13 Mar Neil deGrasse Tyson & How You Define Your Business
Have you ever heard of Neil deGrasse Tyson? I’m sure you have. He’s an astrophysicist (that played a small role in the killing of Pluto), is host of Fox’s reboot of Cosmos, and is one of the few people who can make science both funny and interesting. I’m a fan.
I came across this quote of his the other day, and it really struck a chord:
“One should not be too distracted by definitions. Ideas transcend definitions.”
Of course, he’s talking about science at an American Museum of Natural History event, but it can be applied to anything – especially your business.
Think about what a lawyer means to you. You expect photos of legal documents, gavels, and court rooms. Teachers bring on thoughts of chalkboards, text books, and smiling children. Librarians make you think about books, due date stamps, and nasty old women telling you to shush.
These are examples of definitions – stereotypes – of a profession. Even if you’ve never experienced one of these careers, you have a preconceived notion of what it entails and represents. You anticipate these images when you see ads, commercials, or anything pertaining to these fields.
Stop buying into these definitions.
We know that most lawyers never see a court room. Children are not always smiling when they’re in a classroom. A lot of librarians deal with computer research and databases than books these days (although, they will tell you to hush if you’re being too loud).
In order to stand out, we need to see different. Stop trying to be pigeonholed into a specific mold.
Show me a smooth lawyer posing next to an old jail cell looking like James Bond.
Let’s see bankers out of their office and on location with their clients – especially if their clients do something cool like make beer.
If the occasion calls for it, do something fun with your portraiture. (I repeat – only if the occasion calls for it.)
You can make up your own reality. Think about what makes you different in your field and run with it. Your business and career go beyond what has been previously defined for you.
Ideas transcend definitions.