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Last week’s cover of People magazine featured one of my favorite female comedian’s, Melissa McCarthy, you probably know her from the movies Bridesmaids and The Heat. She’s laugh-out-loud hilarious!

I especially loved the caption below her name: “How I did it my way!”

This is a topic that’s been on my mind lately.

When starting out in business I spent a ridiculous amount of time studying (ahem obsessing!) how others were doing their businesses.

Countless hours and oodles of energy went into dissecting what they were doing, saying, offering, and altering my business to be more like theirs. If it worked for them it must be the right way! I thought.

I even added services I had zero interest in offering set at prices that didn’t feel good to me. Talk about a great way to NOT attract clients – offering something you don’t actually want to do!

I didn’t feel good about my business either. I felt conflicted and like I was cheating on myself.

It wasn’t until I stopped looking outside at what others were doing and started looking inside at what I wanted my business to look and feel like that things shifted and clients began appearing.

It became clear that the more I infused me into my business, the more I saw the results I’d wanted all along.

Whether trying to make it in show business like Melissa McCarthy, or any business, it’s easy to feel pressure to follow someone else’s way of doing things.

We tend to mimic them; thinking they’ve cracked-the-code and are doing it the right way.

But the only right way to do it is your own way. Your vision, voice and intuition naturally separate you from the pack.

Some of the most successful, respected and celebrated people today understand this secret to success. And thank goodness they weren’t afraid to color outside the lines or the world may not have artists like Lady Gaga and U2, or awesome work environments like Google and Zappos.

Richard Branson is someone else who comes to mind when I think of someone doing it his own way. Like with his Virgin America airlines safety video / music dance video.

(If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth checking out. Not going to lie, I watched it for fun, in my free time, when I wasn’t even on an airplane!)

What’s brilliant is how Branson and team took something famously boring and not only made it cool to watch but also brought value to customers because we actually pay attention and learn.

While it’s important in business to spend some time looking at what others are doing, try to keep it to a low percentage like 10% looking out and 90% looking in.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but you do need to put your own spin on things.

In the wise words of Dr. Seuss, “Why fit in when you’re born to stand out?”



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