Differentiation by Beverly Hobbs Shea

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.