If you want to stand out you’ve got to be different. Right? Well that depends. Sometimes being different is good. But sometimes, being different can generate bad results. It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.
We learn at an early age to conform. Be like others, dress like others, act like others. Doing these things allows us to “fit in” to society. It makes us feel safe. But at the same time it makes us invisible. We desperately want to be one the pack, one of the herd so to speak.
In business we’re taught early in our career to play it safe. Keep our ideas to ourselves, agree with our boss no matter what, and never challenge your peer group. Doing those things will provide safety and job security. It also produces mediocre results. So what do you want to be known for? Results that produce “me-too” outcomes or work that’s viewed as thought provoking and innovative? If you want the latter you’ve got to be remarkable – there’s no other way.
In Seth Godin’s book, Purple Cow, he talks about the power of being remarkable. Being a me-too leads to being invisible…not seen…not considered. Being remarkable means the complete opposite. You’re seen, you’re heard, you’re felt…you’re present. All the things most folks want in life. These are the things that fulfill most human beings. Yet to be remarkable carries risk. It requires us to be more than different, to stand out, to be talked about.
If you still fear standing out consider these examples of me-too solutions…and how they are viewed:
1. Microsoft’s launch of Zune – an average MP3 player
2. Dell, HP, Compaq, Gateway…all me-too solutions to desktops and technology
3. McDonalds, Burger King and Wendy’s – typical, predictable burger places
4. Kroger’s, Winn Dixie, Tops Supermarkets…sterile environments to shop in
Now look at some examples of remarkable:
1. Apple with it’s iPods, iPads, iPhones…with $156 billion in cash in the bank
2. Five Guys Burgers, In-N-Out Burgers, and Smashburger…all 3 growing at stratospheric rates
3. Wegman’s and Publix supermarkets. They made grocery shopping an experience
Okay, so those are some example of remarkable companies. But what about people. Can people be remarkable? NO DOUBT! To show a list of “unremarkable” people would be impossible and more importantly offensive. But look at this list of remarkable people and think about what sets them apart:
1. Walt Disney
2. Steve Jobs
4. Peyton Manning
5. Fred Smith
What do all these people have in common that make them remarkable? Vision, courage, discipline, focus, and above all an unshakeable conviction in their beliefs. That’s it. So start there. Look inside. What’s your opinion, what’s your point of view? Form it, shape it, define it….then live it and soon you’ll see how remarkable you really are.
Let me know what you think. Like if this helped. Thanks!