How To Stand Out and Rise Above: The Hard Truth About Why You’re Not

fortune favors the bold

You’re boring.

That’s the hard truth. I don’t like it any more than you do, but remove the ego, take a step back and you’ll discover you’re pretty boring.  And if you are not boring, the public probably doesn’t know that.

We live in a world where distractions are bountiful. There are more things vying for our attention today than any other time in human history. We quite literally get lost staring at our screens, scrolling through often meaningless bullshit until something triggers our brain to pay closer attention. Even then it better be remarkably interesting or we’re jumping back out and resuming the position with our heads down staring at our screens.

As entrepreneurs, small business owners and marketers we scratch and claw trying to get recognized in a desperate attempt to take a leadership position amongst our peers and in the eyes of the public. We look at those who have taken lead positions and hang on their every word, buy their programs, tweet at them, friend them on Facebook, give reviews of new products when asked and clamor to get in the “inner circle”.

And so the story goes: (1) entrepreneur takes a leadership position, (2) entrepreneur has legions of followers dreaming to transform their life just like them, (3) entrepreneur puts out how to material to teach the followers what they should be doing to get there too, (4) hundreds, thousands or hundreds of thousands of clones and copycat products with different names and a slightly different twist pop up like weeds in an open field (5) without a truly leadership position the clones quickly realize they aren’t making any money and begin to create products and programs telling others how to get ahead, get rich and improve their business and life – often under the guise of having reached the top or making tons of money regardless of the validity of the premise (6) more clones, more weeds, more frustration.

Ugh!  That sucks.

If this is you, and it probably is if you’re still reading this, then don’t feel bad. We’ve all been there. It’s human nature to stay inside the box, especially when that box used to be “outside the box” until someone created the new box you now reside in.

You’re trying. And that’s more than most can say.

Building traction is not easy. For some of you, following the patterns and advice will give you a little momentum but nothing even close to that dream in your head. For others you will learn some new ideas and how to create different forms of content, but that’s the extent of it. Very, very few will reach the leadership status you are fighting so hard to achieve.

So the questions you may be asking are “why?” and “well, then how do I get there smart ass?”

Good questions. Let me try to answer them.

The simple answer is: Because you’re missing critical ingredients.

I don’t think all of the people putting on programs to teach you how to be successful are deceitful. In fact I believe most of them believe they are truly helping. The truth is most don’t take the time to evaluate everything that came together to get them where they are. They have risen to a position of envy with people telling them how smart, strategic and remarkable they are. Who wouldn’t love that?

Some understand business and realize the elements that came together to get them where they are. They understand there is no blueprint for it.  There’s no path to follow other than go after something that interests you and if the timing, personality and right breaks come through, you too can be successful.  But that doesn’t sell, so it has to be a blueprint anyone can follow…even if they can’t.

The reason there are so few market leaders, famous gurus and multi-millionaire lifestyle entrepreneurs is because the blueprint to accomplish this requires a ton of hard work, uncomfortable risks and a sprinkling of luck. There is no other way.

There are a few ways to become a market leader and make your mark:

  1. Be first
  2. Be first in your category
  3. Be second, but the opposite of the first

Don’t meet one of these criteria and you’ll be swimming in a pool of clones all vying for a small piece of what’s left over.

The obstacle so few overcome, and why the “blueprint” program you bought from that guru doesn’t get you where you want to go is because you’re missing critical ingredients that the teacher himself may not recognize as critical. In most cases the teacher either doesn’t recognize these key ingredients, or recognizes them but knows sharing the truth (you are missing these ingredients) will not be good for sales of their product.

What ingredients are you missing?

Originality. A remarkable story. Authenticity. Being first. Being early. Being interesting (truly interesting). Being remarkable (buzz worthy, “holy shit that’s good” remarkable)

If you step outside yourself for a moment and look at your company, brand or product from that perspective the question is “would you care at all?” Are you interesting, different, remarkable, first or buzzworthy in any way?  Probably not. Are you repeating messages and programs being offered by the countless other clones only with a slightly different spin on the same stuff, or do you have a uniquely different take that gets people talking. Are you original or a less than remarkable copy of the original?

The reason so few get into the “inner circle” of market leaders and celebrities is because there are few of them. It’s scary to be original, authentic and create a “new box”.  And there’s no guarantee. It’s one thing to say you are “outside the box” but an entirely different thing to actually go there. It’s one thing to say you are “authentic” but entirely different to actually be authentic.

So you’ve done all the heavy lifting. You’ve followed the blueprint step-by-step. You have your website up, your product finished, your podcast live, your magazine layed out, your book written or your shingle hung.  Based purely on statistics, the chances of you even succeeding at all are slim. The chances of you becoming a success slimmer and the chances of you rising to the status of celebrity within your industry or amongst your peers even slimmer still.

Unless you have ventured off into uncharted territory and created your very own blueprint.

Until you decide to go into the void, the unknown, and really do it your way, you will be another generic version of the original. And that’s boring as hell.

Fortune favors the bold. Never forget that.

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