In his book, Zero to One, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel encourages us to break out of the mold and embrace our differences. Thiel believes that schools have taught us to be radical conformists. He thinks that the way to move society forward is to embrace our uniqueness.

Stand Out in Your Job Hunt

When you fight to compete with the crowd, you have competition all around you, but when you present yourself as you are, you allow yourself to stand out. Look for small-scale opportunities to let your unique ideas shine.

Show the hiring manager something they have never seen before by sending a video pitch instead of a boring resume.

Be Different

Thiel thinks we need more weirdos with crazy ideas to make a better world. After all, it was Pythagoras and his vegetarian cult who made discoveries in math, science, and philosophy. Even Isaac Newton was fascinated with the strange ideas of the Alchemists trying to find a way to turn base metals into gold or discover the Elixir of Life.

What is an important truth that you know, that few people agree with you on? Focus on that. Try highlighting your personality while pitching your way to a new job.

Challenge Pessimism

Thiel says we live in an age of pessimism. Every new idea encounters extreme resistance. It’s cool to be a cynic, to be sarcastic, and to be skeptical about the future.

Instead of being a cynic, try being creative by silencing your inner critic.


The next time you have an idea to create something new, allow yourself to entertain the idea before immediately jumping into skeptic mode. Think about what you believe that no one else does. Embrace your weirdness a little bit. The world might be a better place if we had more people following their differences instead of following the crowd.

Originally posted at