When was the last time you took a chance?

People who exceed expectations do so because they took a chance.

You ever had one of those days where you put on a funky tie or cool new skirt and you’re convinced you look sharper than sharp. You look the ultimate, some might say. But then somewhere in the back of your mind that nagging voice says NO! Don’t do it! It’s too risky, too wild, so you go back to the closet and pull out the conservative blue suit once again. Better safe than sorry.

You know taking a chance is risky. Yes when you risk something there is always the chance you might fail but being safe never hit any homeruns. People who exceed expectations do so because they took a chance.

Now my motivation for writing this article is a personal one. A few weeks ago I was in Halifax to speak at a large education conference and before my talk I met up with one of the speaker bureaus that represent me. During our discussion it came out that I am a certified hypnotist. Well, the President of this bureau almost fell off her chair. She had no idea. She asked why it wasn’t in my material and I said it was, just deeply hidden.

She said, are you crazy? There are hundreds of sales/business speakers out there and you have this great differentiator and you hide it? My shoulders dropped. I fell into the age-old trap.

You see I was so worried about being safe that I didn’t put my unique difference front and centre just in case it was too “out there” for some people. I wonder how many times you have done the same thing.

It’s scary being unique because you know others are going to look at you differently. You know you are going to really stick out in a crowd and your nagging voice wonders if that is a good thing.

Being different means you are doing things in a way no one else has considered. Being different means you are shifting attention away from a commodity market and focusing the customer’s attention on all that you can do better than anyone else. To me this has to be a formula for great success.

Sure you’re good at what you do but you’re never alone as there are many others just as good as you. You need to take a chance to find your “gotta have it factor” and take a leap of faith. If you truly know your market, care about your customer and you can go to market with an approach that is unique, fresh and different then I say take a chance and go for it!

This month take some time to look at your business and ask yourself where you can take a chance at being different. It may be scary, it could be risky but in the end great business comes to those who bet on what they believe in.

Curt Skene