If you have been a loyal reader since day 1, lo those many weeks ago, then you would know some things about me you may not have previously known.  I like to read, enjoy movies, and love baseball and the Dodgers.  But this one is a doozy and it may come as a total shock to many of you… I, Robert Aloysius Cohen (ok, so my middle name is actually Alan, but Aloysius sounds so cool!) am a freak of nature. 

 Remember when you were little and you thought about the chain of events that had to occur in order to lead to your existence?  Well, I can take that one step further.  Not only did I think about the chain of events leading to my existence, but I also thought about the scientific explanation for why I am who I am.  One possible definition is as follows:   a blastocyst collapsed, splitting the progenitor cells in half.   Or, you can just take the layman’s definition:  I am an identical twin.

 Yep, that’s right, there is someone else walking around out there who looks and sounds just like me.  Have you ever seen me out on the street and called to me, just to have me ignore you?  Could be that I just don’t like you, but chances are, you saw HIM and not me.

 First, let me answer all of your questions at one time, because I have heard them a million times:

 1) No, I do not feel pain when he does

2) Neither one of us is smarter than the other

3) He always had more power but I could hit for better average

4) He throws left-handed and that is the only thing he does lefty

5) Yes we did in the past switch classrooms

6) No, my wife has never mistaken him for me

 Consider this, identical twins are not hereditary, but are an anomaly that occur in birthing at a rate of about three in every 1000 deliveries worldwide and we represent about 0.2% of the worldwide population (I wonder if we get counted as one or two?).

 So why do I bring this up?  Believe me, I have a point.  My mom and dad were terrific with us, always calling us by our names (“Rob” and “Not Rob”) and never ever ever referring to us as “the twins”.  So from an early age we knew we were twins, but never identified ourselves that way.  It became more of a novelty for parties then it did a way of life.  We never dressed alike (except if by accident), we never went to twin conventions or belonged to twin support groups, and we never went to twin bars.  We were who we were, individually, and we also happened to be twins.

 But you know what?  I think having a twin put me at a considerable advantage (once I finish paying for therapy, that is).  I always had a best friend, a play-mate, and a built in support group.  More importantly, I also always had the motivation to stand out.  A need to be an individual and to promote myself for my own qualities so as not to be known as simply “one of the twins”.  And in business, we all have “twins”.  To the public at large, all lawyers look alike; all accountants look alike; all financial advisors and insurance representatives look alike.  As part of networking we are tasked with finding a way to make ourselves stand-out, apart from the crowd.

 My friends, I have had a 33 year head start…

 So for the next week, I challenge you to stand out amongst the crowd.  Separate yourself from your crowd of twins…