the management where this policy came from, they replied “the owner believes if everyone gets to take photos, competitors will steal her ideas”.
I felt my biz consulting hat begging to be put on and my coaching muscles wanting to be flexed.
Instead of trying to change their policies, which clearly wasn’t going to happen in the moment, I ran to my car to jot down my thoughts on what I perceive to be a really bad policy.
What I desperately wanted to ask the restaurant owner herself, in that moment is . . .what are you so afraid of?
It’s not like your idea is THE original idea.
It isn’t as if NOBODY else has ever created an eatery + retail store like yours.
In fact, the design inspiration stems quite clearly from other spots I’ve visited in NYC and Napa Valley.
The not-so-nice-Stephanie had a few other choice remarks, but the thoughtful-and-curious-Stephanie was wondering what lessons were here for me to learn.
I’m continually curious about the mindsets that keep us tripped up. Keep us prisoner of our ego’s.
That prevent us from truly reaching our fullest potential and expression of ourselves.
I’m curious about this in individuals and equally (if not more) curious about these principles in business.
What became glaringly obvious in this experience, was the owner was, what I like to call, “hoarding her genius”.
In other words, she’s stuck in the mentality of “there’s not enough to go around”.
It’s the antithesis of what I believe and know to be effective in life and in business.
My perspective on this mindset feels brutal, even for me to hear, but it’s quite true for most of us.
What you’re creating has likely been created before.
Or thought of before.
By someone. Somewhere.
At some point in time.
Aside from the (quite literal) bursts of genius from guys like Albert Einstein or Benjamin Franklin, there’s not much in our world that is original.
Ideas are a dime a dozen.
And when it comes to lifestyle brands, you’re most likely not reinventing the wheel.
This doesn’t mean everything you do is unoriginal.
What IS unique, is your particular spin on it.
Your brand of je ne sais quoi.
What you bring to your ideas, your art, your business, your creative pursuits, your relationships, your life.
That is what makes your offering unique.
And nobody can take that away from you.
How could you express this uniqueness in a world where just about everything’s already been done?
- Try offering up stellar service and impeccable quality (like at Eric Ripert’s Le Bernardin in NYC).
- Or putting your entire heart into your handcrafted, custom blended face + body care products (like Julie Elliott at InFiore).
- Or devoting your business to helping others overcome loss and death and grief. By showing up with transparency 100% of the time (like Christina Rasmussen at Second Firsts).
There are hundreds of thousands of more examples of unique businesses, unique artists, unique individuals who are infusing themselves into their work.
This kind of alchemy is precisely what makes them originals. Standouts. And successful by all accounts.
If we’re always coming from a place of lack, we can never truly feel abundance or gratitude.
And we can never reach our full potential as human beings.
The most original and creative people I know recognize that everything in life is fleeting.
Especially success and fame.
They admit that they’ve been inspired by the great masters and those who came before them.
There’s no shame in this. In fact, there’s great strength in paying homage to your sources of inspiration.
The common trait I see amongst these people is humility, which encompasses self-understanding, awareness, openness and seeing other perspectives.
Humility is part of the secret sauce if you ask me!
So, what are your thoughts on this?
Are you a hoarder (of your creative genius)?
Stuck in the lack mentality?
How can you let go and move towards more abundance?
I hope this post sparks something in you! Let me know by leaving me a comment below.
And if you liked it, please share + spread the love.
Until next time . . .
P.S. You didn’t think I forgot did you?
Congratulations Kerry! You’ll be receiving an email from me very soon with more info.
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