What Should You Do To Make Yourself Indispensable?

There are 4 factors that go into making you indispensable.

1. Make Your Own Ideas Obsolete

Apple has more than a 75% share of the MP3 players market. And no one has been able to challenge their iPods. The reason is simple: Apple does what their competitors ought to do. They make their own products obsolete.

First came the iPods. Then they reduced the size with iPod minis and iPod nanos. Then they added more space for music in the iPods. Then they came up with video iPods. Its been a constant re-invention process. And thats why no one has been able to challenge Apple’s dominance. Because Apple acts as its own competitor. And comes up with better products before others.

Peter Drucker spent more decades than anyone else in the world constantly re-inventing the principles of management.

Seth Godin is always on the cutting edge of marketing. He stays just slightly ahead of the curve.

You’ll never find someone retain their spot at the top of the pyramid if they don’t constantly innovate and make their own ideas obsolete.

2. Don’t be a Me-Too

Eons ago, there is a small town named Chelm somewhere in Europe. To bring order in the city, the people elect an impartial judge. One day, filled with rage, the town cobbler kills one of his customers.

The cobbler is bought up in front of the judge who sentences him to die by hanging. This is really bad news for the town. One townsman gains some courage to stand up and speak: “If Your Honor pleases, you have sentenced to death the town cobbler! He?s the only one we’ve got. If you hang him who will mend our shoes?”

“Who! Who?” cry all the other townsmen in Chelm together.

The judge thinks for a while, nods in agreement and reconsiders his verdict. “Good people of Chelm,” he says, “What you say is true. Since we have only one cobbler it would be a great wrong against the community to let him die. As there are two roofers in the town, let one of them be hanged instead!”

If you don’t distinguish yourself from others, you’ll be easily replaced.

So how do you distinguish yourself and stand out from amongst the crowd?

i. Do what others don’t. Be a contrarian. And distinguish yourself from the crowd.

ii. Polarize people. Don’t be a diplomat. Take a strong stand.

iii. Build your own USP.

iv. Don’t cover news. Because hundreds others will do the same. Instead analyze news. Give your opinion on the news.

v. Remember the peacock theory.

“Peacock theory is the idea that in order to attract the most desirable female of the species, it’s necessary to stand out in a flashy and colorful way. For humans… the equivalent of a flashy peacock tail is a shiny shirt, a garish hat, and jewelry that lights up in the dark?basically everything I’d dismissed my whole life as cheesy.” – Neil Strauss

Remember Dennis Rodman? For years, Dennis was a first class basketball player putting up impressive rebounding numbers on the scorecard. But he didn’t receive much publicity and hardly any endorsement contracts. That all changed when he coloured his hair red. By being bold and different, he instantly stood out from the rest of his mates. And made a fortune for himself endorsing products.

Dennis Rodman: Before & After - Hair Colour
Dennis Rodman: Before & After - Hair Colour

My favourite blogger – Havi is more noticeable because she has Selma the Duck as her sidekick!

3. Have a Voice Piece

Benjamin Franklin was the most popular person of his generation. Even today, his face is on the US $100 bill – even though he was never the President of USA (all other US bills have the face of past presidents on them). The reason? Its simple – Franklin understood the power of having a voice piece.

He published extensively. And ran his own newspaper. And because of his voice piece, his thoughts were heard louder than anyone elses!

4. Network. Network. Network

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

“If you’re the best in the world at what you do – but no one knows it, does it make a difference?”

Just like Location is the make-or-break point for a piece of real estate property, networking is the make-or-break point for making you indispensable. Unless other people know you and start spreading the word about your expertise, you’ll never become indispensable!

i. First rule of networking: help others before you need help yourself. What can you offer to others that will help them?

ii. Thanking people is the easiest way of networking.

iii. Learn a trick or two from Paris Hilton: Why is Paris Hilton so famous?

iv. Get the current industry experts to endorse you. The way to create a magnet is by rubbing iron against an already existing powerful magnet. You can become magnetic and attract more folks by simply getting other magnetic personalities to give their nod to you!

Action Map:

indispensable
Click picture to view an expanded chart.

April 1, 2009