I was shocked by a quote I read today. It was given as advice to business people, and it went like this; “emulate, do not innovate, be unique, but not original.”

Now as soon as I read it, the hair stood up on the back of my neck and I started to shake with frustration. I got control of myself and commented to the person; “that’s good advice — if you want to be a follower!” (And I don’t mean a Twitter follower either. ;-) )

I mean, really! Do u think Apple, Virgin, Chris Angel, Martha Stewart, Oprah or any other standout company or personal brand adheres to advice like that?

No, of course not. The “nots” in that piece of advice will limit your success by making you a follower, not a leader.

Look… watch the 2:30 minute video and you’ll understand better the life-sapping trap of being trapped on the path. Then let’s chat.

It’s the worse thing that can happen to you…

You’re trudging along day after day, thinking you’re on the right path because someone else beat it down for you. Finally one day you get to the end, and you realize your destination is not what you were looking for. And you have to start all over again.

Not good. Not good at all. Modeling is great, but only when you innovate using your own strengths as the basis.

Being unique is terrific, sure. But my dogs leave unique piles of poo every day. If they were original and used the toilet – that would get my attention!

Beware of using cute little quotes as the basis for your business strategies. Dissect them and make sure they’ll work for your style.

Use common sense to map out each piece of advice to its’ conclusion. That way you’ll see if the end point aligns with your goals. If it doesn’t, either learn how to modify them to work with your unique strengths, communication and motivation style, and personal brand… or trash it.

What’s your story?

Have you ever gotten trapped following someone else’s trail? If so, how did you break free and cut your own path?

Are you already leading the pack? If so, how are you proving yourself and your products as innovative? What are you doing to create a personal brand that makes you stand out as both unique AND original?

John Paul Micek is a co-founder of the international business coaching company RPM Success Group ® Inc. He and his partner Deborah Micek are authors of the hit book Secrets Of Online Persuasion, and creators of the BLOG i360™ New Media Marketing Site Creater.

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