“Innovation without imitation is a complete waste of time.” Mike Rowe – Dirty Jobs
In December 2008, Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs took the stage at TED to talk about his outlook on the state of work in the United States. He discussed his experiences working in over 200 jobs that most people find gross, despicable and downright inhumane. It’s an entertaining and enlightening lecture, but the point I want to focus on is where Mike states that “Innovation without imitation is a complete waste of time.”
Today’s post is a bit personal. If you’re only interested in reading my marketing content, feel free to skip this one. I want to try and answer a question I’m asked repeatedly: many people I talk with wonder how I am able to do so much. The answer is simple: I’ve learned to balance multiple interests. It’s not really that difficult and there is nothing stopping you from doing the same.
2009 was a big year for me personally and professionally. Just a few highlights include:
- Moving from South Florida to Minneapolis to work at TopRank Online Marketing.
- Speaking at PubCon 2009, liveblogging SES San Jose, liveblogging MIMA 2009, and participating in various other marketing industry events.
- Contributing content to A-list blogs such as Online Marketing Blog and LouisGray.com.
- Releasing a new album of original music as a free download (and being featured for it on the Creative Commons blog). Also releasing a social media mixtape.
- Lots of great conversations generated around the web.
- 2 awards won for previous campaigns.
The web makes it tempting to look back at the past. If you hope to be prolific as someone who spreads ideas, you must ignore this temptation. There’s so little to gain by doing this, and you do so at the ultimate opportunity cost: driving things forward and creating something new.
Malcolm Gladwell stated in a recent Q&A he hasn’t read any of his previous books since the time they were published. Instead he’s off writing new bestsellers, new articles and getting paid well into the 5 figures to be a speaker. He’s not looking back, instead he’s looking forward.