Give Yourself A Little Edge

Ever been to a party and tentatively mentioned something new/cool you did–even something simple–and the next thing you know, a whole buzz of conversation got going about it?

Ever think about what’s different between ordinary folk and some of the top earners in a field?

It often comes down to the littlest choices, the slimmest edge of advantage.

Yeah, I know some folks got a huge lift from parents, connections, money, etc.  But a whole lot of folks with that stuff never did much either.  And besides, who cares?  If you don’t have that stuff, what DO you have that you can use to give yourself an advantage?

Well, here’s a tip. It’s so easy, it’s ridiculous.

1.  Try doing new stuff.
2.  Then talk to people about it.

I don’t care if you figured out that making hot pepper jelly is ridiculously easy (you basically boil some hot peppers along with cider vinegar, sugar and pectin, and dump it into a jar) or if you tried a canoe trip with the local park or you figured out how to fix the leak in your bathroom sink.  Go to Home Depot and take a class in laying tile.  Google something.  (No, not something illegal or dangerous!)  Google “Japanese artists”  or “medieval foods” or “midsummer night dances”, or whatever you think you might like to read.

Be new, in some way.  People need new.  They crave new!  That’s why fashions change, magazines come out monthly, and why the word NEW! is often prominently displayed on labels of products, even if the ‘new’ means just a new label.

So people love to hear other people talk about something new they did.  It’s fascinating.  Just make sure the conversation isn’t all about how great you are for trying something new, but encouraging them about how much fun they may have if they try something new, too.

If you do that, and like it, do it again.

You may not be taking over Apple anytime soon–but you’ll feel different inside.  You’ll feel a little stronger, a little more capable.  Talk to people about whatever new thing you did, listen to them talk about their new stuff, and great conversations happen…and people find you more interesting.  They’ll seek you out.  To help on this commitee, to advise on that job.  You’ve engaged in the very simplest of social networking–talking–and it raises your visibility.

Do that for years, and you’ll be whoever you want to be.

Google something, and try it.  Something you’ve been intending to do for ever:  take a winery tour, how to make cottage cheese, how to say “I love life” in French.

Go for it.