Modeling behavior is a good way to learn positive habits and rid yourself of bad habits, but if you’re trying to start a business the mimicry can go too far. The market doesn’t need another Tim Ferriss or Gary Vaynerchuck. But maybe it needs you. Maybe it needs what you have to offer in your own way.
When you dream of creating the lifestyle of an Internet millionaire — be honest…that’s really what you want — it’s easy to find an icon (like the two I mentioned) and say, “I’ll do what they did.” And that’s what you’re going to have to do. You have to do what they did from the perspective of creating a very successful business. But you don’t do what they do in they way they do it, because you’re not them.
A few years ago, I joined the Internet Business Mastery Academy to learn about Internet marketing and the details of running a business online. Those guys were really successful and when they opened up their academy, it generated five figures a month for them (well, their claim…I think in a podcast episode).
At the time, I was eating up all their content. I listened to their podcasts, read their blog, and wanted to be them. In their training course, they had a worksheet to help you figure out what you’re passionate about so you can then create a business around it. That was the basic idea — monetize a passion of yours. When I filled out that worksheet, however, I was basically a complete idiot.
I was already thinking that it would be totally awesome to do what they did, so I answered all the questions from that perspective. WTF, Caleb…? So instead of thinking about me when I was filling out a form that was supposed to be about me, I was thinking of someone else and filling it out as them. I was being a copycat.
I wish I still had it to show you how dumb I was, but I printed it out and wrote on the paper with ink. Since it’s been years, the sheet of paper has been lost to the sands of time. That’s probably a good thing, actually.
I should have written things like: I like to lift, I’m good at solving problems, writing fiction, or I enjoy efficient processes. Instead, I talked about teaching other people about Internet marketing, which is what the course was supposed to teach me. Again…WTF, Caleb…?
Needless to say, it was a complete failure. I was a complete failure. I don’t know what I was smoking at that point in my life, but it wasn’t effective. I was trying to be them instead of focusing on creating a business I could do. So dumb.
It’s tempting to say that you’ll just do what Tim or Gary or whomever does. The problem with that is you can’t really do what they do. You’re not them.
Unfortunately, you’re you, and you have to come to terms with that.
When learning from and modeling our heroes and what makes them successful, remember that you can’t just become them. You have to take the lessons they teach and apply them to what you do or what you’re learning. And above all else, you will never reach their level of wealth without a really great business and a mountain range of hard work.
The world doesn’t need another copycat. Be you, in the way that you are, and work your ass off.