17 Ways To Stand Out From The Crowd

September 28, 2008

Whether you’re a business owner, an artist, or a hooker, you’ve got to stand out from the crowd to get noticed. And the good news is, you don’t have to rely on luck, or special talent to stand out - you just need to rely on yourself.

Make Sure You Offend Plenty Of People: Some folk will be offended no matter what you do. Not everyone will like you ever - even if can walk on water and turn urine into Bollinger. You’ll never please them all - so don’t worry about offending some people. It’s far better than not being noticed at all.

Borrow But Don’t Copy: Watch others who are brilliant in your field and borrow the best bits from each one. But don’t copy them completely. You’ve got to add something unique to the pot, or you’ll never stand out from the crowd.

Don’t Bow To Other People’s Rules: Rules are everywhere. And thanks to the Internet, there’s plenty more people trying to ram their rules down your throat. From what to eat, what to wear, how to have the perfect marriage and even how to blog - you’ll never be short of folk who are happy to tell you the do’s and don’ts. Follow the ones that feel right to you and stick two fingers up at the rest.

Don’t Be A Timewaster:
Don’t be one of those people who never has time for marketing. Understand this - no matter how great you are at what you do, you’re wasting your time if nobody knows about it. If you want to sell your talents, or your products, make the time to show them off.

Don’t Try To Be Seen Doing The Right Thing All The Time:
When you’re in public - don’t feel obliged to do and say particular things, just because it’s “the right thing to do” in a particular situation. At best - you’ll look like one of those smarmy politicians. At worst, nobody will notice you at all. If you want to wear canary yellow to a funeral, don’t feel like you’ve got to hide it under a black coat.

Make Yourself Lucky: How many times do you hear someone say, “She was just in the right place at the right time.” It’s irritating isn’t it? The truth is, if you put yourself in plenty of places, you’ll eventually wind up in the right place at the right time too - it has nothing to do with luck.

Make Sure You’re Passionate About What You Do: If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, you haven’t got a hope in hell of standing out from the crowd. You’d be far better off trying to find something you are passionate about.

Quit Whining And Get On With It:
I get sick and tired of hearing folk whining about others who’ve done well in their particular field, because they think they’ve had some amazing advantage. That kind of talk is just making an excuse for failing before you’ve even tried. Don’t whine - just get on with it and people will take more notice of you.

Always Remember - Nobody Is Better Than You:
And you’re not better than anyone else, but that doesn’t mean you’ve got to hang out with deadbeat losers.

Never Promise To Do Anything You Can’t Deliver:
But believe that you are capable of achieving anything you want to achieve.

Don’t Be Put Off By The Average Types: You’ll always come across some Mrs or Mr Average, who’ll tell you to think twice before you start a business, because the average business owner only earns X amount. Or not to bother writing a novel, because the average novelist has to take a day job to pay the bills. It’s ok to know these figures but remember - you’re not aiming to be average at anything.

Use Bold Marketing Techniques To Stand Out From The Crowd:
You won’t get noticed unless you market yourself well. And whether you’re selling a product, or your talent, if you stick to the same old tired marketing activities that the average performer in your industry is using, you’ll get the same old average results. By all means - do all the tried and tested stuff but do something bold as well.

Ignore The Critics: There will always be someone out there who’s desperate to slate you. But remember this - if the critics really knew what they were talking about, they wouldn’t just be critics. Besides, it’s better to be slated in public than ignored.

Applaud The Successes Of Your Friends Or Associates:
Those who get jealous of the folk they hang out with, rarely have much success. Be genuinely excited about the success of your friends and tell the whole world about them. You’ll get far more attention if you’re surrounded by successful people, than if you hang out with a bunch of losers.

Don’t Be Afraid To Pull Shameless Publicity Stunts:
Pull as many stunts as you can to get noticed. And don’t worry that some people might criticize your stunts for being obvious. The point is to get attention, not praise.

Remember - Most Publicity Is Good:
There’s few things that aren’t worth getting attention for. So long as you don’t do anything to make your customers or fans feel like 24 carat mugs for believing in you.

Don’t Be Afraid To Be Controversial:
Ok, so if you go too far, you may have to go into hiding for a few years like Salman Rushdie did, but it will pay off in the end.

Would you do whatever you could to stand out from the crowd? Or do you prefer to play it safe, even if it means not getting noticed?

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28 Responses to “17 Ways To Stand Out From The Crowd”

  1. Amy Derby on September 28th, 2008 8:36 pm

    And don’t be afraid to post a butt or two. LOL

    Amy Derby’s last blog post..Worldwide Play Day

  2. cathlawson on September 28th, 2008 8:43 pm
    LOL Amy - that’s a good point. I just hope the owner of that butt doesn’t find her pic on here.
  3. on September 28th, 2008 10:12 pm
  4. cathlawson on September 28th, 2008 10:22 pm

    Hi Akemi - yes, he was living proof that there’s just no pleasing some people.

    I will try to think up some outrageous ways for promoting your business - but you might not want to go along with some of them.

  5. Davina on September 28th, 2008 11:26 pm

    Hi Cath. “Make sure you offend plenty of people”, is my challenge. But I’m less afraid of “offending” those people whom I’ve not yet met, just of offending those that I already know.

    And if you continue to be prepared and positive, and as you have said, “…put yourself in plenty of places…” I believe that magic will happen.

    Davina’s last blog post..Free Spirit My Ass!

  6. Betsy on September 28th, 2008 11:42 pm

    I want to meet the person who can turn urine into Bollinger! I’m sure we’d be great friends! :)

    Thanks, Cath, in advance for the intro.

    P.S. Good post! Did you try the Vitamin C? I’m on it, felt something coming on, staving it off.

    Betsy’s last blog post..SURVIVOR

  7. NaTuRaL on September 29th, 2008 2:46 am

    and don’t forget to be weird! all my friends use the word crazy and nuts around me, but they love me.

    i find that people who are offended usually want to be offended. they look for what they can be offended about, so yep, sometimes it doesn’t matter.

    my response is: i’m offended because you’re offended.

    NaTuRaL’s last blog post..Do Excuses Negate Responsibility?

  8. Jim Gaudet on September 29th, 2008 2:54 am

    Always be yourself. I think when you try to many “other things” you lose who you are.

    If being yourself offends someone, F U C K them.. That’s just my 2c

    ~ Jim

    Jim Gaudet’s last blog post..PLEASE!!! Stop Re-Shouting Me

  9. cathlawson on September 29th, 2008 6:25 am

    Hi Davina - if you put yourself out there, you’ll definitely find that amazing luck or magic eventually.

    I guess it’s harder to offend the people you know because you fear loss of friendship, respect or whatever. But with people you don’t know - you don’t have those things yet, so you’re more likely to feel you have nothing to lose.

    LOL Betsy - they would be a cool person to know wouldn’t they?

    Have tried some vitamin C - thank you for suggesting it. I’m feeling a little better than I have this morning, so fingers crossed.

    Hi Valerie - Being a little crazy definitely helps doesn’t it? I also think it allows you to get away with more.

    That’s a good point about folks looking for something to be offended about - and I guess that’s often true. So really we’re doing them a favour if we offend them, cos we’re giving them what they wanted.

    Hi Jim - being yourself is definitely important isn’t it? However many self help books we read, or however successful we become, it’s the one thing we can’t afford to lose.

  10. Barbara Swafford on September 29th, 2008 6:33 am

    Hi Catherine - I agree we need to stand out from the crowd, and most often that is done by doing things our way, in a way we feel comfortable while being ourself. You’re right, we’re not going to please everyone, and should not even try.

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..Strike While The Iron Is Hot

  11. cathlawson on September 29th, 2008 6:49 am

    Hi Barbara - I guess feeling comfortable is important to a lot of people isn’t it? And being yourself is important too. But I wonder if it’s still possible to stand out if we don’t push ourselves beyond our comfort zone? I guess that would depend on the person.

  12. Scott McIntyre on September 29th, 2008 8:59 am

    All of your points are great, Cath- but I’m particularly drawn to this one:

    - Make Sure You’re Passionate About What You Do

    I’ve found that whenever I’m doing what I really want to be doing, many other things fall into place.

    This could be at work where the day passes by much more quickly and your sense of job satisfaction is sky-high.

    Or, it could be in your leisure life where you do a hobby that really makes you feel good.

    I also believe that passionate people encourage others to be passionate- or at least, they help more than someone who is not motivated.

    It’s a great thing in life to come across an activity which fills you with passion… it doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, other people can definitely tell.

  13. Barbara Ling on September 29th, 2008 9:32 am

    And don’t forget:

    Never NOT do anything just because it’s never been done before.

    Being a leader of the thundering herd generates far more attention than donning on some lemming gear….

    Enjoy, Barbara

    Barbara Ling’s last blog post..How to destroy relationship abuse

  14. Brad Shorr on September 29th, 2008 12:32 pm

    Excellent advice, Cath! It’s a great formula for transforming yourself from average to rock star. The only thing I can think to add is paying attention to the little things, like returning phone calls promptly. 95% of the business world doesn’t do it. You’ll stand out.

    Brad Shorr’s last blog post..Zero Strategy Causes Financial Crisis

  15. Evelyn Lim on September 29th, 2008 2:26 pm

    Great list! Your first tip about offending lots of people already got me laughing! Thanks!

    Evelyn Lim’s last blog post..Soul Revelations From Past Life Memories

  16. Suzie on September 29th, 2008 3:12 pm

    I think Im doing ok on the offending one.

    Thank so much for your kind thoughts during little B’s illness it was much appreciated.He’s at school today and doing great.

    Suzie’s last blog post..Valium Please

  17. cathlawson on September 29th, 2008 3:57 pm

    Hi Scott - that is so true isn’t it. Trouble is - a lot of the time - my days go too quick. I’ve seen me work right round the clock sometimes and not realise how long it’s been.

    Hi Barbara -that’s true too. It’s all about having the courage to just do it isn’t it?

    Hi Brad - that’s really important isn’t it. It really makes your customers feel that you actually value them.

    Hi Evelyn - You’re welcome - I’m glad I’m making you laugh today instead of you feeling as though you’re choking.

  18. John Hoff - eVentureBiz on September 29th, 2008 7:51 pm

    Great list, Cath. I like the one about luck. I hear people all the time say how this or that person is lucky.

    To some extent, some people do seem to be a little “luckier” than others. Coincidences will happen and the law of probability will tell us that some people will have more good things occur than others, however, luck is only a small part of it.

    In reality, it’s the person’s wisdom and what they do in circumstances that drive them to appear “lucky”.

  19. Sara at On Simplicity on September 29th, 2008 10:58 pm

    This is one of absolute favorite posts of yours! “Don’t Try To Be Seen Doing The Right Thing All The Time”–that deserves a round of applause. We aren’t perfect. Sooner or later someone’s going to catch us virtually picking our noses. Either don’t do it or don’t worry about; trying to walk the line is when the problems come.

    Sara at On Simplicity’s last blog post..The Simple Truth? You’re Complicated

  20. cathlawson on September 30th, 2008 9:51 am

    Hi John - I know what you mean - there’s alway some elements of luck - the place and circumstances we’re born into is a huge one. Most of us are lucky that we’re born in a place where it’s easier to put ourselves in circumstances that make us luckier.

    Hi Sara - Thank you. I know not all the stuff I write is your kind of thing - but I enjoyed writing this one.

    I know what you mean - the more you’re seen to be doing the right thing, the more folk will try to catch you out.

  21. cathlawson on September 30th, 2008 9:53 am

    Hi Suzie - sorry - askimet grabbed you. I’m so glad he’s well - you must have been besides yourself with worry. I hope you’re good at offending your boss - he sounds like a real jerk.

  22. Kelly@SHE-POWER on September 30th, 2008 1:53 pm

    Wow, amazing post, Cath. You really put some work into this, didn’t you? I particularly like “Applaud The Successes Of Your Friends Or Associates”. So many people feel envy and bad when another succeeds, like their spot at the TOP as been taken. ut this thinking only shows lack and fear because there’s room for all of us to succeed.

    Stumbled :)


    Kelly@SHE-POWER’s last blog post..Why Blogging is Like Backpacking

  23. cathlawson on October 1st, 2008 7:09 am
    Hi Kelly - thank you. It didn’t seem to take me too long. With posts like this I sort of wait to see what comes out.

    A lot ot people have that scarcity mentality don’t they? It’s scary. It’s like they don’t have the confidence in their own abilities so they try to jeapordize the efforts of others. But as you say - there’s room for everyone to succeed.

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