It is ok to be a tall poppy

In business today it may seem difficult to stand out above the crowd

An introvert myself, standing out is something I struggle with, I would much rather be in the background, helping others than in front of a 'crowd. As a matter of fact, that is how I got into coaching. I came across this quote that said

I would rather be a guide on the side than a sage on the stage

I didn't feel comfortable standing in front of others, which is interesting considering my background is in teaching.

I do of course get in front of people. And certainly as a business owner, you and I don't have a choice. We need to stand in front of people. Whether it is our ideal client, the bank manager, the investor, our audience.... - we have to stand in front of, and bring attention to ourselves. We need to learn to be noticed!

How do we stand out in crowded marketplace in our business, and in our niche?

To thine self be true

This quote from Shakespeare reminds us to be true to ourselves and move forward with integrity in our business. Being authentic is one of the best ways to differentiate ourselves. 

Here are three quick tips that will help you ‘stand above the crowd’

stand out in business

Be yourself

I often share the story of what I consider to be the best compliment I have ever received. This from a gentleman with whom we attended the same conference, had no interaction and yet he came up to me towards the end of the day and said

‘You are unapologetically yourself; I like that’.

Well that to me is a real testament to the fact that we do not always know what effect we have on other people. I consider that influence - unintentional perhaps, but non the less quite powerful.

You see your clients will respond to you. The real you.

I believe there is no real competition in business, not in the sense that people steal your clients - at the least not the clients meant for you.

Is there such a thing, you ask. Clients meant for me?

Well think about it this way. See yourself as the client or customer. There are certain places, shops, restaurants that you would shop in or buy from and there are others you would not be caught in. Well you are the client meant for that business. This is in because what they offer - in terms of products or services, quality or customer service - resonates with you . It speaks to what you value.

Being yourself helps you to communicate your value and therefore connect with those customers who are ‘meant’ for you - your ideal clients

Be different

There is no cookie cutter business. Certainly not one that is successful and sustainable.

When you do a business course, you are asked to do research for your business plan. The prescribed course of action is to find out who your competitors are. Then ask what makes your business different from theirs, identify your USP, unique selling proposition.

The big brands that we read about differentiate themselves in a particular area (s).

It could be their innovation, their ethos, the quality of products and services, their customer service (this is still a very powerful one, considering you don't always find 'good' customer service). For instance I am a lifelong customer of a particular retailer. I had bought a pair of relatively expensive jeans that frayed after a few months and I took it in complained, was given a refund, no questions asked!

When starting out, it is important to identify that difference that you bring and be consistent in offering it to your clients!

Be patient

Being committed to being yourself and learning to attract your ideal clients may seem difficult at the beginning.

However you should stay the course. Be patient because it will be worth it.

Remember being taught that patience is virtue? Well it is one of the ways that we communicate to ourselves and ultimately our clients that we are worth it! Patience builds capacity in us, to withstand the difficulties and challenges that we face in business. It speaks to our determination and commitment.

I want to buy from a business that shows 'stickability', don't you?

Being patient doesn't mean merely waiting, doing nothing or more importantly not seeing results.

Patience is actively trusting that all the steps you have taken to reach your business goals will result in the type of success you envision. 

Stand out above the crowd in your business by being yourself, embrace difference and cultivate patience!

How have you been able to reflect these in your business?