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Cookie Cutter or Custom? What’s The Best Approach To Getting Your Business Problems Solved?

Which would you be more likely to buy: a tried-and-true method for accomplishing something; or a personalised, totally unique approach to get the same thing done?

There’s no right or wrong answer here, I’m just curious about your answer…


A lot of people offer their secret formula to do X, Y, or Z….. or the blueprint to something or other, and it makes you wonder if there really is some secret to doing things that you don’t know.  For some people, this is really attractive, because it’s something that has worked for other people, and therefore it should work for you, right?

Other people advertise a “no cookie-cutter approach,” usually in one-on-one coaching, where every case is different. Everyone wants to feel like we’re special, so there’s certainly an allure there of having advice tailored specifically for you.

But are you really so different?

Could one formula possibly work for everyone? We feel unique, and want to honour that, but we want the secret formula, too. So what is going on here?

The psychology link – strategies that work

There are certain strategies that work. The reason they work is because they come down to psychology and basic human behaviour.

That’s why having a particular website layout will get people to take the action you want them to take or why certain copywriting tricks work — because they push on buttons that are universal.

But there’s something to be said for a unique approach, too.  If everyone always followed the formula, nothing new would ever be created. There was no formula for an iPhone, or a personal computer, or the printing press, even!

If you’ve ever been to art school — or know someone who has — then you may have heard a professor-type use the phrase, “Know the rules before you break them.

You might have seen an art student sitting in a museum, sketching a masterpiece. But THEN, students are encouraged to bend and break those rules. If you look at Picasso’s early work, he painted very realistic portraits long before he moved into cubism.

Business and know the rules before you break them

The same is true for businesses. Learning the rules, the system, the frameworks that have worked for people that came before you is invaluable, but then you decide how to tweak them, bend them, even stand them on their head to work for your own situation.

The value of frameworks

I personally  like to work with frameworks. A framework allows you to take the strategies that work but gives you the flexibility to apply them to each case individually. For example, my Business Startup Bootcamp guides people through a framework to set up a business that works, because it’s based on fundamentals that are accepted truths. But every business is different, just as every person is different, so it allows for that.

It’s a framework that allows you to build your own business around it. The framework is the bones that support your business, but how you flesh it out and dress it up will be completely different for each person.  And THAT, in my opinion, is the sweet spot between a cookie-cutter system and a custom-tailored approach.

Back to my original question:

Where do you fall on the spectrum between wanting to learn the secret formula or wanting a custom approach?

Why is that your preferred way to work?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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