Full title: Unmistakable: Why Only Is Better Than Best
A call-to-action for artists and business people of all types to create the work that only they can create which makes them irreplaceable and also Unmistakable.
“When you’re the only person who could have created a work of art, the competition and standard metrics by which things are measured become irrelevant because nothing can replace you. The factors that distinguish you are so personal that nobody can replicate them.” pg 2. That makes sense to me. You’re essentially writing the book so no one can tell you how it’s supposed to go.
The theory of becoming Unmistakable is fairly simple but the journey to that place is not. There are no maps to this realm because it is different for everyone and the paths to that place vary as widely as the talents that people bring with them. As Srinivas reminds us: “Unmistakable work is a process of self-discovery. We start our ride not knowing what it is that makes us unmistakable, and a thread reveals itself through the creation of a body of work. Dots connect, patterns emerge, and our unmistakable gift is revealed. Time is the critical ingredient required for this to take place, hence the role of longevity and commitment in the quest to become unmistakable.” pgs 56-57 So, you can’t give up. Create and fail and try again. That is as hard and as easy as it is.
“…creating unmistakable work might be one of the hardest things to do: you have to look into the depths of who you are, explore what matters to you, and infuse that into every element of your work until it can’t possibly be mistaken for something anybody could have done but you.” pg 68. The messages contained within Unmistakable become repetitive after a few chapters, but Srinivas threads some of the stories and artists from his podcast to break up the material as well as his personal testimony.
Unmistakable encourages creation even in areas that you may have no prior experience: “Lack of formal instruction might keep us from attempting some sort of creative pursuit or starting anything in which we don’t have experience. … When we lack experience, we also have the advantage of lacking preconceived notions of what’s possible.” pg 113. And, you don’t know what you’re capable of until you get started. So, what are we waiting for! As Srinivas writes from an interview with Seth Godin: “The enemy of creativity is fear; that seems pretty clear. The enemy of fear is creativity; that doesn’t seem that obvious.” The antidote to our fear is to put our heads down, do our work, and make something each day.”pg 189. Let’s all become Unmistakable.
Some further reading: Creativity: The Perfect Crime, Do the Work, and How to Fly a Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery.
Thanks for reading!