Be the Difference

The saying, “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right” means more than you think. Doing it right means doing it to the best of your ability, and “it” is almost always worth doing.

Find your way to add value to every single thing you do.

Imagine yourself as an employee who has just taken over a monthly task. Your employer expects you to take that task and complete it like the last guy.

To make yourself the most valuable employee at the company, turn that, and every process you touch into something better, even if it’s only in a tiny way.

A few things to ask:

  • Who is this for?
  • What does it do for that person/those people?
  • Do we even need this? You would be surprised how many times I’ve found that a colleague or I have been completing a report that is never even used.
  • How can I make this better?

The last question is one you can ask yourself and the recipient of the report.  It’s as easy as one email:

Hi John Doe,

I will be taking over the ABC report. For my understanding, can you please tell me how you typically use this information? Is there anything that you feel this report is lacking?

I look forward to working with you on this.

Thank you,

Employee

That email alone will tell that recipient of the report that you care, and by truly putting your care into your projects, you are already ahead of the competition. This is crucial because when a mistake happens they are much less likely to bite your head off and spit it out at your boss. The person who cares about their job are the memorable ones. Think of the best cab driver or waitress you’ve had. I bet you they cared.

To be competitive in a market of the same, you need to provide your own value-add factors as a person. Make who you are the difference, there will be hundreds, even thousands of people with your qualifications. Don’t stand out against your competition, stand off to the side doing your own better more efficient version of it.

Make yourself the only option. No, I don’t mean to kill your opposition, just be that much better.

Ask questions and listen to the answer.

Keep asking questions until you understand! There is a reason why the question portion of the interview is so important. There are no stupid questions just stupid people right? Don’t be the only stupid guy left in the room.

“The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life.”― Confucius

Learn about the things that really confuse you.

If you find something confusing learn it inside and out. Overcoming an intellectual boundary will give you more experience to understand new ideas and boost your confidence.

Don’t think about your future.

Make an action plan to get where you want to be and follow through with that plan. Remember, you can think and plan forever but you only truly benefit from it when you take action. So take smart calculated risks that line up with your plan. Everything you do professionally should be a play that gets you closer to the finish line of your plan.

Work 100% of the time you’re at work.

When you’re at work do your work. If you have more time, do more work. Your boss or customer will notice.

Make mistakes you can learn from

Take risks that may end in mistake. You will learn so much from doing something wrong, sometimes you need to burn to learn. When you take a risk and make a mistake, take ownership for it and solve the problem. A customer or employer will have a lot of respect for you if you can take ownership when things go wrong and not only when they go right.

To conclude this post, I’d like to introduce you to the three types of people in business;

#1 Those who do as they are told,

#2 those who tell to #1 what to do, and finally,

#3 those who find the best way to do it.

Set your goals, make your plan to get there and act on it.

In the comments tell me your long game goal and what you are going to do right now to get one step closer to it. 

Thank you for reading this. If you liked this article please do me the favour of sharing it. I greatly appreciate your support.

Connor Graham

Connor Graham

Hi, I’m Connor Graham. I help others achieve financial freedom and self-improvement through my tips, ideas and insight. Combining my knowledge of real estate, finance and marketing, I describe creative ways to manage your finances and invest in yourself.

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10 Responses

  1. Dom says:

    One of the best things I have ever done professionally was to join a peer group. I find when I wasn’t in a group of other designers I became outdated and lazy. Having a group of peers enables you to stay honest in your craft. You see clear benchmarks, focus on short term and long term educational and self-improvement goals. Lastly it can provide you with accountability. Great post!

  2. Nimo says:

    great pointers, especially “Do we even need this?”. Most companies are afraid of change and and have inefficient bureaucratic processes but for those that aren’t, this is a great mindset for their professionals to have

  3. Anonymous says:

    Great arrticle Connor! I know I can apply most of this to my life also, even though I am retired. Proud of you!

  4. Hackypie says:

    Mine is not as related to a corporate business model. I am a stay-at-home-mom and Seamtress. I take in alterations and sewing. Same principles apply. I need to be efficient and produce a quality product to get return business. My goal for next year is to bring in a minimum of $320 a month. Doesn’t sound like much. It’s only about 4 hours a week. (I have three kids at home, 4, 2, and baby) At this point that means I have to get more business and advertise as I’ve only been getting $100 or so a month in little projects.

  5. Matt says:

    Thanks for posting! This is a great post! I accept the challenge of trying to add value to everything I do.

  6. I like your post Connar on how to be successful.

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