To be successful in today’s world you need a super power; something that makes you stand out above everyone else.
The problem however is that the majority of us would concede that we don’t have that one specific skill or trait that would make us the best in the world in what we do, or at the very least, the best at what we do within the niche we inhabit.
And that is the myth that I want to squash today. My research shows that superpowers are not isolated traits. Rather they are an artistic blend of 3 domains.
When the right combinations of these domains are blended together, it is possible to create a super power so grand that you could conceivably become the best in the world at what you do.
Before we get to the case studies, lets breakdown….
The anatomy of a superpower…
There are 3 pillars.
A superpower is predicated on a particular talent that you have. It could be the gift of…
• Trend spotting
• Number crunching
• Organizing of information
• Helping others solve elusive problems
• Simplifying complexity
• Crafting dialogue
• Excellent people skills
• Writing code
• Playing a musical instrument
• Amazing interviewing skills
There are two things I want to point here.
The first is that your talent could be a blend of several talents. For instance, my podcasts are successful because I manage to blend my humor, enthusiasm and my unique insights with my ability to be transparent and be 100% myself. There is NO ONE who can copy of all those things even if they copy my material. That makes me unique to my market.
It is the sum of our combined talents that make us irreplaceable. No one can copy exactly who we are. That is and always will be our competitive edge.
The second great thing of note here is that you don’t have to be the best in the world at your talent because this alone does not define your superpower. It simply compliments it. In fact, with the right blend, it is possible to posses an “average” talent and still dominate your niche.
We have established that talent alone does not create a superpower. The second ingredient needed is insight. You need to find an innovative approach or idea that allows you to exploit your talent in a way that no one else has ever done.
For example, Linus Torvalds, is known around the world for the development of the Linux operating system, which is free to anyone who wants to download it. Tinvold is a programmer, but he is definitely not the best programmer in the world.
But he had a critical insight that allowed him to build his superpower. He opted to open-source the software development process so that any programmer in the world could contribute. No one in the world at that time had thought to combine those two ideas together (of course entire industries such as Wikipedia have been built off that model now).
That simple yet elegant insight changed his destiny as NO ONE in the world at that point at ever attempted to blend those two concepts together.
There is one final piece to the superpower puzzle. Talent and insight won’t put the SUPER in superpower. For that to happen a third piece must be added: innovation.
The ability to combine a talent with an insight and then link it to a technological innovation and use it in a way others never conceived is the final ingredient to the secret sauce that propels anyone to superhero status
The innovation tends to act as the platform that allows the idea to be spread. Innovation examples include…
While I would invite you to do this with any idea out that there that has captured your imagination, I am going to run through a few interesting case studies to illustrate how other, “regular” folks have created their superpower with some strategic “artist blending” and become superheroes in their own right.
Case Study #1-Ray William Johnson
Warning: Johnson’s humor is not for the faint of heart. If you are easily offended do not check out his work.
So how did Johnson create his superpower; by artistically blending the 3 pillars.
His talent: Johnson is a comedian.
His insight: People love viral videos on the Internet, so why not highlight 3 each episode and insert his brand of comedy into his commentary for each.
His innovation: Posting these videos on Youtube.
His superpower: His show, which is called, =3.
Superpower outcome: RWJ is the #1 most subscribed content producer on YouTube. He is an internet sensation who makes 6 figures a year by producing 5 to 6 minute videos that he uploads to Youtube every Tuesday and Friday.
He has even declined the lucrative offers of television executives who are looking to lure him away from his craft because he gets to do and say exactly what he wants; no compromise, no sensors.
Case Study #2-Brett Kelly
His talent: Evernote expert. He spent years studying and using the app and had become very knowledgeable in all the features it had to offer
His insight: Evernote did not have a guide that helped new users get the most of the app.
His innovation: Collate all the information together and self publish the product in the form of an eBook (PDF).
His superpower: His book, which is called, Evernote Essentials.
Superpower outcome: A few amazing things have happened for Brett. First the book has sold over 15,000 copies. The book sells for $29 each so you do the math (remember it is a PDF so his only real cost besides the time to write it was for the initial design of the book).
Second, Evernote (the company) loved his product so much they endorsed it to their vast userbase.
Third, he now works for Evernote.
Case Study #3-Justin Halpern
His talent: Writer with a bent on comedy
His insight: His dad would say the funniest most vulgar things. He would start recording these and sharing them figuring others would find them amusing.
His innovation: Posted them on twitter under the handle, “Sh*t my dad says.”
His superpower: A book by the same name, “Sh*t my dad says.”
Superpower outcome: Halpern’s twitter account exploded when he started posting the shit he dad said. This drew the attention of publishers who offered him a book deal. The book was a New York Times best seller and continues to sell very very well since it’s initial release back in ??.
A few spin off projects have resulted. First there was a TV show of the same name starring William Shatner. The show has since been cancelled (I think?).
He also just released his second book, “Why I suck at girls.”
Case Study #4-Victor Bastos
Note: Of all the case studies I have presented this is by the far the one I am most excited to present because I believe it represents the greatest opportunity for anyone with a talent for teaching to post their material with zero cost other than any materials you need to create your course.
His talent: An expert in Web Development
His insight: Teach what he knows online so people around the world could access the course.
His innovation: Used the platform Udemy
His superpower: A course called Become a Web Developer from Scratch (complete course)
Superpower outcome: I’m not sure how long Victor has been leveraging the power of the Udemy platform, but I listened to an interview with the one of the VPs of Udemy and Victor was their top earner last year raking in over $350,000 from his course.
Just a few words on how Udemy works for those who are super intrigued (I know I am). It costs you absolutely nothing to post your course on Udemy.
For every sale you make there are one of 2 outcomes.
1. If the referral comes from Udemy itself (meaning one of their 250,000 registered users found your course and bought it) then they take 30% and you get 70%.
2. If people find your course through your own referral link, then they take 15% and you get 85%.
I know what you are thinking: WOW! That’s a big cut on their part. It’s not and here is why.
First, they provide an amazing platform where you can upload videos and audio and they are displayed beautifully. There is no way you could do that yourself.
Second, I wrote a book. I get 10% on all sales of softcover books and 8% on digital downloads.
You do the math my friends.
And the thing I love about it is that someone could literally have a course up and running in a week or two if they were determined enough.
Honestly, I will be looking to use this platform as I look to diversify my passive income. I will keep you posted on that one.
Big idea: In that interview I listened to, one topic that is trending is Yoga! Perhaps that is a niche you might be able to wedge yourself into.
Our most engaging talent is a blend of several talents that makes us unique to the rest of the world. Our unique super power is a blend of that talent, along with a unique insight and the leveraging of innovation.
Start blending my friends. Your superpower(s) is waiting to be discovered.
A few times each week I sketch out the blank template below in my notebook and play around with ideas that have come to mind. It’s a great exercise in creativity and to be honest, YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN YOU MIGHT STRIKE GOLD on an idea that will take off.
To making shift happen,