How You Can Be Original Without Reinventing The Wheel

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Do you remember the first time you watched a magician?

Maybe it was at a birthday party or a live show. Most likely, you left amazed and believing.

For a moment, you entertained the idea that magic actually existed. Even as an adult, sometimes we may watch a David Blaine or Chris Angel show and we at least wonder.

We are 99.9% sure that magic is not real, these are all tricks and illusions, but what if…

What about that time you had the opportunity to see your favorite musician live in concert?

You could feel the energy of the room completely change as the show started, and you are not able to describe how you felt at that moment. As the show ended and you were walking to your car, you probably had an immense sense of joy that made you feel as if you were floating.

Or maybe one of your best experiences is watching a special of one of your favorite comedians. You laughed so hard that your stomach hurt and maybe you even shed some tears of joy.

This is the power of originals. They can expand and alter our realities!

Even if it is just for a couple of seconds or a few hours. Yet, behind the scenes there is a lot going on we don’t see. The not-so-sexy stuff that allows these originals to become legendary.

Today, we will break down the elements that make an original. By doing so, you will craft a strategy to become one. You will understand what is it that you need to do to achieve mastery within your field or industry.

We’ll go over some interesting stories about how Matt pulled some Jedi Mind tricks on me and how I stole some of his magic to craft stock pitches and investment recommendations that generated impressive returns.

But don’t be fooled!

This is not a “be the best and achieve overnight success status” gimmicky article. There are no short cuts, but by learning from others you can definitely save some time and energy by being efficient and effective.

In most cases, there is no need to reinvent the wheel to become an original.

Learn From Originals

MATT:

Do you realize how special you are?

Seriously. Let’s do a mental exercise. Imagine the eons which have passed since the beginning of space and time. Now think of the incredibly long and complex history of humans. Your specific genetic code has gone through thousands upon thousands of years of transformation. Your ancestors survived war, famine, disease, and natural disasters.

Yet, you are here! You are alive.

The odds of you even existing are ridiculously low, yet you do exist.

You are original, but you probably don’t act like one. What do I mean? Originals are just that, they are original. There is no better definition of originals than the description from the Think Different campaign. Do yourself a favor and click play on the video.

As much as I love the Think Different campaign, there is something missing. Many originals are not famous.

  • The single mother working a full-time job, going back to school, and caring for her children is an original
  • The minority who stands up against racism through non-violence is an original
  • The individual who gives up a six-figure salary to grind out a living as an entrepreneur is an original
  • The student who is the first to graduate college in their family is an original

Anyone can be an original. However, most people won’t be because they will try to live a life they are expected to live instead of the life they should have lived. Being an original means following your instincts, doing things others don’t want to do, and simply living at peace with your decisions.

Originals truly change the world as they live differently than everyone else. The problem is most people are fearful of living a unique life.

Next week we will explore how to be an original and live the life you should instead of the life others want you to live.

ALEJANDRO:

Being an original is simpler than what we think, but it is not easy.

This is the story of how I simply stole an idea led me to understand what original is:

I still remember the first time I saw Matt’s work. We were working together on an independent research study called “Giving Power Back to Bauer”. The first meeting was pure brainstorming and we ended by asking everyone to do some research on the top 4 ideas that we were going to explore to then narrow it down to 1 or 2.

Given my OCD tendencies, I am very passionate about research and organization. So I came up with a word document, with all the sources I researched, an executive summary as the opening, key information separated by bullet points, and then a summary. I had my pitch ready to make sure we picked this idea.

I thought that for sure my document, because of its organization and thoroughness, was going to impress others. Then the magic happened.

Matt had a pitch deck, with graphs and a very well designed PDF document, that looked like a final product. This was just the second brainstorming meeting! At the end, I told Matt, “That presentation was so good that even if I didn’t agree with the information I would’ve voted for your idea anyway.” That is the power of an original!

Of course, I didn’t let my ego get in the way and I asked him how he did it because I wanted to learn how to do so. He told me that he uses software called InDesign, but that you could do something similar using PowerPoint. Also, that he gets inspiration by searching for “PowerPoint presentations” on Pinterest.

Not long after stealing this piece of insight from Matt, we had our first round of stock pitches at the Cougar Investment Fund. Our Senior Portfolio Managers provided great advice and even gave us a PowerPoint template for the pitch. They said that we could create our own but most people stick with the template.

Originals Take Risks

I took a risk by deciding to do something completely different and use Matt’s methodology. I know this was going to be completely unique from what everyone else was doing.

Enter pitch day: We were doing about 18 pitches and by the time my presentation came the judges had already seen 10+ pitches using the same methodology. Same structure, almost same colors, graphs, etc.

I was able to see a spark of light in the eye of the judges, and the audience in general when I opened my PowerPoint presentation. They were clearly intrigued and interested because this was something different.

Thanks to being able to follow a methodology that I stole from Matt, I was able to stand out and set a trend.

Of our first round of stock pitches, only 1/18 of the presentations were different than the template. The second round at least half were different templates. In fact, the second round we even had one pitch that took it up a notch and was more than just using a different template.

Being an original can be as simple as being different.

Finance is a world of mostly left brained people. We like numbers, organization, and no surprises. Design is more of a right brained area. It requires openness to new ideas, to uncertainty, and creativity. Insert a dash of right brain thinking, into an extreme left brain area like Finance, and you have the perfect recipe for creating and original.

There are 3 key things we can learn from this to understand what being an original means:

●      Don’t let your Ego get in the way

When you see someone doing something better than you go ask them about it. Say that you want to learn from them and most likely they will teach you. Learn especially from people that work in different knowledge fields.

●      Don’t be afraid to take Risks

Being an original means doing things that most people won’t do. In most cases, it is fear of failure or ridicule that it’s stopping them. You have to go past that fear. Here you need to pull energy from your ego, and self-confidence, to take a different route.

●      Don’t stop learning and appreciating

Give credit where credit is due and share what you have learned with others. Yes, I received a lot of great feedback from my stock pitch and right after that, I shared my methodology and resources with everyone.

I was able to look like an original because I did a lot of behind-the-scenes work. I practiced a couple of times in front of my peers who were also pitching their stock and was able to do some last minute changes that they suggested. I also got great advice from our Cougar Fund Investment Advisors before the presentation, which made me change the structure of my presentation. You cannot be an original by yourself, you need help.

Never fall into the trap that originals are pure talent. There is a lot of discipline, commitment, and pure repetition, behind what seems to be magic.

Good artists copy; great artists steal.
— Pablo Picaso

Being an Original is a Choice

As you read, originals are those who are simply different. They might be born with a little more creativity, but in reality, they are risk-takers.

  • They go left while others go right
  • They run while others walk
  • They say why not while others say no

You can be an original. First, you must recognize and understand what it means to be an original as we discussed above. In the following weeks we will explore more on actibavle stpes to be an original and then how to attract originals to you. 

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