Everyone is looking to be a winner, right? We all have that fundamental drive.  But why is that? Because the alternative to a winner is a loser and that’s no fun.

One way to be a winner or at least up your odds, is to stand out from the crowd in a good way. I’ll leave it to you to decide and define what being “a winner” means to you. 

Whatever that definition is to you, here are six simple, yet essential tools, you’ll want to live by to get there: 


All day and wherever you go.  Yes, simply smile!  The underrated and often forgotten – smile. But, don’t I have to be happy or in a good mood to smile?” “Otherwise I’m being a phony, right?” Wrong! A smile, will lift you up and those you encounter.  A smile, will brighten the day of a sick child, a wounded warrior, your loved one – yes, literally anyone. No one is immune to feeling more alive, positive and just simply better when they smile and encounter one. I empower you today, tomorrow and always to smile more.  You don’t need a reason to smile, the smile alone will give you the reason.


Being a good listener should be under a flashing neon sign that reads:

“How to be a rock star!” A superstar in comparison to many of your peers who are not aware of the power of listening.

The two most common and costly listening mistakes we make are:

1) Listening just shortly enough to formulate a quick answer;

2) Being a distracted listener.

I know that amazing things will happen for you and for those around you when you make it a priority to:

  • Be fully present
  • Not interrupt
  • Listen intently

Be Responsive

If you’re in a service profession or just simply want to be held in higher regard, I’d encourage you to read on closely here.   Expectations around response time today is much different than it was even ten years ago.  Nearly everyone gets everything including email in real-time on their smartphone.  Acknowledging someone’s message or email tomorrow doesn’t cut it these days.  Even if you don’t have an immediate answer, take a moment to send a response note now that you’ve seen it and you are on it.  In business, remaining fast and nimble will always set you apart from the competition.  I have lived it and being ultra-responsive is unquestionably an advantage.

Manners and Grammar Basics

Gosh, you can’t recall everything your elders taught you – but don’t forget basic manners.  Because by remembering, you’ll stand out and in a good way.  Too many people these days, in every interaction, show they either never learned manners or think it’s uncool to use them.  Always-always-always say “please”, “may I” and remember that a “thank you” is followed by “you’re welcome” rather than the now infamous “have a good one.”  You do not need to use big words to make a good first impression but improper grammar when communicating in writing will not put your best foot forward.  Because we have spell check and other automated responses, even the basics get missed such as: to/too, there/their, your/you’re, and than/then. I know it appears elementary, but I have seen these errors so often that it is important to remind.  Consistently using manners, being polite and remember the basics of grammar will distance you from the pack. 

Be Nice

Yes, just be “nice”!  Do you like hanging out with or buying something from a difficult person? Guess what?  No one else does either.  This means along with being polite; both gratitude and humility will endear most people to you.  Being nice often requires leaving your ego behind.  The halls of mediocrity are jam-packed with those that cannot keep their ego in check.  Being nice and kind feels good for others and low and behold will make you feel good too.  To keep it simple, being nice to others should always be your default. 

Embrace Your Competitors

Yes, you read that correctly and I haven’t gone mad, embrace your competitors!

These “colleagues in different companies” can be one of your greater assets.

If you are working on similar accounts, then there is a good chance that you are both encountering and attempting to solve many of the same problems.  There is often plenty of business to go around and goodwill will get you farther than the old fashioned cut throat competition approach.  There’s another reason to embrace a competitor, who knows downstream that competitor today may be your co-worker or even your boss tomorrow.

The above nuggets are about you standing out from the average crowd.  Try on these easy, yet important human interaction tips starting today and then take notice of how the world around you changes.