Changing The Status Quo

Typically, we would write our own content. But this post (in it’s entirety) by Seth Godin says it all, and requires almost nothing more.

Often, businesses hire freelancers (writers, photographers, process consultants, trainers) to solve a specific problem for the lowest possible cost. And a good freelancer at the right price is often the right approach.

Sometimes, though, you spend more and get something great. You seek out and find a linchpin who combines inspiration and professionalism and initiative and pushes back on your quest for average. When you interact with someone like that, you might pay more but you get far more than you paid.

I recently did a photo shoot with my friend Brian, and from the moment I walked into the studio, I discovered that he and his lighting guru were relentlessly pushing to change my perception of what was possible at the same time they were focused on overdelivering on the project. They had little interest in settling on merely doing a good job.

There’s a lot of pressure for freelancers to fit in, conform and comply. It seems easier to generate new business that way. That’s not really true. It’s easier to become an easily-described commodity that way, but the person who’s willing to push themselves out to an edge that matters is on the only path that actually leads to success.

And then it’s up to the client to care enough about the project and in making a difference to have the guts to hire you.

The “almost nothing more” part is this: This isn’t just about freelancers. It’s about you. All of you. Each of you. Be more than a commodity. “Awesome” does not equate to status quo. “Awesome” is way better than expected.  It takes a lot of effort to swim upstream and be better than expected.  It takes work, time, patience, persistence, knowledge, and uncompromising quality.  If you want to be recognized in this time and place where everything (I mean EVERYTHING) is accessible and at our fingertips, those virtues are your new mantra.

Lastly, clients, if you force your vendors and service providers to be the status quo, you also will be the status quo.  Unremarkable things don’t get talked about. They don’t gain market share. They are forgotten. Please let us make you memorable too.  You hire because someone thought the vendor was remarkable enough to mention. Trust that remarkability to work for your best interests too.

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