How can you gain a competitive advantage in life? Woody Allen once said “80% of success in life is just showing up.”
Most of us aren’t born into wealth – or into a network that propels us to success. Not to worry – there are several things you can do to gain a competitive advantage in life.
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Getting a Competitive Advantage in Life
Success often comes down to having the right mindset. If you want to gain a competitive advantage in life, you need to think differently than the average person. You need to be willing to take risks, push yourself outside of your comfort zone, and always be learning and growing.
You also need to have a positive outlook and believe in yourself. People with a millionaire mindset are often the ones who end up achieving their goals and reaching their full potential.
So, if you want to get ahead in life, start by changing the way you think. Adopt a growth mindset and let go of limiting beliefs. When you do, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.
Here are seven things you can do that put Woody Allen’s sentiment into turbo mode:
1. Volunteer – for anything
This is huge. When you volunteer regularly, you meet others who also give their time to support causes they care about. And when you volunteer for leadership roles, you’ll meet incredible people who may play a role in your life down the road.
When considering whether or not to volunteer for a cause, many people focus solely on the issue at hand. While it’s important to care about the cause you’re volunteering for, it’s also important to consider the personal benefits of volunteering.
One of the most important benefits of volunteering is that it allows you to meet other like-minded people. If you’re passionate about a particular cause, chances are there are others who feel the same way. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to connect with these people and work together towards a common goal. In addition, volunteering can also help to broaden your personal network, which is key for a competitive advantage in life.
The more people you know, the greater your chances of finding a job or networking for professional opportunities. Ultimately, volunteering is a great way to meet new people, expand your network, and further your career.
2. Raise your hand more
This is like another form of volunteering, but more for your work place. Offer to work on new projects, take on more responsibility.
Any employer worth their salt is looking for someone who is not only competent but also reliable and proactive.
One way to demonstrate these qualities is by taking on additional responsibility at work, whether it’s volunteering for special projects or stepping up in the absence of a colleague.
Not only will this make you stand out from your peers, but it will also give you a chance to develop new skills and expand your knowledge base.
And if you’re lucky enough to work for a reputable organization, taking on extra responsibility can also open doors for future opportunities.
So if you’re looking to get ahead in your career and build your competitive advantage in life, don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and volunteer for that next big project.
3. Always be learning
So many people choose to stop learning on their own once their formal education is completed. This is one of the biggest career mistakes ever. You must continue to learn or you’ll get passed by while you’re sleeping. Take an online course to get certified in a new tool, learn a new marketing skill that you’ve read about.
This will help you stay up to date on new trends and also enhance your ability lead others as you progress in your career. Learning new skills can be technical, such as learning a new software program, or non-technical, such as becoming proficient in public speaking. Regardless of the type of skills you learn, always keep learning to help improve your career prospects and gain a competitive advantage in life.
4. Build your personal network
Connect on LinkedIn with new people you meet. Post content regularly so you increase the chances of staying visible. Attend every in-person networking event you’re able to go to. Your network is your doorway to securing a competitive advantage in life.
A personal network is a group of people you know and who know you. Your personal network can include family, friends, acquaintances, and professional contacts.
The advantages of having a personal network are many.
- First, a personal network provides support and encouragement. In times of need, your personal network can be a source of emotional and practical support.
- Second, a personal network can provide opportunities. When you meet someone new, they may be able to introduce you to other people or offer you advice and guidance.
- Finally, a personal network can provide tangible benefits. For example, your personal network may be able to help you find a job or get access to information or resources that you would not otherwise have.
You can build your personal network by attending events and networking functions, participating in online communities, and volunteering for organizations. As you build your personal network, it is important to keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity. It is better to have a few close relationships than a large number of superficial ones.
Regularly staying in touch with your contacts and making an effort to get to know them better will help you build strong relationships that will last over time. Relationships are critical in getting a competitive advantage in life.
5. Show up early, stay late
In order to build a competitive advantage in life, you need to show that you’re committed and willing to go the extra mile and that you’re always available.
There’s a fairly easy way to show your dedication without having to express it verbally.
Show up early and stay late.
It’s really that simple. If you’re at a physical office, get to work 20 minutes before others and stay 20 minutes after they leave. This sends a signal that you’re dedicated and willing to put in the extra hours. Your boss will notice your dedication.
6. Dress one step better than your peers
There’s an old saying that goes, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” While that may be good advice in general, there’s another level to consider when it comes to dressing for success.
In a competitive world, it’s often not enough to simply dress well – you need to dress one notch better than your peers. Whether it’s a job interview, an important meeting, or even just a casual get-together, dressing one step above everyone else will give you a competitive advantage.
Example: if your colleagues wear khakis and a polo shirt to work, wear slacks and a button down dress shirt. People will notice and it builds your personal brand that gives you a competitive advantage throughout your life.
It sends the signal that you’re willing to go the extra mile, and that you’re serious about success.
Of course, there’s a fine line between dressing for success and looking arrogant or out of place. But as long as you keep it professional and tasteful, dressing one notch better than your peers is a great way to stand out from the crowd.
7. Watch your posture (exude confidence)
I know this sounds like an odd note for this list, but think about how you perceive someone who slouches vs. someone who stands tall with confidence. Stand up straight and you’ll physically feel different – more confident. And everyone is attracted to confident people.
It gives you a big competitive advantage in life – whether you’re trying to get a job, make a sale, or simply impress people. But how do you exude confidence? Here are some other things you can do:
- Make eye contact. When you look people in the eye, it shows that you’re confident and sure of yourself.
- Smile. A genuine smile communicates warmth and openness, and makes people want to be around you.
- Speak clearly and concisely. hemming and hawing makes you sound unsure of yourself. Instead, take a deep breath and speak slowly and deliberately.
- Be comfortable with silence. Sometimes the best thing you can do is simply listen. shut off the noise in your head and really tune in to what others are saying. It shows that you’re interested and engaged, and it gives you an opportunity to learn more about them – which can be helpful in building rapport.
Showing Up for Success
As you can see in this list, “showing up” comes in many forms and small actions on your part will give you that competitive advantage in life.
Start with one item on the list and take it from there. Pin this article to your bathroom mirror so you see it the first thing each morning when you wake up and at night before going to bed. Keeping these actions in mind will increase your likelihood of doing them – and there by gaining your personal competitive advantage.
Author: Raj Khera, publisher of MoreBusiness.com