Remarkable Starts with Differentiation

Posted on by in Attitude, Business, Creativity/Innovation, Design, Leadership, Remarkability

Earlier today I got a call from a young church planter (ergo, entrepreneur in biz land) from Houston who had read my blog and wanted to ask a great question, "How do we create remarkable?" It really was/is a great question, and one I’m committed to answering through my writing, speaking and consulting.  However, the starting place for most people and companies is to make a decision to not be ordinary, to not be just like everyone else, to not do what "everyone" says you need to do.

A friend of mine (in the church world), Doug Murren, says, "God is not redundant.  He doesn’t put two churches exactly the same in any city." He then asks, "So how are you going to be unique in your city?" That’s advice worth cogitating on regardless of your religious persuasion.  And if your business is regional or national or global, you should expand that circle accordingly.  In other words, how is your consulting service (or IT system or hospital or store or car or  restaurant or drug) different than everyone else in your region or nation or on planet earth?

By definition, no one is remarkable by doing what everyone else is doing.  Remarkable catches you by surprise. It takes your breath away.  It causes you to stop in your tracks and stand in awe. It moves you so much that you feel compelled to remark to others about the incredible experience you just had.  In fact, you can’t keep quiet—whether that remarkable thing was a meal your spouse cooked or a new product you just tried or an incredible service someone just provided for you. Remarkable is anything but ordinary (which is why I keep saying, "Friends don’t let friends do ordinary!)

So, if you want to be remarkable, keep asking the Picasso question ("How can I do this differently?"). Oh, and don’t stop  after just a few answers.  Rarely is the first answer the best answer.  Chances are your remarkable idea might be number 17 or 34.  As Linus Pauling says, "The best way to get a good idea is to get lots of ideas." Just make sure the ideas are different (and that they still meet a need in such a compelling way that people will want what you’re offering).

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2 Responses to “Remarkable Starts with Differentiation”

  1. Pat Callahan 6 March 2006 at 11:19 am #

    “Make the decision not to be ordinary.”
    What a great concept! It is deceptively simple and yet a bear to live becasue it means constantly challenging “the way we’ve always done it.” I think businesses (and churches) often forget that people can just as easily go somewhere else.

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