In his autobiography “Miles: The Autobiography,” the legendary Miles Davis wrote about meeting Bra Hugh Masekela in the early 1960s and being impressed with his playing.

Miles encouraged Bra Hugh to keep developing his own style and not to try to imitate American jazz musicians.

Davis wrote:

“Every time I saw Hugh, I told him to just keep on doing his own thing rather than trying to play what we were playing over here. He had his own sound, his own way of playing, and I knew that was what was going to make him great.”

Bra Hugh took Miles’s advice to heart and went on to become one of the most prominent figures in South African music, blending traditional African rhythms with jazz, funk, and other styles.

This advice is certainly applicable to entrepreneurs as well. As an entrepreneur, it’s crucial to build your own unique style.

Just as Bra Hugh was encouraged to develop his own sound and style, entrepreneurs should strive to differentiate themselves and their products or services from the competition.

As Seth Godin has advice before:

Don’t try to be the ‘next’. Instead, try to be the other, the changer, the new.

By focusing on their strengths and offering something that is unique and valuable to customers, entrepreneurs can stand out and build a loyal following.

You may never be Miles Davis or Hugh Masekela, but you can create something unique and meaningful.

DJ Black Coffee, Nando’s, SweepSouth, Spark Schools, Podcast and Chill with Macg and the early years of YFM are just few of the people and businesses that have taken this wisdom to heart.

Instead of imitating others or following the crowd, focus on developing your own voice and style to create a following of individuals who like your work.

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