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Sam Davidson's blog

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How to Be Remarkable

The thing with remarkability is that today, it's not all that hard to actually be remarkable, to stand out form a crowd and for people to notice you. While this could be a sad commentary on the state of humanity or business services these days, this fact gives anyone the opportunity to be remarkable.

If you ask me, all you have to do are these 5 things:

#1 - Do what you say.
Surprisingly, most people over-promise and under-deliver. We all like to talk, and the best of us can talk a great game. Since most people fear public speaking, if you can communicate well on any level, you'll stand out. But, to be remarkable, you've got to back up your promises. Some people call this telling the truth. It's easy to say something, thinking no one will call you on it. Instead of worrying if you'll be found out, just be honest about expectations in the first place. If you say you'll be at the party, go. If you say you'll come up with that amount of money, do it. If you tell someone you can introduce them to a contact of yours, make it happen.

#2 - Get back with people.
Just like the first step, if you say you'll get back with someone, make sure it happens. But, if you also take the 60 seconds that a response email requires, you're on the way to remarkableness. If someone leaves a voicemail, don't leave them hanging. Return calls, emails, and letters. Write thank you notes for gifts you receive. You'd be surprised at the number of people who don't do this.

#3 - Smile, be nice, and apologize.
Chances are, your smile is one of your most underutilized assets. While you don't need to slap one on to be fake or patronizing, a smile goes a long way when you meet someone for the first time, when you're listening to someone talk, or when you walk into a room. Smiles signify confidence. Likewise, being nice to people is a rarity these days. Things like common courtesy and giving people the benefit of the doubt seem to have gone out of style. Thus, if you're a pleasant person to work with and be around, you'll be sought out for more personal and professional opportunities. And, when applicable, don't forget to apologize. In our culture of pride, apologizing seems like a weakness. But simply saying "I'm sorry" will get you off to a great start in repairing relationships, mending mistakes, and charting a new course.

#4 - Make decisions.
The word 'maybe' rarely gets things done. Taking time to think about something is valuable, but not deciding due to fear of failure is worthless. If you make the wrong decision, then you've got step 3 to get you on the right path to making a better decision. You can always decide to do something different if one decision turned out not to be what you thought. But you won't have that opportunity if you don't decide something in the first place. For most of us, the chance to decide something is rare - take advantage of it.

#5 - Do one thing well.
Many people think that being remarkable requires inventing something new or making a lot of money. However, if you can do one thing very well, people will begin to see you as a reliable resource or even an expert on that topic. Maybe you make a great pizza crust, maybe you can get any baby to quit crying in the nursery, maybe you can change oil in any car, maybe you have great ideas for marketing campaigns - whatever it is, find it and continue to refine your ability to do that one thing extremely well.

The overly shocking thing about these steps to being remarkable is how truly easy they are to do. And that's only because the vast majority of people don't do them. So yes, returning a phone call, smiling, and being a really good knitter really will make people remember you.