Thursday, May 9, 2013

Emulate, Not Replicate

one of the best pieces of advice i’ve ever received was given by a sales manager back in my book-selling days with southwestern advantage. i was at one of our sales conferences, and we’d been listening to session after session of all of the most successful salespeople, dishing their scoop on their techniques and strategies, and how they became so successful at it. i was feeling slightly overwhelmed by all of the advice and pulled my manager aside to ask for a bit of guidance on how to figure out exactly how i should best apply all of this new advice to follow. i wanted to improve my schedule, my presentations, my referrals, my this, my that. everything! i wanted to be just like these super-successful people!

and he said, “lexi, slow down. try to emulate, not replicate. start first by picking an attitude and an action you could best apply to your life and your situation today
trust that these people are indeed telling you the methods and the strategies that worked for them. but every one of these things are not necessarily going to be what works for you. listen, and write, and ask questions, and read, and watch, and learn. but at the end of the day, evaluate which of these things are in line with who you are, and what you are trying to accomplish here. is there a tool they used, a choice they made, an attitude they carried, a strategy they adopted that will best help you go from where you're at now to where you would like to be? it's more effective and realistic to emulate a specific idea or action in your own life than it is to replicate everything about someone else."
ding! it finally made sense to me. this was why i had gotten so frustrated so many times before.
so, that being said, how often do we overwhelm ourselves by trying to do everything that everyone else is doing because it works for them. how much more effective would we be if we instead picked an attitude and a single action to emulate that would improve our situation? this goes for anything we are striving to improve at. there are - literally - hundreds of thousands of seminars and books and ‘experts’ and webinars and blogs and articles… that tell us how to [be successful]. and nearly all of those are trustworthy and worth reading.
however, the critical element then, is that we look to ourselves to figure out what it is that we can emulate specifically for our individual situations. besides, it's our uniqueness, not replication, that makes our skills and personalities distinguishable, authentic, and valuable after all.
so whether you’re learning to sell, or to consult, or to teach, or write, or run a business, or lead, or speak, or parent, or cook, or build proposals, or decorate, or negotiate, or camp... try to emulate, not replicate.

Lexi from

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