Bold means being DIFFERENT

“If you can’t be the best, at least be different.”—Niall Doherty

Be different...

The quote above is actually the title of a video blog by Niall Doherty. I was inspired to write this post as a result of that video and the fact that everyone seems to be saying the same thing: that in order to succeed, in order to beat out the competition, we have to be different. Be remarkable. Be Seth Godin’s Purple Cow. And I agree.

I blog about being bold and things related as I see fit, and the word ‘bold’ does not just mean brave or outgoing—it means being different and standing out from the crowd. You may have read my “Make them say ‘WOW!’” post, which expresses the same idea that having a wow factor will set you apart from the rest.

Remember, if everyone can do it, it is no longer special. If there are a million, they are no longer interesting.

So the question becomes “How do I differentiate myself from the group?” They all tell us to be different, but how? Here are my suggestions:

  • Determine your purpose. Clearly identifying your purpose is extremely important to helping you understand what you want, what you can contribute and why, and sp prepares you to be able to highlight that purpose. How many people have taken the time to really do this? You can stand apart by demonstrating how you help.
  • Keep learning. Continuous learning equals continuous success, and it’s something smart organizations will look for in their employees. It also something that not many people do. Keep taking classes, absorb the training offered by your organization, take up a new hobby, read more. This translates into more skills and knowledge current with the times and sets you apart.
  • Never quit. Having the steadfast ability to keep going, though the times get tough, is a quality shared among the best. Not quitting is how you learn and how you show that will go the extra mile.
  • Be a leader. What I mean here is that you search for the solutions not the problems; you lead the way instead of follow; you look to help instead of be helped. Actively seek out leadership opportunities, even if you aren’t officially in a leadership position. Leaders are bold, leaders stand out.
  • Get Creative. You may have to be creative and invent new ways to achieve what you are after. Look at your goal, look at your competition, and identify what they are and are not doing to achieve it. Then do everything they do plus everything they are not doing.


What could you add to this list? What advice would you offer on how we can differentiate ourselves? Or turn purple? What have you seen that caught your eye on someone’s résumé? In an interview? Or a meeting? I’m always wanting to learn more, so please share!


7 thoughts on “Bold means being DIFFERENT

  1. This is an interesting subject. I enjoyed watching Niall’s video. I like the approach of being different in order to get a job, apartment, etc. I think the idea he mentioned of making a YouTube video resume and sending it to the company who is hiring is very creative.

    Also, I like your list of five suggestions. Your suggestion of looking for solutions is a good reminder for me. It is often easier to just focus on the problem.

    Another one that comes to mind is to be yourself. Since everybody is unique, you are different just by genuinely being yourself. However, this requires not masking who you are and conforming to how lots of other people act. While some conforming is usually necessary, I think truly being yourself as much as possible is bold and can be another way to be different.

    • I agree, Greg. A video resume would be very original and unexpected–cool idea. And like you say, using this approach doesn’t have to stop with getting the job, it goes for any goal, such as the apartment. Thanks for sharing your thoughts–I think you’re my first regular commenter!

    • And I love your point about being yourself–everyone’s telling us to be different when we already are. And I agree too that people “mask” who they are to fit in. Interesting. Ironic. We fear not fitting in, so we conform. But now we want to be different so we can succeed. Go figure. Thanks for sharing!

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