Be a Goat

Don't be just a follower
Don’t be just a follower

There’s a crowd of followers out there. It’s not wrong. They’ve found someone who’s work they love. They like the way that someone has set up their website or built their platform[1]. But look at the image above. The goat is certainly following the cows ahead of it. The cows are providing some measure of guidance. But the goat is doing it’s own thing.

There’s a collection of websites out there that look identical. Sure, the pictures are different, the words are different, the products are different. But there’s a sameness to the design, to the layout, to the language.

In a sense, that’s how the web operates. When someone finds something that works, others will emulate. But that tires me after a while. I lose interest in the work these people are doing. I start wandering. I start searching for producers[2] with their own voice and sense of style. People who have their own way of saying something, not the sanitized, SEO conscious form of the followers.

This isn’t to say that I don’t fall prey to that form of imitation. It’s easyto do. When I find a producer’s work that I really love, it can be easy to let that consume my own work for a while. It’s natural to emulate others.

But what if we studied a great producers work rather than copy it? What if we took the time to understand what makes that work great? Why not take the theory behind the work and emulate that rather than copy the work itself?

This stuff is important. Don’t be like everyone else in the space. Consider using Squarespace, rather than WordPress;, not libsyn; Audio Technica AT2020s, not Heil PR40s.

While I’ve spent a lot of time over the past week writing about how to find the right tools, make sure you’re spending time creating. If you have tools that will get the job done, don’t wait. Start writing, drawing, podcasting.

Start producing. Be a goat.

Do you ever hold off on a project because you don’t have the “perfect” tool? What helps you keep focused on the content rather than the production tools?

  1. This is not necessarily a commentary on Michael Hyatt’s Platform specifically. There’s a whole lot more to this phenomemon.  ↩

  2. Producer is a term I’ve started using to describe musicians, writers, artists and other creators that do their work online. I’ll be publishing a book in the next couple of months with some more thoughts on the idea. Keep an eye out for that here and on my Twitter feed  ↩