Too often, businesses find themselves stuck in the “pretty good”, struggling to break free and reach new heights of excellence, struggling to stand out from the crowd. Meanwhile, the way to stand out, or stand apart, from the crowd is not really that hard to figure out.
Seth Godin describes “pretty good” as the enemy of “remarkable”. He stresses that to be remarkable, we can think about it as remark-able, or being worthy of remark.
I like to think about an expanse of penguins. Too many businesses are working to be the tallest penguin. But a tall penguin, among thousands of other penguins, is still a penguin. Why not be an elephant seal, a flamingo, or a giraffe? Those would certainly stand apart and be visible.
Consider that your customers are going to talk about 3 things at dinner tonight. Your challenge is to get into the top 3 things.
This is why doing something “well” is not enough. “Pretty good” is essentially invisible. It is not worthy of remark. It doesn’t help you stand apart from the crowd. Sticking to the status quo might feel safe, but in order to attain true excellence, you’ve got to deviate. To move over to the far right of the bell curve, you literally have to deviate from the mean. Start thinking of excellence as a form of deviance and embrace and accentuate your deviance, what makes you different.
You probably started your business and went out on your own because you weren’t satisfied with the way things were. You weren’t satisfied with the status quo. You didn’t like something about where you were, what you were doing, how the organization was doing it, or who you were working with. You wanted to move faster and do things differently. And if you’re like many entrepreneurs you did things differently and grew to a certain point. And then you got busy with the day to day running of your business. You and your team likely settled into a flow around what works. But at some point the growth slowed and the spark dimmed.
To create something truly remarkable you’ll need to rekindle that spark and strategize around things that will set you apart. Every customer touchpoint is an opportunity. But not every opportunity should be taken.
Instead, pick 2 or 3 touchpoints, the ones you want to be known for and strive to be remarkable. We call these your Moments of Truth (MoTs). These MoTs are opportunities for you to take what makes you special and dial them up to be even more special. It might be something as simple as courtesy. It might be something far more quirky. Whatever it is for you and your team, embrace that and dial it up. Make it so exceptional that your customers will be itching to talk about you at dinner tonight. They’ll be eager to share.
The secret is being different. You already are different. At least your customers think so. Otherwise you wouldn’t have any customers. They like something about your business. Ask them what it is. And then take that and make it even more. Accentuate, exaggerate, dial it up to 11.
Godin says “If you can’t be remarkable, perhaps you should consider doing nothing at all.” So, I urge you to challenge the norm, push boundaries, and refuse to accept what has been so that you can build a genuinely remarkable business.
Don’t fall into the trap of settling for “pretty good” when you have the ability to be remarkable. Embrace your difference to stand apart from the crowd.
For more on MoTs and how to deliberately make them even more remarkable, visit TheBestBusinessIntheWorld.com. And if you’d like help making this and more happen for your business, you can reach out to me directly.