In today’s episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about daring to be different in all that you do, for your future happiness.

In a world where most people seem to be doing the same things, being different can be a good thing. It can help you stand out from your competition and lead to you being very successful in future.

In today’s episode, Steli and Hiten talk about What it means to be different, why being different takes courage, how being different pays off in future and much more. 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:00 About today’s topic.

00:33 why this topic was chosen.

00:43 Steli’s initial thought on Hiten’s tweet.

01:39 What prompted Hiten’s tweet.

03:00 Why being different takes courage.

05:46 Why Hiten used to word “dare”.

05:05 What it means to be different.

08:39 How being different pays off in future.

09:07 Why Hiten chose the phrase “future happiness”.

10:34 How being different helps you express yourself better.

3 Key Points:

  • It’s ok to be different.
  • Being different takes courage.
  • Different means going against something


Steli Efti: Hey everybody, this is Steli Efti.


Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah. And today on The Startup Chat we’re going to talk about a tweet of mine that was very impulsive, not in a bad way. And I’m tweeting a little bit more than I was over the last few months and the tweet said “dare to be different in all that you do for your future happiness” and Steli, it must have like struck a nerve or did something cause we’re talking about it today and Steli suggested it. So yeah, it’s about being different and daring to be different. So how did you take it? What did you think?


Steli Efti: Well, the first thing I thought was what prompted this? (laughing) When I see a tweet of this nature, especially with somebody that I know like you, I’m like, huh, I’m curious what… Typically I would assume it’s a conversation that inspires this with you, but who knows? It could be a million different things, but the first thing that it made was make me go, huh, this is interesting. I wonder if there’s a backstory or there’s a thought or a conversation that made Hiten want to send this message out to people.


Hiten Shah: Yes.


Steli Efti: What prompted this?


Hiten Shah: Yes, so there’s no exciting story or a conversation. Some of the tweets definitely are part of a conversation. I think this one was just, I think I was thinking about it. And I was thinking about what makes people exceptional? And what causes them to, achieve things, basically? And I think one of the factors that if you start looking at a bunch of patterns of people that have achieved exceptional stuff, whether in business or personally, is they were different, there were different, something was different. They did something different. And in that process, thinking about that, I just came to this thought and I wanted to inspire myself, but also others that, hey, it’s okay to be different. And I think it comes with happiness too because if you’re not different, you’re likely conforming to whatever, society’s expectations are or your own expectations are based on society and other people of what you should be.


Steli Efti: So one of the reasons that I love this tweet is in the details, right? And so let’s break them down one by one because it’s two statements basically right there. I mean it’s one statement, but it’s like two sentences. So it’s broken in two parts. The first one, the thing that I found interesting in my mind, the thing that stood out was the choice of the very first, word which was “Dare”, right? You didn’t say “aim to be different” or “be different in all that you do”, “aim to be different in all that you do”, “You should be different in all that…” It wasn’t “should”, it wasn’t “try”, it wasn’t “hope”, it was “dare”. And to me there’s an important golden nugget of wisdom in that in being different takes daring, it takes courage. It’s not something that doesn’t come without risk. And I don’t think that people always understand this. I don’t think we intrinsically understand this. I think we all understand, we all get, that it’s attractive to be unique and different. But I think the reason why so few of us maybe fully live their true unique self is because it’s very risky to do so. And in the moment you don’t know if it’s going to pay out. And the risk could come in humiliation, the risk could come in failure, the risk could come in shame. But you need to exert some level of courage to dare to be different. Did you think that or did you just write it and you know, sometimes you can just like analyze things after the fact. But that kind of stood out to me. I love the, that you use the word “daring” to be different versus aiming to be different, trying to be different or anything else.


Hiten Shah: Yeah, I think that’s on purpose and the reason I use that word on purpose is because I really feel like people just don’t do this. They don’t try to be different. They don’t make an attempt. And dare is the word because you’re going… Different essentially means that you’re going against something, you’re going against what’s normal or what’s expected. Different means whatever your behavior is, your actions are, your thought processes are, whether you’re writing something different and crazy or a different take. Like for example, right now the coronavirus is going on. What if you had a different take on it and you would just didn’t want to write it because you’re not, I don’t know, you’re not thinking about it like that. You’re just like, “Oh all these people are saying their opinion. I actually have a different opinion” And you don’t share it. So I think the word dare is important because to be different, you have to dare to be different. And if you aren’t able to do that it’s like a disservice to yourself and other people. And I think that the bar pretty high in terms of being normal. The bar to [inaudible] normal is actually high. What I mean by that is there’s a lot of risks when you’re [inaudible] well, a lot less risk- I would say more risks when you’re… What I’m trying to say is, normal is normal. Different is different. [inaudible] impact the world the most tend to [inaudible] differently about it and you think Apple and their whole thing for a while was think different [inaudible 00:06:52]. It’s the way I’d say it if I were talking to somebody and I thought they had a different take on something with that, right or wrong. [inaudible] And more [inaudible] to be different. [inaudible] It’s likely that [inaudible 00:07:28] will [inaudible 00:07:29].


Steli Efti: Let’s look at the second statement, which is the second part of the tweet and then we’ll wrap this up, which is the, “for your future happiness”. Hey, can you still hear me?


Hiten Shah: Yeah, I can hear you. Yeah.


Steli Efti: Okay. Perfect. So the second part of what you wrote was not, you didn’t write dare to be different in all that you do for your happiness. You wrote “for your future happiness”. Again, my interpretation that I’m curious to hear what you actually thought, but the reason I really liked that and that stood out to me was that being different in the moment oftentimes is not going to pay immediate or short term returns. You’re not going to instantly know that you being your full self or your authentic self, or your differentiate itself is good or will be rewarded or will feel satisfying when you do it. When you differentiate yourself, when you act differently or think differently, or speak differently from the, from most in the moment I think is where you carry most of the risk. But in the future is where all the reward lies of differentiating yourself. Right? So, I really liked that it wasn’t just dare to be in all that you do for your happiness, but for your future happiness. Am I onto something? Why did you choose to wite “for your future happiness”?


Hiten Shah: ‘Cause I don’t think the different will necessarily make you happy in the short run. I think it makes you happy in the long run. And the reason, it takes so much effort for most people to share an opinion or a thought or anything that they feel is different from what other people are saying or doing right now. And when you do it, it might not feel great in the beginning cause you’re, you’re risking something, you’re risking putting yourself out. So it’s a dare. And I would say that it’s really for be your future happiness. It’s not necessarily your present happiness because, when you propose something different or you are being different, it’s very likely that there will be people who disagree or there will be people who look at it, and you could imagine them thinking you’re weird or thinking you are not conforming. And so there tends to be a reaction to that from other people. And that reaction can make you kind of, not necessarily happiest early on in the process, but over time, by being different and sharing your thoughts, that might be different. You learn this ability to express yourself. And I think a lot of human sort of interaction and life is really about being able to express yourself, feeling comfortable enough, not just with others but with yourself. And that ultimately leads to happiness cause you’re essentially not hiding behind everybody else.


Steli Efti: I love it. All right. I think that we could turn this into a segment of, maybe we’ll call this “putting Hiten’s tweets on a couch”. Like put that tweet on… Yeah, I like that. All right, so if you’re following Hiten, good. If not, then that should be the very next thing you do is open the Twitter app and go to @Hnshah and start following him. He’s a phenomenal Twitter follow and if he ever tweets anything that’s super wise, insightful or puzzling to you, just reply and CC @Steli and say “@Steli put this tweet on a couch” (laughing) we’ll make this, a startup chat episode where we’ll analyze the wisdom, the golden nuggets, and the behind the scenes of Hiten’s infamous tweets “dare to be different in all that you do for your future happiness”. I love this one. I’m glad that we talked a little bit about it. This is it from us for this episode. We will hear you very soon.