At every stage of your life you’ll have a hero.
I’ve flitted from Hartley Hare (Pipkins) to the Banana Splits, to Duran Duran and all manner of movie stars I shan’t bore you with.
You want to be like them…no scrap that…you want to be them. You want their lives, their personalities; you want to look like them.
Why do you get so infatuated?
Perhaps because you think their lives, in some way, are better than yours? Perhaps on the surface they are. Their bank balance is undoubtedly bigger, they probably go to better parties, but would you really want to live in a goldfish bowl like they do?
It’s human nature to think the grass is always greener elsewhere, but if you stop and look hard enough, you might just realise that it’s not so bad where you are after all.
Take a look in the mirror
I think, regardless of your profession, you always think others are better than you.
Granted, there are many people out there who have boundless confidence and believe they are the best of the best, but deep down we all suffer from hero envy now and then.
I find that a lot in the world of writing.
My dream as a kid was to be an author, sadly that never quite happened (other than self publishing), but in a weird and convoluted career path I ended up as a copywriter running my own business.
To be honest I never would have believed that’s how my life would have turned out, but it did and I’m pretty pleased.
But writing for other people is an odd thing to make your living at. Creating copy for others can be tough – no, it is really tough.
Every day I have to put my own personality aside and write as someone else. I can deal with that and love the challenge, but every word I write is like a child and when it comes time to present my work to my clients my finger always tremors as I prepare to press send.
Not because I don’t believe in my work, far from it, but because it’s like letting your child out on their own for the first time; you’re very protective over it, but you also know its time for it to spread its wings and evolve (the writing, not the child).
You’re better, no you’re better
I don’t know whether it’s true for all writers, but I’m always blown away by the stuff that some of my fellow copywriters come out with.
Reading blogs is a big part of my job. It keeps me up to date with what’s going on in the industry as well as on the SEO front. But it can also be painful.
Just like when I was a child I have found myself idolising other writers. Voraciously, I devour their words of wisdom, kicking myself for not having the idea before they did. And then it starts – their writing looks so effortless, that must mean they are incredibly talented, oh no, they’re better than me, they’re more successful than me…help!
Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to meet many of the writers I admire. To my surprise, when talking about this, I discovered many of them experienced this phenomenon too.
It would appear that writers are an insecure bunch (well, some of us).
Making the best of it
Regardless of what you do, in work or in your leisure time, there is always going to be someone ‘better’ than you.
Striving to out do everyone is a recipe for disaster.
Although I have my heroes, I’ve learnt that I can’t emulate them.
I am unique, my life is unique and so are my values. Taking my heroes as my inspiration, I have developed my own style, approach and business. What’s the point in tying yourself in knots trying to be like someone else?
Is there a place for hero worship in business?
Yes, provided it’s kept in check.
I admire the likes of Karen Brady, Sir Richard Branson et al., for all that they have achieved in their lives. But I have different priorities and I have built my business to account for those.
As far as I’m concerned the real meaning of success is to be true to you.