Contrarian to Success

Throughout my life, I’ve always had small bouts of success followed by long stretches of unsuccess.

I’m sure there could be a list of 117 reasons why this happens and over the years I’ve read a million books trying to nail down that perfect formula for success for myself.

The problem is that it was never in any of the books.

I actually knew it, but I always ignored it.

That was until I watched this video by Mark Manson.

This video showed me that my gut was right with how I approached things.

To understand we need to go back in time a bit.

In the early 2000s I was learning how to design sites. I read a lot of design blogs.

With my ADHD when I dive into a topic I really dive into it. So much so that I begin to see patterns in how people talk about things.

And back then, a lot of the wisdom about web design was generally the same.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Let me make that clear.

But if I find that I don’t totally agree with something and I can see another path to success then I will run with it.

Again, with my ADHD brain, I like to keep myself interested in things. It’s the only way I can move forward.

So if everyone is talking about the same thing in the same way, I’ll get bored. So what does my mind do?

It actively looks for the contrarian point of view that can also find success.

And that’s what I did with web design. My blog was written in a different tone. I was me who just happened to be a LOT different from everyone else in the industry at the time.

People started to gravitate toward me because they respected what I was saying.

But this is part of the cycle where things fall apart.

They always fall apart here.

There are some people that leave comments or send emails countering your point of view. Nothing wrong with that.

But because I like to be accepted, I start to integrate these points of view into the things that I’m saying. Eventually, I become so diluted that I am no longer standing out.

More importantly, I am no longer entertained because I sound like everyone else.

And this is where I would hit the long periods of unsuccess. They weren’t failures because I was still learning and had a roof over my mind.

It’s like the punk rock band that does well as indies but once they try to go mainstream they lose their soul. The underground legion doesn’t want them and neither does the mainstream.

Of course, the opposite also happens. An underground musician makes it mainstream because they are a revelation. But usually, because they stay who they are.