business career entrepreneur success

5 ways to stand out from the crowd

One important advantage in the business world is standing out from the crowd — or (surprise!) embracing the things you thought you needed to get away from. After all, entrepreneurism is about balance.

1. Rise above the noise.

“What are you totally over?” Someone asked me that at a party over the weekend. I had to think about it for a minute. Usually people ask me about what trends I’m seeing, or what amazing stories I’d recently heard. But what am I hearing too much of? What’s become noise? It’s an important question, as no entrepreneur wants to be noise.

2. Sometimes the best leaders let someone else lead

The Golden State Warriors needed a change, and coach Steve Kerr realized it wasn’t going to come from him. “They’re tired of my voice,” he said. “I’m tired of my voice.” So during a recent game against the Suns, he handed over the clipboard and let his players coach themselves. The result: a 129-83 victory.

3. You have the power to surprise and delight

People often talk about how awful social media can be. But recently, an entrepreneur did something for me that was delightfully clever — and, I think, an inspiration for us all to use social media in smart ways.

4. Embrace the system

Hamilton had a problem: His company, Crown & Caliber, had become a sprawling, dysfunctional mess. So he brought in a COO named Cullen, who began installing systems for everyone and every project at the company to follow. But that made Hamilton uncomfortable, and he feared that his scrappy startup was going to lose its soul.

5. We can help people by saying “no, because…”

Recently, I said no when a stranger asked me for help—and I explained why I was saying no. I shared the story on LinkedIn, and people there get VERY ANGRY!!!! and called me all sorts of names. But they clearly missed the point: Saying no is a form of helping, so long as you explain why you’re doing it. To make that clear, I wrote this plea for more people to say “no, because.” Please read it, and then do someone (and yourself) the favor of explaining a no.

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