Chameleons are cute, aren’t they?
We’re fascinated by these cool creatures because of their unique ability to blend in with their surroundings. We admire their clever disguises because we know that chameleons thrive by changing their skin. This adaptation allows the chameleon to hide from predators and more easily sneak up and snag a tasty dinner. The best chameleons will live long enough to have their own chameleon families, who will grow up to be master spies just like their parents.
It’s survival of the fittest – and we, as humans, admire those traits and abilities.
The Human Chameleon
When we’re growing up, we learn similar tricks so we can better acclimate to our social environment. In grade school and high school, kids strive to be just like their peers. Kids want to have the same clothes; they want to follow the same trends. Keeping your head down, not making any waves, and definitely not standing out from the crowd—that’s the way many of us learn is the best way to be successful.
Like the chameleon, we blend in because we don’t want to go hungry, we want to find a mate, and many of us want to have a family of successful chameleons. With its white picket fences, The American Dream is as much about homogeny as it is about success and freedom.
Hey, I tried to be a chameleon too. As a child, especially while in school, I always wanted to follow the crowd. Being a wallflower was the best way to fly under the radar and avoid any potential embarrassment. But the more I tried, the more I stood out! As a teenager, I could never understand why I couldn’t just be NORMAL like everyone else. Everything about me was too unique—from the way my clothes hung on my body, to my strawberry-blonde naturally curly hair, to my goofy smile. Oh, and not to mention my loud, awkward, contagious laugh— which I still have, even now.
Breaking the Habit
As we grow up, we eventually realize that our unique qualities and talents are exactly what make each of us interesting and memorable. Still, after all those years of conditioning, it’s no wonder so many business owners have a hard time quitting their chameleon habits. We are conditioned to be uniform and average, just like everybody else.
It’s time to stop being comfortable with invisibility.
Each one of us is unique. Each one of us needs to find our voice, our image, and our uniqueness—and we need to express it!
Today, as an adult woman and a business owner, I help fellow business owners stand out by identifying exactly what makes their personality and their business unique. This serves as the foundation for a unique, memorable brand. I’m still surprised by how many of my clients are somewhat uncomfortable standing out amongst their peers, competitors, and from other businesses.
Here’s the thing…buyers expect more from companies these days. Consumers expect real people and real personalities. They want to see a great brand that demonstrates genuine personality, and they want to interact with it. If your personality, your business, and your brand are just like everyone else’s—why would any potential client even notice you, let alone want to further their relationship with your business? It’s simple: they won’t.
So take an inventory of your personality, and the personality exuded by your business and your brand. Are you doing everything you can to stand out from your competition and to interact with your target market? It’s your time to stand out and SHINE with a great brand that showcases your unique personality—and let those chameleon businesses and brands out there fade into the background, just like real chameleons do.