“Find something no one has ever done before and do it better than anyone ever could.”
I came up with that concept early in my career. It permeated everything I did, from my career in advertising to my days in TV shopping and talk radio. It wasn’t easy, but it worked damn well.
It’s not the kind of philosophy to have if you want to hang out with a lot of people at work. I was always perceived as “the loner” in college and throughout my professional life because I did things differently that almost everyone else. I had a lot of friends and acquaintances, just not where I went to school or worked.
Many former TV shopping executives I worked with have never “friended” me on Facebook. They are friends with many former and current employees from the companies we worked, but not me. It’s not surprising. When you’re always trying to do things better than the last time you did them, you piss off a lot of people. I lost count of the times I just walked out of meetings with my superiors because we had just reached an impasse.
I also lost track of how many times I was “almost” fired. My high sales results were the only reason they never pulled that trigger. Of course, it always amused me that many of the things I was called on the carpet for became staples with other TV shopping hosts after I did them. My computer demos were copied by the hosts on every other network, every one of them. Did I mention I made HSN really angry when I refused to send them a demo tape because I knew they used tapes of my QVC computer shows to train their hosts? They denied it until I sent them a tape of them showing my computer shows to their hosts. Yeah, we haven’t really spoken since then.
As you go through your daily routine, think about my quote, “Find something no one has ever done before and do it better than anyone ever could.” It’s not easy. And if I had it to do it all over again, I would probably keep my superiors in the loop, as long as I knew it wouldn’t stop me from doing what I had to do. That’s when the quote attributed to Mary Kay Ash and many others, “It’s better to beg forgiveness than ask permission,” kicks in.
Try not to piss too many people off. I wish you good health and success!