I'll get this out right away — ‘standing out’ doesn’t mean just being arrogant and being different for the sake of it, it is by being different and earning your arrogance in this world.
It is not easy. It certainly won’t make you a lot of friends. Success will not be immediate — don’t feel cheated. This is the beginning of something unique that nobody is willing to put their efforts onto.
You can do the same thing that everybody is racing to. That will break records, not bring upon a difference in this world. If you wanted to make a difference in this world by standing out, read further.
So, how do we make it happen? This is where many of us reading any article on self-motivation would sigh (here we go again), but don’t worry — I have real-life examples that got your back.
This is one of the things that most people miss which definitely makes it worth mentioning. Panasonic is a Japanese technology giant in several businesses but here in India, the brand is fairly popular in air conditioners too but not as popular as many other mainstream brands like Samsung, Voltas, etcetera. Their marketing division came up with a brilliant strategy to help them gain recognition. Every air conditioner has an outdoor unit that sits outside the place where it conditions the air. Every other brand that exists that I have seen in India is white in colour, but you know what they did — they painted it grey in colour. It is a simple change not many people notice but for the people who did, they made sure that they knew what brand made that unique unit sitting outside keeping the place air-conditioned. Simple, small, elegant and it worked — they did gain some great recognition. So, in the midst of this dull world with the same colour, Panasonic capitalized and they succeeded.
Apple’s business mantra is ‘Think Different’. So, it would be a crime not to mention them in this article. Apple has been doing consumer electronics for over 30 years and ever since Steve Jobs teamed up with Steve Wozniak, he made sure that every possible centimetre of his company’s products must work and be perfect and it is till this day. Although it is true that Jobs didn’t code for any of the Apple products — he is a visionary who filled a segment that was neglected in the market for years. I will brief about how execution craps on idea in another article, but for now — back to Apple. Apple made sure that the circuitry and the interior of their products look impressive and perfect although 99.9% of the consumers buying the product would never get to see them. They made sure that they used colour-matched screws for their iPhones. black circuit boards and ribbon cables for their iMacs for the service technician to see them when they require servicing. But you know why they actually did it? Because it is worth standing out. Most companies don’t even care how it looks on the inside for the same reasons mentioned above but Apple was obsessed with this very fact which is what made them a trillion-dollar company today. They chose to stand out and succeeded.
You might be there reading this and wondering: ‘But the success stories of corporate giants are all fine, what did you do in your life to stand out from the neverending crowd of talents in this competitive world?’ For all those people wondering, I got you covered.
When I was in high school, there was this interclass English Oration competition where I had no time to prepare because I have never been informed of a date for when the competition was held. There was just a single judge and the competition was pretty healthy. Students all the way from sixth grade to eleventh grade were participating. The funny part that I noticed was nobody was facing the crowd to give the speech. They were facing the judge because that’s all that matters right? WRONG. There are a lot of metrics to be monitored by the judge while a participant was delivering a speech but every single one of them failed to display a key metric — CONFIDENCE. Naturally, I capitalized like Panasonic or Apple filled the void which was neglected by several other companies, I did what over 100 participants in my school failed to do. When my turn arrived, I walked up to the judge and asked her: ‘Should I face you or the crowd?’ and she was taken by surprise that somebody managed to ask her this question instead of being a part of the sheep herd. She replied: ‘Any way you want to’ . It is all about choices. I have made a lot of crappy choices in my life but something gave me confidence, it was that moment that I chose to face the crowd and start my speech. The speech was mediocre since I am too stubborn to prepare any topic that I’m not comfortable on but that didn’t stop her from being thoroughly impressed with what I did. There was no crowd but participants and I faced them to display the confidence that the judge was looking for — the void was confidence and I chose to fill it by standing out. That automatically got me the first place in that competition. Sure, being a dick won’t get you a lot of friends, and the whole school viewed me as ‘that guy’ for two whole years but you gotta pay to play. That is how I earned my arrogance in high school — by standing out. It got me a few friends who are honest with me but does it really matter? It is about making choices when it mattered the most — that gets you to the right people who will be honest with you and will make you a better person.
This was a fun journey of three different stories that illustrated how standing out brings you success although the last story may not be that powerful, it was necessary to prove that I am just like every one of you and it is possible. As I said, it may not be immediate or painless or easy, but it is possible.
If you are moved by this article, please follow me to fuel my motivation to write more articles illustrated with story-based examples and to discover more of my content. Also, read another article I wrote which falls under the same genre (Motivation by Words): Don’t Stop.
If this article is actually impactful to you, please try it in your life and don’t try it on the ‘clap’ button. Your suggestions in the comments outweigh your follow and as always, In the days of poor quality control of content by Netflix, you came here to read my article — you are my MVP. Thank you for your time!