Marketing Unbundled Issue #3: How to Build Something That No One Else Can
While the internet is amazing, it makes it very easy to compare someone else’s journey to yours.
In his book “The Laws of Human Nature,” Robert Greene says, “No calling is superior to another. What matters is that it be tied to a personal need and inclination, and that your energy moves you toward improvement and continuous learning from experience.”
Read this part again: “that your energy moves you toward improvement and continuous learning from experience.”
Your combination of skills and experience is not replicable.
On the surface, this may not seem like a marketing article, but discovering how your unique combination of DNA, the way our brains are wired and our experiences allows you to create content, marketing, and products from a perspective that no one else has.
Lean in to, not away from it.
Build Your Personal Monopoly
Jack Butcher and David Perell talk about a concept called “Building Your Personal Monopoly.” It’s the idea that when you take three categories — Curiosity, Competence, Character — and combine them, you now have something that no one else can replicate.
- Competence: What are you good at?
- This is where to start, but when you focus just on what you are good at, the competition is at an all-time high.
- Curiosity: What do you care about?
- When you combine competence with something you are super curious about, you will rise above the competition.
- Character: Who are you?
- And when you add your character (who you are, your experiences, etc.) you create something that no one else can replicate.
Perell says, “Some Personal Monopolies are more valuable than others, so think like an investor. Pick a small but ever-growing market and learn everything you can about it. Build expertise before the other settlers arrive.
All you need is a tiny, but lucrative sliver of intellectual real estate. No matter where you settle, subtle tweaks in your positioning can create vast differences in your financial outcomes.
Say you want to build a Personal Monopoly around teaching math through humor: You’ll make $50,000 as a 3rd-grade math teacher but potentially millions of dollars as an online math teacher with an influential email list.”
“Most people can — with practice — develop a variety of skills that work well together. I call this idea the Talent Stack.” — Scott Adams
In his book “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big,” Scott Adams introduces the idea of “Talent Stacking.”
Scott says there are two paths to extraordinary:
- Become the best at one specific thing.
- Become very good (top 25%) at two or more things.
Can you guess which path is the way to go?
“The first strategy is difficult to the point of near impossibility. Few people will ever play in the NBA or make a platinum album. I don’t recommend anyone even try. The second strategy is fairly easy. Everyone has at least a few areas in which they could be in the top 25% with some effort.”
So much like the Personal Monopoly idea above, you want to use a combination of things, in this case, 2–3 skills that you can become reasonably good at and eliminate ways that other people can create what you do.
💡Big Idea: Use your combination of skills and experience to create your own Personal Monopoly and create things that no one else can.
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