I’ve been thinking a lot about the time I spent in NYC when I was an acting student. I learned a lot of lessons about the theatre business that can directly relate to the entrepreneurial world and life in general. If you want to learn how to stand out in your field, you need to work at it.

When my fellow actors and I were complaining about how hard it was going to be to get cast in anything because there are so many actors in New York, our teacher reassured us by saying that most people in the city who call themselves actors don’t have the proper training. They have taken a commercial class or an on-camera class or an audition class, but very few were properly trained at an acting conservatory. The competition was actually a much smaller group than we thought.

For Business Owners

I think this can directly relate to those of us who have our own businesses. There are a lot of people who open online shops or coaching practices, but how many of them are actually experts at what they do? Anyone can call themselves a coach, but that doesn’t mean they went through a coaching certification program. There are many people who make handmade beauty and bath products but that doesn’t mean they are experts in essential oils and the chemistry of saponification.

Of course, that doesn’t mean they will make products that are bad. But for those of you who have the credentials or the equivalent experience, you can prove your authority by writing about your experience on your blog. Sometimes we wonder what to write about on our blogs. The best thing you can do for your business is share your authority.

And if you don’t have the experience or the training credentials, go out and get them. If you’re going to be in business and want to stand out in a crowded market, you need to be the best or at least in the top 10%. Become the expert. Invest in your training. Know what you are doing. Because in some fields if you are half-assing it (pardon the expression) you can do a lot of damage.

For Employees

This is also true for the workplace. To get the promotion or the plum assignments, you need to have the goods and you need to demonstrate them. Get the extra training you need, do the internship or the volunteer work, do what it takes to get the credentials you need to advance in your field.

No one is going to hand you the world. When we look at successful people who make it look easy, we don’t see all the work that went on in the background to get them to that place. We only see the results.

You can distance yourself from the pack by being the best, the most informed, the most creative. Stand out in your field.

Do the work.