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People always ask me how they can stand out from the crowd.

Here are the ten critical steps you need to take:

1. How Can I Do This Differently?

Ask yourself the question “How can I do this differently?” Just having the subject top of mind will lead you in the right direction. Ask yourself this question every day!

2. Be Original

Purge every aspect of copying from your being. This is tough because it’s almost second nature to benchmark best in class and apply best practices; we’ve been conditioned to believe that we are better off when we follow the best in the herd. Nonsense. All we have done has temporarily changed our position in it.

3. Be a Contrarian

Look at what everyone else is doing, then do the opposite. Amazing results are achieved by contrarian acts.

4. Focus

Learn to focus on the critical few things you need to create a unique personal brand. It’s so tempting to chase the possibilities that are out there, but the problem is that you are busy but ineffective in delivering quality results. DIFFERENT people are “mindlessly” focused on a few critical things that are not on anyone else’s radar.

5. Prioritize

Shed the “CRAP” that gets in the way of your ability to focus on your key priorities. Holding on to “comfort food” may satisfy your appetite, but it won’t enable your quest to stand out from the herd.

6. Reach Out

Connect with different people. If you’re going to seek stimulation from others, lean into people who don’t follow the rules and have “off the wall” views.

7. Take Initiative

Be the first to take on new projects. Covet opportunities to offer standard solutions to radical problems that have not been addressed before. Your solution to a new problem will carry the DiFFERENT tag.

8. Execute More

Loosen up on planning; tighten upon execution. Most people think the value is in the plan; don’t go with them. Jump into the messy inelegant world of implementation where the results get delivered. Different people get stuff done; they don’t sit around pondering possibilities.

9. Ditch Perfection

Be imperfect (a lot). While others seek the impossible dream of perfection; DiFFERENT people are achieving results. Get as much stuff as you can “just about right” and hit the ground running.

10. Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes

Recover when you make a mistake (and you will, that’s what execution artists do). Fix your mistake (because that’s what people expect) and surprise them with something they DON’T expect. You will be remembered for your risk-taking and brilliance of recovery. Your mistake will quickly be forgotten.

There is no scientific formula to get you out of the herd of commonality but these 10 steps will do the job for creating a unique personal brand.

I know. They worked for me.


Written By
Roy Osing is a former President and CMO with over 33 years of leadership experience covering all the major business functions including business strategy, marketing, sales, customer service and people development. He is a blogger, content marketer, educator, coach, adviser and the author of the book series Be Different or Be Dead. You can also read more of Roy Osing's articles at his website.

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