Be yourself. If I haven’t heard that statement, I have heard it a thousand times. I’m not talking about the whole be yourself and never change or improve kinda thing that most people like to take comfort in. But I’m rather talking something slightly different. Follow me; let’s take a short trip together.
A number of people in the world today have a brand; basically what they are known for. When you hang around people like that or constantly see them in the news, there is a tendency to want to be like them or even be them. I call that “the temptation to be stupid.” Of course everyone wants to be well known and celebrated, everyone wants to make money, even I want that but my question is are you thinking of creating your own brand or you merely want to be a copy-cat; a cheap and fake version of a distinct original?
Unfortunately, that is the problem with a lot of us young people. We do not want to be creative or hardworking enough to harness our potential, brush up our skills and work at being ourselves and creating our own brands. We want to make it and make it big! We also want to make it NOW, forgetting that success is a journey and not a destination in itself. Soon enough, I’ll do a piece on how young people want to eat our future now and the danger of that. But for today, here’s my point. No one with a prominent brand today “miraculously” created it overnight. It’s a process. Quit trying to be like others and work harder on identifying your potential.
So the rave is for M-I and his “amazing” rap skills and so every young guy wants to be like M-I or even be him. They dress like him and begin concocting silly rhymes and “flows” that make you want to puke. Come to think of it, a lot of that is going on in the music industry today. Everybody wants to sing whether they have a “voice that can bring down heaven” (some close pals of mine will get this. lol) or they have a voice that would make the toads feel at home in their company, they just want to sing. And so we see a lot of young people in the music industry with little or no talent giving us annoying lyrics that make absolutely no sense! I heard a song yesterday that went like this “I’ll buy you a lorry and tell you a story…” Are you kidding?!
Let’s leave music, how about business? You have zero clue how businesses are run, you do not even try to read biographies of prominent businessmen but because a friend of yours seems to be doing well buying and selling clothes, you suddenly think it’s for you. I mean, everyone knows them on campus as the business tycoons and you simply have to be identified as such. I guarantee you, as surely as the sun rises every morning, you will crash and burn within a month of trying to be like them. That’s if you even last a month.
Let’s talk about comedy. There are quite a number boring comedians all over the place these days. You want to be the next Basketmouth or the next SLK and so you begin to think of all sorts of silly things to say in the hope that they would be funny… Izzorai. Hopefully you’ll last a few minutes on stage before the audience boos you off while tossing bottles and cans at you. I’ve been at an event where the “comedian” was actually booed off the staged, no kidding! Some go as far as copying some other comedians jokes. That’s actually just the height! Matter of fact, that’s a clear case of being a copy-cat. You think reproducing Basketmouth’s jokes will make you him? uh… no it won’t! Now this is the reason I love SLK. You might not know him but I guarantee you that in time, you will. He is just a natural! His catch phrase is “100% original” and all his jokes are definitely original!
There’s just so many examples I could give but I like keeping my posts brief and to the point. I believe by now you have already gotten the message. Stop trying to recreate someone else’s brand. It’s not just silly, it’s also annoying. I’m not saying you cannot pursue the same line of business someone else is pursuing but I’m simply saying work hard at finding your potential or skill and building up on it. Improve yourself regularly; do research, study biographies, read books, Do something!
There’s nothing as wonderful as being able to chart your own course in life. Carve a niche for yourself. Create your own brand. I cannot say I want to go into music now because I want to be like Omawumi. I guess the only people that would download my songs or buy my CDs are my family and friends. Or I want to go into comedy because all my comedian friends are making it big time and are so popular. Hmmn… #no comments.
Here’s my brand. I’m a writer; both creative and motivational. I’m also a talker or speaker, whichever way you want to see it. Now slowly but surely, I’m working my way up. I don’t expect to be the next Chimamanda Adichie; matter of fact, I don’t even want to be the next her! (Although of a truth her works are amazing and truly inspire me) I want to just be me! I want people to read my books or my articles and feel like there’s something original, new and refreshing about it. I don’t want them to hear me speak or come across my works and feel like I’m the carbon copy of someone else.
I’ll end on this note. Everyone has a gift, but if you live your entire life trying to be someone else, you would end up a miserable and unfulfilled person. I know you have probably heard this a thousand times over but this is me saying it again. Be yourself and not the cheap copy of some already distinct original.
I know this sorta felt like a lecture and I’m sorry but I just had write this. 😀 I’m actually tired of seeing young people trying to just copy everything around them. Just create your own brand! Well let me know what you think, your comments really encourage me. Thank you for reading. cheers 🙂