I see lots of businesses these days trying to mimick each other, trying to do what another company did, because it worked for them.
This is as ridiculous as painting every house, building, and shed the same color and expecting them to be equally comfortable.
What would the world of business look like if all businesses used the same logo shape (square), the same color (blue), and the same website layout (wordpress)?
Only doing what others have done because it worked for them doesn’t mean it will work for you.
Even if it does, where’s the passion? Your personal mark? You’ll get bored waiting for someone else to tell you what to do, I’ll bet.
Forget all that, just follow your heart.
What’s your heart telling you?
Probably not the same as mine, or your neighbor’s.
That’s a good thing.
As a matter of fact, it’s always right to be at least a little different.
If your business only exists to make a profit, your business is operating from the wrong source. That source will eventually dry up as markets collapse and change direction.
There’s only one true sustainable source: Passion. Some call this purpose; I consider them to be nearly interchangeable.
Passion is the source of all things worthwhile.
Passion colors the world.
If you say your passion is merely making money, I’d say that you’re lying. Or you haven’t found it yet, which is okay.
Join a group of other passion-seekers.
Get to know some people in your community that live their lives with passion.
Maybe it’s caring for orphans in under-resourced nations because you have been blessed with a gift.
Maybe it’s using your talents to help non-profits market themselves better for maximum impact.
Perhaps you love helping others make better financial decisions, like Dave Ramsey but with a twist towards giving.
What kind of ideas could you come up with if you implemented Patagonia’s “Let my people go surfing” policy?
How creative could your team be if you trusted and respected them enough to take a surf break because the surf’s up, or play volleyball out back because they need a creative boost of energy, or go out for coffee and get a change of scenery that helps them shift perspective and break free from the constraints of sameness?
What if you got away for a week every couple months to reset yourself and grab a little inspiration?
I hope this isn’t too oblique, but here’s how color makes a difference.
Most companies are the same color. I won’t tell you what color that is, that’s up to you.
Here’s the greatest part: You get to choose what color you want your business to be.
What color is your business today? What color is your business going to be tomorrow?
By the way, Patagonia is one of the world’s most respected corporations and the force behind 1% For The Planet, an organization devoted to preserving the environment and has raised over $30 million so far from over 1000 companies around the world. This company is a beautiful color.