Dorie Clark’s Book, “Stand Out”

“Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around it”

Consultant and writer, Dorie Clark, has written a great book on how to set yourself apart with the use of niche, personal branding plus lots of good, old, hard work. It offers competitive advantage ideas that, if applied, truly help you stand out.  It’s also a book on idea creation as a way to build your legitimate brand and network. Dorie’s new book is titled, “Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around it.”

Dorie Clark

Who Is Dorie?

Dorie Clark is a consultant, writer, speaker, and adjunct professor of business administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. In addition to her two books, (“Reinventing You” was the first), she frequently writes for the Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, and Forbes. She has more than 400 free articles on her website at She’s also a down-to-earth individual that took the time to connect back with me on Twitter. She’s the real deal and I appreciated her sincere engagement response.

Seth Godin dropped her name in a recent blog post and highly recommended this book. Since a Seth read is a good read, I ordered a copy and was not disappointed.

The Thesis of Stand Out

In sum, you have to stand out in today’s world because “safe jobs” are fading fast. The twenty year pension and a gold watch is gone. For those bold enough to truly stand out, she offers tons of practical advice. Like Seth Godin always says, “Don’t wait to get picked. Pick yourself.”  However, this does not happen due to artificial social media status. It takes hard work. Lots of it. Focused work.

What Makes Stand Out, Stand Out?

Dorie herself stands out but it did not happen overnight. She earned the right to write the book, so to speak. In fact it’s based on over fifty interviews with a balanced blend of thought leaders in all types of industries. Both her personal and “industry travels” stories are great.  The end of each chapter also lists a series of thought provoking action item questions to challenge and drive your personal quest for standing out.

What Do You Get From This Read?

In the spirit of Tom Peter’s, “The Brand Called You”, I found tons of both forgotten and new ideas to help my personal brand stand out. The section on blogging provided confirmation to my many personal hours of blogging. Since I dedicated a chapter on blogging in my new book, “Winning The Battle For Attention, it was a nice pat on the back knowing I was blogging up the right tree. I always say that if a consultant can’t think or write for themselves, how can they think for clients? Dorie sees blogging as a unique competitive advantage and I say a big, “Amen” to that!

Her mention of Alan Weiss, Tom Peters, permission marketing, constant learning, appreciating people for who they are instead of only “value taking,” are important reminders.

I loved her point on page 194 when she states what it takes to get to the top:

“The vast majority of people will never be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to get to the top. They want it handed to them–as Seth Godin says, to be picked by Oprah. If success were determined by what happened to you, you would be stuck if you were not born to genius or privilege. Fortunately, it’s often a matter of outworking everyone else. You don’t have to be a genius, and you don’t have to be lucky (though we’ve discussed how to make more time in your schedule for that, too). You just have to want it badly enough.”

With the popularity of “privilege criticism” and privilege guilt, this book gives us a more objective assessment of what it takes to succeed. No entitlement in these pages. We have to do something and not wait for help. We must “out want” the competition.

Dorie nails this and I loved the read. Just like her book, Dorie stands out…

For another good read, see info on my new internet marketing book.

By Stuart Atkins


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