How To Stand Out From The Crowd

Ever have trouble discovering that thing that makes you unique? That sets you apart?

And, because you don’t want to be just another me-too blogger or marketer, you do nothing?

You’re paralyzed.

You don’t even start.

Even though you know that doing nothing can’t possibly be the answer.

You know what you have to do, but this not knowing becomes more than just a barrier, but a reason, an excuse.

Get Unstuck

If you’ve ever looked at material about starting a business you’ve probably read all about getting really clear about your target market, defining who your ideal customer is, and so on.

And this advice made perfect sense…100 years ago.

After all, back in “the day,” sinking a small fortune into starting a business was about the only option. Staff, supplies, transportation – everything had to be accounted for.

But today, it’s different. We live in a service economy, one where information is the primary commodity. We don’t need to have a perfectly defined niche in which to serve.

In order to stand out, in order to be valued and valuable, we only have to do one thing:

Be as helpful as possible.

That means being authentic, striving for self-improvement and betterment of our services, and really caring about the people listening to us.

That will set us apart.

Because our personal stories are unique. It sets us apart. We just have to be brave enough to start sharing it, and using it as a launching point to reach, relate to, and help others.

We worry about things like what our competition is doing and what color our headlines are. This stuff is minutiae. It’s irrelevant until the point we’re already presenting ourselves authentically.

And that may seem difficult too.

As a musician, I’ve had a lot of firsthand experience with artists struggling to “find their voice.”

As an entrepreneur, the same thing happens.

But again, this is a misunderstanding of reality.

It’s no longer necessary to craft the perfect image that will leave prospects salivating at the prospect of handing us cash.

What we need to do is develop our image, our character, our voice.

And that only happens with time and practice.

Every time we create something, our voice becomes clearer. Our direction becomes more defined. We feel more sure of ourselves.

Thinking that this is possible beforehand, with a pen and paper and an exercise found on a marketing website is ludicrous.

My Own Story

I know because I’ve tried.

I’ve tried putting myself in a box and saying “this is who I am now, this is the face I’m going t show the world.”

The only thing that ever came of that was self-loathing.

This is, by my account, a perfect method of discouragement and very possibly coming to hate what we do.

Building this website and the surrounding community is a work of love. I couldn’t do it if I felt obligated to write trite, mind-numbing list posts like “13 Benefits of Reading.”

Because that’s the sort of quality readers love. (There really needs to be a “sarcasm font”)

Instead, by being brutally honest and writing things that inspire and excite me, I naturally cultivate the sort of audience that wants to listen to what I have to say.

You’ll do exactly the same.

All it takes is taking the next step. Every day. 1 step.

It doesn’t matter what you’re doing.

Starting a therepeutic-massage business, find 1 client.

A blog? Write your first (or next) article.

Whatever it is you do, find 1 more person to help.

Do that, and you can make a living doing something that makes you feel alive. That you wake up in the morning excited to do.

And that, right there, will set you apart.

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