Yesterday I began reading the book, Purple Cow by Seth Godin. If you haven’t read it yet, you should definitely pick it up. It’s fantastic. While you’re at it, read all his books! He is changing his world and you would be a better entrepreneur having gone along for the ride.
The Purple Cow is about you (whether you are a brand, business, blog, whatever), standing out from the crowd of other “cows”. It is about what it’s going to take for you to step out and fill a role that few others can or are willing to do.
He associated the purple cow with being remarkable. I touched up a bit on a similar subject not too long ago in my post Is Good Good Enough In Business?
The purple cow symbolizes innovation, originality, courage and stepping outside of the box of your comfort zone and societies’ norms. It is about breaking free of your assumptions and old ways of thinking of how things “should be” and being willing to take risks and stand apart from the pack.
Let’s rewind a bit for a moment. A good friend of mine about a year ago, may even have been pre-NewBizBlogger, had emailed me a link to Seth Godin’s article to read.
I recalled clicking on this link and reading his article. It was typical Seth Godin style – about a paragraph long. And you know what? Quite honestly I didn’t get him! I didn’t understand the big fuss. I didn’t get the one paragraph posts. I just couldn’t see what others saw.
In hindsight, I realized I wasn’t looking. I wasn’t ready…
Fast forward, January 2011. I clicked on yet another link shared by a friend of one of his videos. Something in my gut told me to watch it. You know that feeling; when the irrational seems rational.
If I were to say there was a defining moment when I finally “got” him, this was it. I remembered thinking, so this is what all the fuss was all about? Wow!
Anyway … getting back on topic.
As I was reading his book, he asked one question that really struck a chord with me. This doesn’t happen all too often so I was compelled to explore it a bit more.
He wrote, “why is it so hard to be purple?”
That is why will most of us never stand out amongst the meadow of cows? Why will most of us never be the purple cow?
We’ve been drilled all our lives to fit in, be good, be respectful, don’t talk to loud, don’t be confrontational, don’t be too emotional… all in all, to keep the status quo. Fall in line and be like everyone else.
Yes, we have moments in life where we have shined and excelled; but those moments have been far and few. We have been “herded” all our lives to go down the “right” path and stay on course.
No wonder there are so little purple cows…
So how do we change? How do we now, after a lifetime of being black and white, release your fears, assumptions, and doubts and blossom into this beautiful purple cow?
How do we become the Purple Cow?
Well that’s the $64,000 dollar question isn’t it? And I haven’t read the whole book yet; maybe I should of before writing this. Maybe that will be for a later post; just thought of something fun to do! However, I do have my own idea to the answer to that question.
You see that is all you have control of in life really… your choices. You can choose to step into the role of the purple cow or you can choose not too. That simple.
The problem is that we’ve been black and white for so long, we don’t know how to change colors; we fear what can happen if we do. We fear what others may think (or not think). We fear we will disappoint. We fear others wont’ get us.
Yes, that might happen. Going back to the my story about my first impression of Seth Godin. He’s definitely purple, yet I didn’t get him… and in all honestly didn’t really think much of him at all at the time. But then one day I looked out and there he was, standing there…purple… and I saw him.
So my advice is this (to you all and to myself), let go of your fear of what others might think. Strive to be purple every day. With everything you do and say, ask yourself, are you being the purple cow?
Look for ways to bring your products, services and messages to a whole new level so that when others look out admist the meadow, they will see you…purple.
Now say out loud: I AM A PURPLE COW, I AM A PURPLE COW, I AM A PURPLE COW!
This is dedicated to Seth Godin. Thanks for being my inspiration.
If you’ve enjoyed this article, please share it and help others become the purple cow!
P.S. If you were wondering which video I watched, here it is. Enjoy!