Be A Standout

Amazing Grace

2020 Coast-To-Coast Adventure: On our way home to Loganville, GA, from our extended west coast stay, we stopped in the sleepy, little, historic town of Echo, OR. Echo was established in 1880. The town lies off the beaten path, 188 miles east of Portland. It was after 2:00 PM, I’m not sure we would’ve stopped if it hadn’t been so long since we’d eaten, and I’m sure glad we did.

The Echo Bank Building, now the town museum, stands at the main intersection. In contrast to the old storefronts, the Bank Building will probably last another hundred years.

I parked the RV along the curb, and asked the couple walking by, “What’s the best restaurant in town?” They highly recommended H & P Café. Whenever we can, we like to eat at local, area restaurants but, good ones can be difficult to find.

H & P’s windows were full of fun Halloween décor. When we stepped inside the crowded restaurant seemed much more relaxed about Covid rules than other restaurants in Oregon. Our omelets were fantastic! Our freckle-faced, red-headed, teenage, waitress looked like she’d stepped off the boat from Ireland. Her wonderful, shy, friendly, spirit gave everyone a lift. I don’t know how many times she came back to see how we were doing.

Restaurants always like to hang distinctive things of interest on their walls. Look carefully at the picture, you’ll see the lyrics to Amazing Grace hanging on the wall behind us. I must say, I’ve never seen the words to Amazing Grace hanging on a restaurant’s wall. This added to the quality of our experience.

There shouldn’t be any controversy over hanging up Amazing Grace, a favorite song of guilt and redemption.

And yet, in today’s world, there might just be. If you are afraid of standing out even to the point of being a little controversial you will never reach your full potential. The fear of standing out, of being a little different, holds many people back. It takes courage to raise your hand, to make suggestions, to ask, “Why?” and maybe even declare, “Why not?”

There are many examples in our contemporary world of those who break the paradigm, take the risk of being different. They certainly include: Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Travis Kalanick, Brian Chesky, and Jeff Bezos, just to name a few.

The action I call you to take is to establish your personal brand. How? By finding a positive way to make a difference, to stand out from the crowd. Capitalize on all your experience. Continue to grow your talent stack. Work harder. Be smarter. Provide a higher-quality service, greater quantity of services, establish your expertise in a scarce service. You will be in constant demand.

“Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.”
Ralph Waldo Emmerson


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