Don't Copy Tips and Tricks. Be Valuable and Remarkable.

All presidents of the United States wore ties. So will wearing a tie get you into the White House? I don't think so.

learn more about Jurgen Appelo

By Jurgen Appelo

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I stopped reading articles with titles such as "What All Millionaires Do Before Breakfast" and "The 5 Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs." Don't be a copycat. Be valuable and be remarkable

Entrepreneurs always have it backwards. They want to be more successful at what they do, so they watch and copy what others do who are very successful. However, attempting to analyze the scripts, routines and checklists of those winners and then applying them in their own ventures almost always results in failure. Copying the tips and tricks of the experts rarely results in replication of their successes.

Related: 5 Steps to Build Your Personal Brand

It's because everyone starts at the wrong end.

Believe me -- I tried it too! I read several books with tips and tricks for making successful videos on YouTube, but my achievements were not impressive (so far). I followed all the advice I could find about social-media marketing, and although I cannot complain about a lack of followers, my results are far below what others have achieved -- with much less effort. I read at least 10 books about public speaking, but I attribute my modest successes mostly to my personal approach instead of the lengthy models, guides and checklists that I found.

Fortunately, I do enjoy successes. But they are successes, because I do things differently.

For example, I sold 10,000 copies of my self-published book, #Workout mainly because of it's unique approach to content, style and design. There were few other books like it. I tried many of the suggestions from a dozen or more self-publishing gurus -- most of them only publishing Ebooks -- but it helped only a little.

What nobody suggested was to print a 450-page book in full color and sell and ship it worldwide from my own office. And yet, it worked. The main driver of sales was me being different from others, not the same. I offered value -- and I was remarkable.

Related: Bar Rescue's Jon Taffer: This Is the Key to Authenticity

Did you notice that the blog of Seth Godin, one of the most popular marketers in the world, ignores all the advice commonly offered by the blogging experts? And yet, Seth's blog has more readers. It's because he offers value, and he is remarkable -- in his own way. He doesn't need anyone else's tips and tricks to get more readers.

With my share of failures and successes behind me, I am less and less interested in what the most successful people on the planet do. I stopped reading articles with titles such as "What All Millionaires Do Before Breakfast" and "The 5 Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs." I find them of little value. The authors usually confuse correlation with causation. (All presidents of the United States wore ties. Will wearing a tie get me into the White House? I don't think so.)

So, what should you do if you want to be more successful?

I believe 80 percent of your success is determined by your unique approach to solving a problem. Before anything else, understand what problem you're solving and what makes your solution remarkable. After you've figured that out, it's OK to read books and articles that may help you to polish and tweak your production and marketing. But if what you offer has little value and is not remarkable for anyone, no amount of other people's scripts, routines and checklists will make it so.

How do you become a top-rated micro-multinational with a growing, scalable business and a distributed, self-organizing team? In a series of posts, I will share with you what I learned.

Related: Why You Should Be Fearlessly Authentic

Jurgen Appelo

Writer, Speaker, Entrepreneur, CEO of Happy Melly

Jurgen Appelo is CEO of the business network Happy Melly. He is an entrepreneur, speaker, illustrator and blogger and the author of Managing for Happiness.

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