Success is work. It does not matter if you are a business professional, an athlete, or seeking to improve your relationships; you must put in effort to win at your craft. What do you define as success? The reality is, the world is filled with AVERAGE. Most people do just enough. Good people compete. Great people dominate. International sales expert and entrepreneur, Grant Cardone, explains the difference:

Competition is a struggle in pursuit of a goal. Domination is to influence and control everything around you.

Here are 9 strategies to break through obscurity and stand out in any business or economic environment:

#1. Raise Your Goals

Most people fail to set goals. Those that do, set them too low. Average producers create standards according to realistic thinking and comparative production. Top producers dream big and dare to be great – they set MONSTER goals and REFUSE to fear failure. Top producers set targets so unreasonable, that even when they fall short, they crush the competition. Would you rather fall short on a target of $100,000 or $10,000,000? Massive goals require massive amounts of action (see "The 10X Rule" by Grant Cardone). Massive action changes the world. How big are your goals and dreams?

Rocket Kid

Set massive targets and write them down daily to keep you focused on your path to success. Dream big, go big, and find new ways to outperform yourself.

#2. Commit to Action and Fail Fast

Elite producers commit to massive action with consistency and frequency. You must become frequent before you become great. Through frequency we fail; from failure we learn. The faster we fail, the sooner we succeed. People that persist with consistency to achieve unreasonable goals, succeed faster, and on a larger scale. The first step is to move. Not just create motion, but make progress with your motion. Too many people fear failure and find excuses to avoid action.

The key to success is massive failure.
– Darren Hardy

Top producers embrace failure and learn from it. Take action. Make the call you are afraid to make. Show up when you do not want to. Refuse to let fear prevent you from chasing your dream. No matter what. You need to produce. Go outside of your comfort zone and commit to yourself, commit to your business, or commit to your client that you will do whatever it takes to achieve the results desire. Your success depends on it.

#3. Associate Up

Association is one of the most powerful influences that determine success. Attitude and motivation is contagious. People feed off the attitude of others around them – positive or negative. Think about how attitude affects your life. Do you tend to eat healthier in the company of healthy people? Do you raise your level of performance and focus when surrounded with competitive, high caliber performers?

You will become the combined average of the five people you hang around the most. You will have the combined attitude, health and income of the five people you hang around the most.
– Jim Rohn

Positive people attract, impact, and influence others. Associations don't push you in a specific direction; they nudge you over time through small, consistent actions and behaviors. Cut out negative influences in your life and put yourself in a position to meet positive, successful influencers. To be a top producer, you must be willing to get uncomfortable and surround yourself with positive people operating at high levels of productivity.

#4. Train with Consistency

Training separates good producers from great producers. To stand out from your competition, you must have an unbelievable work ethic and ability to produce. Top performers never stop training, regardless of the level of success they achieve. They become known as FREAKS and operate at levels that make most people uncomfortable. Do you know someone like this? Are you that person? The truth is, most people train to a level of sufficient production then stop. They become comfortable. The same people wonder why they cannot break out of mediocrity. Top professionals train with urgency and consistency. Skill sets work like muscles; we use them or we lose them. Spend time every day to train and grow your skills. In time, you will develop and own a lethal arsenal of skill sets necessary to become a top producer in your field.

#5. Exploit Social Media

More than 2 billion people use social media. Next time you walk down the street, or sit in traffic, look around – people are buried in their phones on social media apps. If you are honest with yourself, you are likely one of them. You must be where your audience is. Twitter. LinkedIn. Facebook. Instagram. Periscope. Meerkat. These forums offer incredible opportunity to reach your desired audience, grab attention, and expand your brand. Use each platform consistently and frequently to engage with people. Find unique ways to deliver value without asking for anything in return.

The Amazing Internet

You need to give with zero expectation of return.
– Gary Vaynerchuk

People do business with people. If you commit to giving value to people without expecting something in return, you will create lasting and loyal relationships. Entrepreneur and social media marketing guru, Gary Vaynerchuk, explains this idea in detail, in his book, "Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook."

Jabs are the lightweight pieces of content that benefit your customers … right hooks are calls to action that benefit your business.

The fundamental mistake people make on social media is to ask and not give. Share content that offers value in your field and post information you believe others will share. Create and maintain engagement through educating your audience. Doing so will put you top-of-mind. In time, you will be viewed as an expert in your space.

#6. Think Like There is NO Box

Common thinking produces common results. The great Jack Welch is famous for saying, “If you don't have a competitive advantage, don't compete." Find a way to dominate a space and be original. How? Make a list of what your competitors are NOT doing, and do those things.

gap intelligence found a niche in the crowded space of market intelligence. gap continues to scale its unique business model by choosing to do what the competition does not. gap utilizes a strategic boots-on-the-ground approach to collect massive amounts of data and information from product categories [ie. consumer electronics] in retail stores across the country and online. gap's category-specific analysts then sift through the information to provide expert analysis and unmatched reporting accuracy to clients and partners, which range from manufacturers to retailers and eCommerce sites. While most competitors in the space report only industry results, gap fills a desired niche in delivering answers around the why behind the results. gap provides clients and partners with real-time data, information and understanding of their competitive landscape to make better business decisions – a service its competitors do not provide.

#7. Fill Your Pipeline

How many opportunities do you have in front of you right now? Think about the last deal or opportunity you lost – how did you feel? Inconsistent revenue and feeling of disappointment and rejection results from a weak pipeline. Flood your pipeline with prospects, opportunities, and deals. A packed pipeline creates urgency, intention and purpose in everything you do. You will not have time to worry about rejection or a lost opportunity because your attention will be on the next opportunity in front of you.

Failure can be defined as an incorrect estimation of effort.
– Grant Cardone

Learn to generate your own traffic and create your own opportunities. In turn, you will create your own economy. Set up 10 opportunities for every one you want. Be persistent and ask for referrals early and often. Even if a deal is lost, ask for the referral – you may actually save the opportunity – and create a new one at the same time.

#8. Perfect Your Pitch

A great "elevator" pitch is critical. Most people are not prepared to pitch themselves, their service, product or idea when presented with an opportunity. Top producers create sharp, memorable, and powerful pitches to communicate their value proposition with clarity and conviction. Be prepared and be ready. You may find yourself in a position to pitch your plan when you least expect it, and you may only have 15-20 seconds to make it sticky and memorable.

Craft your pitch around the ONE THING you want the person to know. First, you need attention – ask for it. "Hey sir, can I get your attention for 20 seconds?" Be confident. Clearly state your unique value proposition with a bold claim followed by a description of what you do. For example, “Our team helps companies make accurate, informed and proactive decisions worth millions of dollars to them with our real-time competitive intelligence." Make it sticky, direct, and memorable. Be sure to find out who the decision maker is. "Are you the person that makes the decision to invest $40,000 in market intelligence?" There is no reason to pitch any further without knowing who can make a decision. A good pitch will keep you competitive. A great pitch will put you in a position to dominate.

#9. Follow Up

Most people understand the importance of follow up, but fail to do it. They make false assumptions, lack an organized system, or do not want to be perceived as pushy or desperate. The reality is, most people fail to follow up simply because they do not know how.


In my article, Master the Game of Follow Up: 6 Must Know Rules to Stand Out, I explain the rules and strategies of follow up you must know to break through obscurity in any industry.

The ability to stand out as a top producer requires you to operate at high levels – even after success is achieved. Success is not owned, it is rented, and the rent is due every day. Implement the strategies above to stand out and dominate your space.