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Be the Wrong Thing, In the Wrong Place

Sand for Your Inbox
March 2007

Life often requires that we stand out from the crowd and get noticed…

Perhaps by the boss, by someone you’re attracted to, by a new employer, or by potential clients… These are times when you need to be remarkable.

Achieving this with the advice “be the wrong thing in the wrong place” sounds crazy. It is crazy… crazy like a fox.

The “wrong thing/wrong place” phrase has stuck with me for many weeks now. I heard it, while watching a TV interview featuring Sam Lindo. He was talking about his family vineyard, the Camel Valley Vineyards, in Cornwall, Great Britain.

Eighteen years ago the Lindo family could have planted grapes in France and simply been one more among thousands of vineyards. But Annie and Bob (Sam’s family) chose to plant grapes (the wrong thing) on sheep pastures (the wrong place) of Cornwall… In France, they would have been a small fish in a very large pond. Instead, in Cornwall, they’ve become a big fish in a small pond they created!

Do the “wrong thing” at work

Can you be the creative one in the accounting team? How do you share business data beyond using a spreadsheet? Or how about the analytical one in the marketing team. What about being the pastor using marketing skills? Be the librarian with aspirations to do more than react to patron questions. Be the asset-based thinker among pessimists?

Do business in the “wrong place

Wrong place business ideas could include…

  • Provide chair massage service at a truck stop.
  • Offer upscale crudites at a baseball game.
  • A department of motor vehicle office as comfortable as a living room.

These are all ideas that add potential value by providing the wrong thing in the wrong place.

You Still Gotta Be Good…

With all this said, there is a major disclaimer… You have to be good at this “wrong thing.” The wines from Camel Valley are award winning. If the wines were undrinkable – it doesn’t matter if they were grown on the moon. They have to be great massages at the truck stop, the business data needs to be accurate, and the ball game appetizers need to rock your taste-buds.

Remarkable Reading

I recently posted a series of articles about remarkability. Each featuring a different approach outlined by a different author:

I hope these ideas come in handy next time you need to get noticed. Please let me know if you found this information helpful, or if you have your own ideas!

Take care,
Paul's First Name
Paul Williams
wrong doer
Idea Sandbox

Idea Sandbox • Seattle | Amsterdam

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