#1 Tools of Assets & Influence — How To Differentiate Through Philosophy

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How To Differentiate Through Philosophy

Alby, odds are, you’re running a commoditised business.

It might not feel that way on the inside because it’s your baby.

From the outside however, through the objective eyes of a prospect, they may struggle to really ‘get’ why you’re different. It’s a big problem, but totally solvable.

A Commodities Guide To Standing Out From The Crowd

A commodity is anything where it’s easy to find a suitable alternative.

Salt is salt. If Coles tries to charge a premium for their salt, people will just go to Woolies.

When commoditised businesses compete, they’ve no alternative than to compete on price because price is the only significant differentiator they’ve got.

If you can’t tell the difference between Accountant ‘A’ or Accountant ‘B’, they’re commoditised.

If PR agency ‘A’ is offering the same stuff as PR agency ‘B’, they’re commoditised.

If fitness trainer ‘A’ is talking about the importance of diet like everyone else… you get the point.

So, how can you differentiate yourself if what do you isn’t radically different to the next guy?

The answer is to De-commoditise through Philosophy.

Pete Evans is a celebrity chef that has a controversial philosophy around food. He believes it’s better to eat similar foods to our caveman ancestors and to shun grains, sugars and processed foods including pastas, rice, oats and a range of other household staples. Not everyone agrees with his philosophy by the way, in fact, it seriously polarises people. Pete isn’t trying to please everyone. He holds true to his philosophy and as a result, attracts more and more opportunities (that align with his values) every year.

On my podcast with Darren Finkelstein, he explains how he transformed his boat sales business through philosophy. He discovered his WHY was all about family. This shaped his philosophy that the boating lifestyle is a great way for husbands, wives, families and friends to spend more time together.

“It wasn’t about selling boats, it was about selling quality time.”

He’s now written three books, is an in demand speaker and media personality, is way more profitable and, most importantly, loves his business again.

Zuckerberg has a philosophy that the world should be more open and connected and that privacy is dead. Mark wants to connect the whole world and it drives his decisions at Facebook.

His COO Sheryl Sandberg has a philosophy that women should ‘Lean In’ to their careers. She attracts both support, and challenge around her ideas.

Buffet has a philosophy when it comes to investing. Oprah has a philosophy on TV content. Branson has a philosophy when it comes to building culture and brand.

Elon Musk has a philosophy around humans living on Mars!

When you develop a clear philosophy (and get it out in the world) you’ll begin to create your own market. And not just customers. Team, partners, investors are all attracted to the people and organisations that are up to something unique.

Not everyone will agree with you, (it’s often better if they don’t) but you don’t need everyone.

You only need to powerfully connect with YOUR market, and I’ll explain more about that in a future rant.

If you have no philosophy, you appear to be bland and like every other commodity in your market and you’re back to competing on price.

  • What’s your philosophy?
  • What are your strongly held beliefs about what you do?
  • What do you stand for?
  • What do you stand against?
  • What is the change you want to see in the world?

The clearer you are when answering these questions, the faster and more powerfully you will begin to show up as unique, different and remarkable.

If 2017 is your year for making bold moves in your business, registrations are now open for our acclaimed Key Person of Influence, Business Brand Accelerator.

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Be Brave, Have Fun and Make a Dent in the universe.


This is the first of 24 rants on INFLUENCE + ASSETS.

Please let me know your thoughts. Agree? Disagree? What are your struggles when it comes to developing your philosophy?


To read the second of 24 rants where I deconstruct the key drivers of growth and profitability for traditional service or advisory businesses — click here.

Article written by Glen Carlson.