How to Overcome the “Everything’s Been Said” Factor

How to Overcome the Everythings Been Said FactorIf you’re anything like …anybody… who has ever started a blog, written an article, or sent out a smoke signal to an audience of any kind, you’ve probably caught yourself thinking:

“It’s already been said. (ALL OF IT.) Why would they want to hear it from me?”

It’s so normal. In fact, just before starting my business, that “everything’s been said” factor was one of my biggest hang-ups. It almost convinced me to stop writing before I started. Almost.

My message for you today isn’t unique, but that’s kinda the point: Even if your message isn’t irresistibly unique, YOU ARE.  In this post, I’ll tell you how to overcome the “everything’s been said” factor by capitalizing on the three things that make YOU irresistibly unique.

That Thing That Makes You (Seem) Cool

Have you ever seen Father of the Bride? (It’s one of my all-time favorites.)

At one point, “the bride” Annie and her fiancé are about to head out on a date. Her dad (played by Steve Martin) suggests she take a coat. It’s a bit chilly outside.

“I’m fine,” she says*, totally dismissing him. (*I’m paraphrasing.)

Then, once her fiancé suggests that it is pretty cold out and she really should take a coat, she listens with new ears. “You think so? Okay!” She grabs one without questioning and heads out the door.

Same exact message, totally different response.

Why? Street cred. Annie was used to hearing the same ol’ same ol’ from her dad, but coming from her handsome new fiancé, the advice carried more weight.

Your readers may have heard this content – recipe – advice – even joke! – before, but it went in one ear and out the other. But because they value YOUR input more than the others, it’ll be different this time.

When YOU say it the way that only YOU can say it, the lightbulb will go off. And, friend: The world needs that lightbulb.

Get Busy: Write three legit reasons your readers should see you as a uniquely qualified, street creddy expert in your field. Then believe them.

Your Way With Words

We all have a preferred translation.

Before starting my business, I served as a park ranger at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center for three years. Loved it. When you stand at that front desk, the world comes to you. It’s fabulous. And to accommodate the over 1.8 million visitors who come through each year, brochures are available in over 30 languages. The world-class audio tour is available in seven.

When a visitor walked up and I could tell she wasn’t totally comfortable with English, I’d subtly ask, “So where are you visiting from today?”

If she answered some place like California, I’d leave it at that. But if she answered some place like the Czech Republic, for example, I’d say “Ahoj!,” hand her a brochure in Czech, and watch her face light up. I was speaking her language. Literally.

It’s a relief when people speak our language. When we don’t have to TRY to understand what they’re saying. We appreciate examples we can relate to, words we actually use, and clear organization that’s easy to follow.

When we understand, we tune in. And that’s when meaningful connections are made.

What you want to say may have been said before, but never in the way that YOU can say it.  (Tweet that!)

Somebody out there needs your translation.

Get Busy: Flex your translation muscles. Use the entire range of your lingo to write five different ways to say a common (useful) phrase like “You can do this.” Ex. 1. You’ve got this. 2. Piece of cake…

Your Secret Window

Whether you realize it or not, you’ve got a unique frame of reference – the window through which you see the world. Like a fingerprint, it’s one-of-a-kind. Nobody on the planet shares the exact same one, and every. single. moment. of your life to-date has influenced it – the movies you’ve watched, the jobs you’ve had, the places you’ve lived, and the friends you’ve made.

This unique constellation of stories, lessons, and experiences makes you incredibly unique. And it makes YOUR perspective incredibly interesting to the right people.

Even in this blog post, I’ve strategically used examples and stories from my own frame of reference: my personal experience with the “Everything’s been said factor,” the Father of the Bride illustration, and observations from my park ranger gig. My hope is that each of these illustrations will help you understand the point in a more meaningful, memorable way.

You can (and should) do the same with YOUR audience!

Sharing your stories doesn’t just help them understand important concepts; it helps them get to know you better. When you do this with intent to help, you’ll strengthen your know-like-trust factor, and that’s what builds up your street cred.

It’s a beautiful cycle.

Get busy: Think of one key concept your audience MUST understand to be successful. List three different stories or examples you can use to help make that concept more relatable.

Don’t Get Caught in the Trap

It’s really easy to sit back and say, “It’s all been said before.” But you know what? That’s a lame excuse, and you’re too cool for excuses. Even good ones. (Tweet that!)

When it comes to sharing your brilliance with the world, I’ve given you an arsenal of excuse-busters, confidence-builders, and even some how-tos to get you started. (I also happen to have a few openings left for my fall dream client roster if you’d feel better with some one-on-one guidance!)

Either way, next time you find yourself wondering if the world really needs to hear your spin on a topic, come back and read this post. I’ve got the answer for you: WE DO.

What’d you think?

If you liked this post, please share it via Facebook, Twitter, and your social media channels of choice. The more readers, the merrier!

Also, in the comments, I’d love to know:

  • Why is overcoming the “Everything’s Been Said” Factor a struggle for YOU? 
  • What’s your favorite example of one message with two totally different takes?

P.S. Interested in joining “The Inner Circle” to stay in the loop on my next big project? Click here to sign up!

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LET’S TALK ABOUT IT.

  1. Teri

    Hey Nikki, you’re totally right. That week that I was working on a blog post about resistance and then found that you had just published yours about the same thing, I totally didn’t know what to do and almost scrapped it! I thought people would think that I was being a copy cat so I waited a few weeks and then published it, but after all found that our messages were ao totally different! It’s very ok and since then have seen lots of “the same” subjects published even in the same week from others but the message is totally different. I have to admit too, that seeing a different perspective from different people on the same subjects really creates a deeper thinking about it too! It’s not such a bad thing after all :)

  2. Nikki Elledge Brown

    Exactly, Teri!

    I think inside we have an internal thermometer to know if we’re actually “copying” someone or if we just have a need to share our *unique* take on something. Unless we’re releasing plans for the next iPhone, pretty much everything has been discussed before.

    Glad you went for it!!

  3. Janelle Page

    Thanks Nikki for another great post! I love reading everything you write!

    You are spot on! Everyone does have a unique voice and perspective to contribute.

    I specifically think of sitting in church. The gospel is simple and unchanging and yet, despite my many years of worship, I’m amazed at how much I learn each and every week as others willingly share their life experiences and perspective.

    Twould be truly tragic if my fellow saints figured everything had already been said and instead sat idly by.

    We totally need to hear the spin of others! So keep on encouraging people to speak and keep on helping them find their very own, unique voice!

    Janelle Page
    The Self-Improvement Trainer
    Visit http://www.PagePositive.com for your free copy of “The Morning Self-Improvement Secret”

  4. joy

    always great to get this reminder, plus I love this post’s “homework!” thanks and love

  5. Tove

    Really helpful & inspiring, Nikki! I love the way you are cheering us on!
    Great Get busy’ers as well, definately helps me forward. Starting to believe in my capacity to write in my second language. I even start thinking that a bit of faulty language can become (more) authentic & fun for readers. My dream clients have humor..

  6. Kendra

    Wow…just exactly what I needed right this minute. So many posts are started but not finished because, well because it’s all been said before. I do have a voice – it is mine and mine alone and while I definitely research things I try very hard to never copy. If I copied things I know my audience would know that and would most likely just move on. So again…thank you!

  7. Linda

    Thanks, it totally makes sense. I think the struggle is also about self confidence. If you are confident about your message, it will be evident from your writing, like yours. It almost wants to jump of the screen.
    I enjoy reading these posts. You have a great energy.

  8. Nikki Elledge Brown

    Absolutely, Janelle. Great example. Thanks for the note!

  9. Nikki Elledge Brown

    Totally, Tove!

    Being able to write in two languages (errors and all) makes you a smarty pants, missy.

    And amen to a sense of humor. My dream clients have that too :)

  10. Nikki Elledge Brown

    Great point, Kendra! Nobody likes a copycat, and you’re right – most of us can spot ’em a mile away!

    So glad you needed this post. I needed to read THAT today :)

  11. Nikki Elledge Brown

    Thanks so much, Linda!

    Whether you’re writing or speaking, smart, authentic communication really is all about confidence – in who you are, what you’ve got to say, and why you’re saying it.

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