Don’t Compete on Coolness – Make “Boring” Things Seem Cool

Les Claypool

“Because nobody wanted to play bass, I was instantly in a band.” – Les Claypool, Born Sep. 29, 1963.

There is a lot of opportunity in doing the things no one else wants to do because they don't think it's cool… Then you MAKE it cool by the way you do it.

Let me back up. Split that in two. So first, be willing to do the stuff other people aren't doing. Especially if it's easy, and they just don't want to do it because they are lazy or scared or tired or whatever.

That's how I got started in copy. I volunteered when the staff writer at my job was overworked. Back when I was still capable of an office job, I always did that. If it needed doing, I just did it. Often without asking or being told.

That's why I think every place I've ever quit or been fired from has collapsed. I leave a lot of gaps when I go that no one even knows I've been covering.

I digress.

By doing stuff that wasn't getting done, and other people didn't want to do, I created an opportunity.

And when I went freelance, I looked for big, all encompassing launch packages. Most writers I was competing with did sales letters, OR video scripts, OR emails. Not really all together as a single comprehensive package. Offering that helped me stand out and snag big projects.

And then later, when I was looking for smart, irreverent places to have copy discussions with snarky mutants like myself, there wasn't such a place.

So I made the Cult of Copy.

And here we are.

Now back to the second point I made earlier on – take that thing you do that others normally consider boring, or annoying – and make it fun and cool and interesting.

I like to think I manage to do that with the topic of influence and persuasion and writing and marketing.

I try to wrap it up and integrate it with stuff I actually find fun and interesting and cool. I try to live it and embody it. So that the stuff I teach and share aren't just loose ideas floating around the industry.

I make them mine, and you can watch me do the stuff I tell other people they should do.

And often, people who I've worked with or taught will come back through and tell everyone here how great it has worked.

And people will ask how I do that. How did I build this group? How did I succeed as a freelancer? How did I get well known? How did I get started as a writer in the first place?

Easy. Figure out what NEEDS doing, that no one else around seems to want to do, and then do it. Do it well. Do it with flair. Watch people turn and look.

What opportunities are in front of you now? How are you making whatever it is you do into something cool and interesting for the people who follow you?

Tell me.

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