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Blog 337: Damned by Faint Praise

When was the last time anything worth talking about was ordinary? My father-in-law once asked me, “What guarantees the success of a restaurant?” His answer “Hungry people.”

So I guess if you sell sandwiches at lunchtime in the food court of an office tower, you are going to be alright, but your customers are buying because it's convenient, not necessarily because of your emotional investment.

However, when you care to be the best at what it is you do, something truly magical happens. You stand out. You get talked about. You get people excited, and their excitement and enthusiasm for what you do spreads.

Everyone follows the Twitter feed of the new ‘foodie’ truck that rolls through downtown. The masses walk a little further off the beaten path or stand in line to get a great sandwich because there is something you have done that makes it better. Everyone sticks around to see the speaker that everyone is talking about. Everyone listens to the ‘song of the summer.’

There is always an appetite for the best, the latest and the greatest.

What makes it best isn’t necessarily the most expensive price. What makes it the best is it is what is needed right now.

I don’t think there are too many people working or creating who would tell you there isn’t a lot of competition; nobody has any market cornered anymore.

However, if your goal is to be remarkable, unordinary, unexpected or delightful, or surprising, and you choose to cater to people who care about what you are doing and appreciate what you put into it, then you will never have to worry about competition or finding an audience. You will never have to worry about standing out in a crowd because the crowd will come to you.

The hard part is figuring out what you care about and who else cares about it. Find them. Talk to them. Build it. Refine it. Love it. Take some risks. Get connected. They’ll come to you.

Don’t be damned by faint praise. Don’t be ok. Do be alright. Don’t meet expectations.

Let the people you serve see that you care. Don’t be afraid to make that emotional investment. It’s the one thing you have that nobody else has and the one thing you have that everyone is looking for.

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