Interesting word when we see it in print – a noun that
speaks to the act of differentiating. The root is the word
differentiate, which the dictionary tells us is more of a
verb: to form or mark differently/ to change or alter/ to
perceive the difference or to make different/ to become
unlike or dissimilar. In biology, it speaks of the change
from generalized to specialized.
I remember years ago there was an advertisement that spoke
of certain company representatives as being different at
birth. While I don’t believe that all who work under a
certain banner are superior (the intimation), I do believe
that there are certain innate traits that individuals are
born with, and also that there are traits that can be
enhanced, cultivated, and improved by outside influences.
After approximately 43 years in the real estate business
(yes, a very early start) and as my only profession, I’ve
witnessed many trends and cycles. I’ve always cringed at
how easy it is to get into the field, how difficult it is
to uphold a standard, and how often both the public and the
wannabes are fooled by the commitment required – a
commitment that extends beyond the who you know to what you
really know. There are no substitutes for the qualities
required for success and longevity in any business; we
know what they are. What should decide whether or not any
business person “brings it” is whether or not they can
execute the plays and bring about the intended goal (and in
so doing how they can differentiate themselves from the
rest of the pack).
I was once told that the more successful a person became,
the less they needed to advertise and tout their victories.
I’ve found this to be true. There is a certain freedom in
whatever degree of anonymity may exist, in letting others
refer and recommend based on past experience, in not making
promises that can’t be kept, and in exceeding expectations.
It’s the flying-under-the-radar “aha” moments that prompt
the real recognition that manifests in repeat business and
counts as the differentiation that matters.