Nothing Is Original - And That's Okay

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Nothing is original.

Every piece of life advice you've ever heard has probably been repeated time and time again. 

What's different is context.

Context adds a layer of originality and digestibility.

For example, Gary Vaynerchuk didn't invent the idea of "hustle". But he did popularize it.

When Gary talks about "hustle", it resonates much more powerfully with his audience of entrepreneurs because of his brand as the son of 2 immigrants and creating a wine empire from very little.

That context is what will give you the edge in whatever you do.

Let's take for example, my advice that you should move out of your house and to a new city if you really want to grow rapidly. I believe that living on your own, unrestricted by your parent's rules allows you to discover who you are and what rules you set for yourself. Escaping to a new place where no one knows you accelerates this process even more.

Now, while that's good advice, it's not novel advice. American adults have been moving out of their parent's houses for hundreds of years.

The key distinction is the context in which I'm sharing it.

My brand is built around a couple of things:

  1. Opting out of college
  2. Trying new things and being adventurous
  3. Being Asian
  4. Being young
  5. Living in the digital age with access to smartphones, internet, etc.

Anyone who relates to my brand is able to internalize the idea of moving out much better than if someone else said the same thing. It's also possible that it's the first time they heard of or understood the idea of moving out.

If so, I just cemented myself as an expert in their minds.

You can do the same with those around you.

You don't have to be original.

You just have to give good advice, and add a little bit of a twist to it by using your unique brand. That unique context will resonate much more strongly if you talk about it instead of avoiding it and being a cookie-cutter advice giver.

Don't repeat tropes -- give advice -- but do so with your story in mind.