Do you want to know what scares me? It’s leaving this life and never achieving my fullest potential. Everyday we wake up and go to work and we have a choice. We have a choice to either be average or take a deep breath and choose to be exceptional. What will you to choose to be?
Marketing guru Seth Godin defines a ‘Purple Cow’ as something or someone who stands out and is so unique that people can’t avoid paying attention to it or them. I love people who are ‘Purple Cows’. You know, the people who refuse to be average and just do what is expected of them. These people go above-and-beyond, take chances, seize opportunities, work hard and put their creative flare on everything they do to be different.
Now, just because you are a Purple Cow, it does not mean that you will always get what you want but it certainly increases your odds.
When new grads ask me, “How do I get my first job?” I tell them, be a Purple Cow. When colleagues ask me, “How do I get that promotion?” I ask them, have you been a Purple Cow? When someone tells me, “I hate my life” I tell them, have you tried being a Purple Cow.
How do you be a Purple Cow? Here’s a few ideas:
- Find a need and go build the solution.
- Always be proactive with stakeholders on projects and never make them feel like they need to chase you.
- Don’t wait for your Boss to ask you for updates on your projects, learn how to manage up.
- Volunteer for extra-curricular activities at work.
- Fulfill a need that your organization or team needs – if colleagues need training, ask how you can help start an internal training program with HR.
- If your team needs to learn more about digital marketing, produce a monthly email for them where you share great digital campaigns, or better yet, get your team all in a room once a month no matter how small or large and teach them about digital marketing.
- Create a blog where you share your thoughts and knowledge to show a future employer that you are analytical and keep in the-know of new trends and innovations within your industry.
- Be a mentor.
- Be brave enough to lead something when you think you can’t.
- Push the status quo.
- Don’t live a life, build one.
I recently came across two young Purple Cows that really inspired me. One of the hardest things you can do when you graduate is land that first job or internship. The competition is fierce and drastic times call for drastic measures.
Meet Alf Zapata, a young student who did something very unique to land an internship at Draftfcb, Kmart’s ad agency of record. But before you read his story here, watch this ad:
I’d also like you to meet Jenny Tang, a recent grad who loves Joe Fresh and wants to work for them. She could have gone down the average route of applying online and waiting for their call, but she decided to be a Purple Cow and this is what she did: Joe Meet Jenny
So today, don’t settle for being average and doing average things. Be unique, exceptional and live up to your greatest potential. Trust me, you will not regret it. So here’s to the Purple Cows or as Steve Jobs labeled them, ‘The Crazy Ones’:
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.