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How To Be An Original

Melvyn Tan
Melvyn Tan
2 min read

It’s been two weeks since I started vlogging daily.

And during this time, one key lesson I’ve learned is how to be an original.

Learn by watching

I learned how to vlog by watching other vloggers such as Casey Neistat, Chris Brogan, and John Saddington.

And I learned a great deal from these fine folks. For instance, watching Casey Neistat taught me how to tell a better story. Chris Brogan’s videos guided me on how to weave business into my vlogs. John Saddington’s vlogs showed me how to be personalized and authentic.

While it is good to watch other vloggers and cherry pick the best of what they do, the format of their videos, and the way they present their stories, it is critically important to not become a copy of them.

What happens when you copy someone else

When you copy someone else’s style, format, or even content, at best you become a copy of someone else. And even if you do become better than them, you’re still at best a copy.

Todd Henry puts it this way:

Cover bands don’t change the world. We remember the music makers, not the imitators.

Instead of becoming better compared to another person, what you want is to strive to be an original. But what does being an original means?

Let’s break it down.

Two key elements of being an original

There are two key elements of being an original – one part talent and one part POV.
Let’s take a closer look at each element.

What’s your talent

I’ve said that the starting point of any endeavor is to find out what is your talent.

Don’t be fooled by starting with what you are passionate about because passion without proficiency is just a hobby. Are you able to build up your skills over time? For sure! However, no one will hire you unless you are good at what you do.

Do you have to be the absolute best? No, but at least you have to be good. To become an absolute best, you need practice. So, start with knowing what you are good at.

When talent isn’t enough

Being good at what you do is just a starting point. To think that talent alone is enough to make you an original is foolish.

If in doubt, simply go to a genre like personal development on Amazon and you will quickly find that there are many others who are equally talented if not more so than you are.

So while knowing what you are good at is a start, your POV is what makes you an original. Because your worldview, perspectives, or point-of-view (POV) is what sets you apart from the others.

Your POV is formed by a combination of your life’s experiences, your education, as well as your environment. These three factors combined to form a unique worldview that only you will have and that’s what sets you apart from the rest.

So even when you have two people with the exact same talent targeting at the same audience, because of the differences in their POV, each will have a distinct and unique approach to the same topic.

Unless of course one decides to ape the other.

Showcase you to the world

If you are just getting started on vlogging, then take this advice and start figuring out what makes you an original.

With that in mind, the next thing you need is this.

Melvyn Tan

Despite living the good life at midlife, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. My aim here is to reinvent midlife, learn new skills, and understand how the world works post-COVID.