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How to Set Yourself Apart From the Competition The talent you're born with is far less important than the effort you put into developing it.

By Timothy Sykes Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Why fit in when you were born to stand out? To set yourself apart from the competition, you've got to approach things a little differently in business.

Being a standout in your professional life really doesn't require any special talents or skills, just requires hard work, a sense of direction and a dedication to self improvement. Want to set yourself apart from the crowd? Here are six tips for how to set yourself apart from the competition:

1. Find your edge.

Everyone has things that they're naturally good at on the job. Maybe you're super organized, a whiz at creating PowerPoint presentations or a great writer. Whatever your strengths, be sure to emphasize and make the most of them in your career. Become known for these things at the workplace.

By doing this, you'll effectively be creating a personal brand for yourself within the professional sphere. When you establish yourself as having expertise in certain areas, you'll make yourself invaluable in the workplace, which gives you an edge that can help you get ahead.

2. Have clear cut goals.

It's incredible how many talented people are out there just operating without direction. Don't be one of them! Give your ambition direction with clear cut goals.

When you set specific goals, you give yourself a course of action toward attaining them that can help you perform to the best of your abilities. Without goals, your work can be good, but it may lack direction and forward progress. By establishing goals, you'll be better able to work toward what will give you personal fulfillment. You'll also have a sense of drive and direction that will set you apart from the crowd.

Related: 6 Reasons Why Concrete Goals Are Essential to Entrepreneurial Success

3. Dedicate yourself to your work.

It's a sad truth, but many people are content to work as little as possible, whiling away the day on Facebook or with busy work. The thing is, this isn't very satisfying in the long run. I'm not saying that you need to be working every second of the day--actually, taking time off can be a very good thing. However, when you are at work, it's important to dedicate yourself to the task at hand. Don't waste time, and don't lose focus.

If you're able to dedicate yourself to simply working hard and completing tasks to the best of your ability, chances are you'll be amazed at how much more of an effective worker you are. Not only do dedicated workers tend to get noticed and promoted, some positive side effects might include better concentration and a better sense of accomplishment.

Related: Why Taking Time Off From Work Is Good for Your Productivity

4. Be transparent.

Transparency is so important in business, because it helps you build integrity and trust.

So what does being transparent mean? It means being clear and open about your goals, motivations, and mission at the workplace. By being open about your achievements and hopes for the future, you'll open up lines of communication that can create opportunities. Being transparent helps you work with people, not for or against them!

5. Strengthen your weaknesses.

While it's important to always refine your strengths, it's also important to work on identifying and strengthening your weaknesses.

For instance, say that your writing skills leave something to be desired. Even if you never want to be a writer, it's important to work on developing this skill so that you have the ability to communicate with others. By working on strengthening your weaknesses, you can improve overall in important ways that can help you to keep advancing at work.

Related: You Can Stop Procrastinating Starting Right Now

6. Learn from every experience.

If you really want to stand out, you must do this one thing: keep learning. Education is truly the key to unlocking doors at work, making you a more intelligent worker, more self sufficient, and more capable of getting ahead.

Learn from every experience, both the good ones and the bad ones. Good experiences can teach you what to keep doing at work and inform you about your strengths. But bad experiences or failures shouldn't be ignored, because they can powerful lessons about how you could improve or do things differently in the future.

If you have the ability to take a step back and learn from every experience, you'll set yourself apart from the pack of people who aren't improving and keep making the same mistakes over and over!

Timothy Sykes

Entrepreneur and Penny Stock Expert

Timothy Sykes is an entrepreneur and a penny stock expert, trader and advocate. He has been featured on CNN, Fox News, CNBC and more and has spoken at prestigious institutions such as Harvard University. Watch his media appearances and speeches on Youtube here.

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