Let’s start with these 2 questions.
- How do I stand out?
- How do I differentiate myself?
(Many ask this while dutifully imitating everyone around them.)
The answer: Think differently. Think for yourself. And then you’ll see opportunities most just can’t see.
When just a teenager, Ulysses S. Grant, the future Civil War general and United States president, went on a multi-day journey with two horses and a wagon.
Seventy miles from home, he saw a very fine, young saddle horse – and traded one of his horses for it.
The problem is that this young horse had never been collared. And this was about to create some difficulties on the trip home.
In the words of General Grant:
“The next day Mr. Payne, of Georgetown, and I started on our return.
We got along very well for a few miles, when we encountered a ferocious dog that frightened the horses and made them run.
The new animal kicked at every jump he made. I got the horses stopped, however, before any damage was done, and without running into anything.
After giving them a little rest to quiet their fears, we started again.
That instant the new horse kicked and started to run once more. The road we were on, struck the turnpike within half a mile of the point where the second runaway commenced, and there was an embankment twenty or more feet deep on the opposite side of the pike.
I got the horses stopped on the very brink of the precipice. My new horse was terribly frightened and trembled like an aspen; but he was not half so badly frightened as my companion, Mr. Payne, who deserted me after this last experience, and took passage on a freight wagon for Maysville.
Every time I attempted to start; my new horse would commence to kick. I was in quite a dilemma for a time.
Once in Maysville I could borrow a horse from an uncle who lived there; but I was more than a day’s travel from that point.”
OK, let’s take a look at what’s going on here.
- Grant was facing a real problem. He wanted to get home with his horses. But one of them was too scared and might just get them all killed.
- Mr. Payne, Grant’s traveling companion, wanted to get home alive. So, he bailed out.
- Grant, of course, wanted to get home alive, too. But he also wanted to keep his horses. Rather than give up, he realized it was time to think differently.
He gets an idea…
In Grant’s words:
“Finally, I took out my bandanna—the style of handkerchief in universal use then—and with this blindfolded my horse.
In this way I reached Maysville safely the next day, no doubt much to the surprise of my friend. Here I borrowed a horse from my uncle, and the following day we proceeded on our journey.”
Notice that he doesn’t try harder. He doesn’t work harder. He doesn’t put in longer hours.
What he does is think differently and he thinks for himself. Which helps him see an opportunity that Mr. Payne never would have seen.
The reason is that Mr. Payne chose safety.
Grant chose to get what he wanted.
To stand out, to differentiate yourself, you must learn to think differently and think for yourself.
This is why I don’t like telling our clients what to do. I want them to understand better ways of thinking. See the picture their own eyes.
Because better thinking is what gives you power, confidence and independence.
It’s what makes you stand out among a sea of people seeking the “safety” of doing what everyone does.
If you’re intrigued by this, click the button below and schedule some time for us to talk.
There’s never been a day like today to change your life forever.