I just finished Seth Godin’s book “Poke the Box.” I am oversimplifying, but one point he makes is that in most fields ( especially retail? ) most of the players are “good.” Most of the time stuff works; most of the time associates are helpful, most of the time you find what you need, return what you don’t want without a hassle, cash in your loyalty doodads for more value, and so on. When something isn’t working, a store is messy, or associates don’t give a crap, you notice it more. The impact is -greater- today ( remind me to blog about this point here ) because overall the quality of the retail experience out there is pretty good.
But that’s just it. “Good” is now commoditized. Everyone has it. Everyone’s good. Where you’re not good, that sucks for you, because everyone else at the table has manners and is at least good, while you’re busy being not-good. But being good just gets you seat at the table.
Godin tells us we now need to be remarkable.
This is the only way to positively distinguish yourself. Just like getting a four-year degree doesn’t really get you any points anymore for most jobs, it just keeps you in the hat they pull from, when considering to hire you.
You can be remarkable, either “amazing” or even better “worth remarking about,” in pretty much anything you do. Think your work is boring, or tedious? It’s possible. If you’re a chicken sexer, the guy who manually looks at newborn chicks and sorts them into male and female groups, that’s hard to make remarkable. But probably not impossible. Odds are you have a leg up on the chicken sexer guy, and have opportunities all day long to be remarkable.
Riding a bike… also not so remarkable. You can jump high, fall far, wipe out spectacularly. Mostly you can get from one place to another, maybe get in a bit of exercise. But can you inspire? Can you create “art?”
Sure you can.
That guy rides a bike.
What do you do?