Don’t Compete – Differentiate!

If you want to become more successful in both your professional and personal lives, stop competing and focus on differentiating! When you focus on “keeping up with others” you limit the possibilities of what you can create!

execunetselect-soft-skills-conceptSo often I hear incredibly talented people trying to keep up with their friends or business associates on social media sites.  Really successful people don’t live on Facebook or other social media sites, post endless pictures, brag, or complain on social media. They are too busy focused on what they are trying to achieve to make life better for them and the people they love.

Think for a moment about the mark you’ve left on others throughout your life. Are they better off for having known and interacted with you? When you leave a job, what do your past employers or co-workers remember about you? What did you do different or better than the person who had the job before you? How do you make people feel?

If someone checked a business or personal reference, what would they be told? Would they remember you because of your accomplishments and the impact you achieved, or would they have to pull your name up in their database to remember you?

Life rushes by each day and the people in your life won’t remember what you said to them, but they will always remember how you made them feel. How can you differentiate yourself to become better at your job, relationships, friendships, parenting, caretaking, volunteering your time, taking better care of yourself, or learning new things?

If you saved a past employer time or money or came up with new strategies to improve a process providing better results, those actions are never forgotten. You can also be remembered for your soft skills like problem-solving, collaborating, negotiating, closing, or communication skills. In this competitive job market, employers are putting a high premium on transferable soft skills.

The main differentiator in most companies are the people who work there (if they are the right people)! You can make a tremendous impact by not following the crowd but by enhancing your ability to differentiate yourself while you help yourself and your company achieve goals and objectives.  

Imagine the impact if you always look for a better way to get things done.
Imagine the impact if you had a positive impact on everyone who met you.
Imagine the impact if you stopped following and decided to become a leader who inspires others.
Imagine the impact if you were known for enhancing the lives of everyone you interact with.
Imagine the impact if you focused on solutions vs. problems.
Imagine the impact if you stopped competing and instead focused on differentiating yourself – so you can achieve the success you deserve.

There is so much in life that we can’t control or change, but we have 100% control over how we react. No one can upset you, ruin your day, or make you mad unless you give them permission, and why would you?

Often the best decision you can make is not to react! That is extremely empowering in both your professional, as well as your personal life. If you always react in a predictable manner, the next time you’re in a similar situation don’t react. It’s almost entertaining to watch the reaction of the other person because they thought they knew how to get to you, and it didn’t work!

Differentiating yourself on a consistent basis is not an easy task. It will cause you to get out of your comfort zone and will take time to replace old habits with new behaviors. Take time to write down where you see yourself in three to five years. If you don’t know where you’re going, chances are you’re not going to get there. Be very specific about your career, your income, and the lifestyle you want to enjoy.

Then work backwards until today and view the behaviors or decisions that may be holding you back. Become more aware of the decisions you make, the actions you take and the results you achieve. If something you are currently doing is not providing you with desired results, that indicates an area where you need to make changes and differentiate yourself.

When you have a clear picture of where you want to be in three to five years, it impacts the decisions you will make today. If something does not align with your goals and objectives, you will walk away. Also review where you are spending your time and your money. Those two things reveal your true top priorities. If you want to change your current priorities, be very aware of where you focus your time and money.

Please add “differentiating” to your priorities and it will benefit not only you but everyone else in your life! Become the best version of yourself and you will attract other like-minded people and you will achieve a greater level of success not only in your career, but life!

Barbara Bruno

Barbara Bruno

Barbara Bruno, author of HIGH-TECH HIGH-TOUCH RECRUITING: How To Attract And Retain The Best Talent By Improving The Candidate Experience, is an internationally recognized recruiting expert who has a proven track record of helping recruiters and talent acquisition professionals become more successful and less stressed. She has created several popular LinkedIn Learning courses and is president of Good As Gold Training, HR Search, Inc., and Happy Candidates.

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