The Way of the Purple Cow: 5 Qualities Internet Marketers Need to Standout

When Seth Godin called for us to stand out and become purple cows I don’t think he had in mind some of the negative, abusive and rude behavior one encounters in certain areas of the online world. ( The book of that name should be required reading of all internet marketers. You can get your copy by clicking hyper text Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable)

If you think swearing, bullying, and plain obnoxiousness makes you stand out like a purple cow you’re in the wrong field. You are just another everyday, typical example or the common herd. It takes something more, something special, something unique, some quality of grace, forbearance and poise most common cows lack.

Being online is a bit like being on a reality TV show, your every move, your every word, is recorded forever and forever.

Tips for Standing Out online

1. Patience Before All Else or Remember You to Where There Once

Many years ago, now, I under took to help a woman learn the ins and outs of learning to use her computer and the program she affiliated with. To call the process an ordeal understates the process by a mile. With each follow-up question and reply I wondered if this poor woman would ever “get it”. She persisted and as she was one of my earliest followers I determined to stick it out no matter what.

It took her a long time to grasp the basis, longer than anyone I have helped since then.

Yet she did finally get it, and went on to become a capable marketer and is still a friend of mine on Facebook to this day.

I’ve encounter people who think you should get it right away: who have no patience for people who struggled. I’ve found myself downline of people like that in the past and felt stupid and clumsy which only prolonged my learning. And certainly, didn’t make me want to follow them.

Remember when you feel frustration set in, take a deep breath, and remember you were once in the same boat.

You will be remembered well by those who grew while under your patient guidance. They will grow to become your best referrals and affiliates.

For showing patience color yourself purple.

2. Don’t Complain.

Complaining about anything highlights a big character flaw purple cows don’t have.

A complaint signals that you don’t get it yet. You don’t get that you are responsible for your condition, no one else.

Complainers are lazy. Complainers try to make others wrong and themselves right without ever having to lift a finger toward a solution.

I hear people complaining in chat rooms all the time. Complainers are remembered, they do stand out, but not as purple cows, more like black sheep.

If you encounter a problem or a situation, instead of complaining to everyone far and wide, get in contact with the people you have the situation or problem with, state the facts and suggest a solution.

As Gandhi said, “be the change you want to see in the world’

By not complaining you get to keep your color purple and don’t get painted black.

3. Over Deliver on Value.

If you look at your own personal mentors or heroes online, I bet those people are outstanding examples of giving value far greater than expectations. I’ll just name a few of mine, Robin Sharma, Brendon Burchard, Jon Olson, Mari Smith, Darren Hardy, …. okay you get the idea.

Nothing makes you stand out like a purple cow than giving value way beyond expectations.

Now an ordinary cow would calculate the value of what they offer then squeeze a bit more on top. That’s why they are in the overgrazed field with all the other ordinary cows.

4. Lead by Example.

I was a difficult kid growing up, a bit mouthy and belligerent at times. I know I frustrated my father no end because I didn’t hesitate to say, “well you did it,” to justify some crime or other. His typically angry response was, “Do as I say, not as I do.”

Which of course I couldn’t leave alone, and which only escalated the situation, but thus I never saw my father as a leader. Instead I looked to my heroes in the books I read.

It wasn’t until late in life that my Dad emerged as a leader with a quiet, strong determination, to pass down to us some very inspired life lessons.

You can teach more by example than any other method available to you.

That’s when he became a purple cow for me, and when you learn to lead by example you purple gets deep indeed.

5. See, Seek and Encourage the Best in Yourself and Others.

When we are challenged to be our greatest selves we move beyond the paradigm of ordinary, of scarcity, of holding back, of staying small, into the expansive universe that is our birthright. We step up to a game where all potentialities are equally possible, where the biggest dream can come true, where we no longer need to hide our greatest selves but willingly let that greatness shine through.

That is when your coat of purple is truly earned.

Nick Grimshawe


Leave a comment
  • Very important points Nick.

    As you said, folks do more complaining than solution searching.

    “I’ve encounter people who think you should get it right away: who have no patience for people who struggled.” – That statement is so very true!! There is so much arrogance out there it’s crazy!

    People really need to read through blog posts like this more than once – and then point the finger at themselves.

    Thanks for such outstanding food for thought and practical advice.

  • HI Catherine thanks for dropping by. Yea the topic of bullying is so important because you have to wonder how many people get discouraged in their efforts when someone makes fun of a comment or gets critical. I remember my first very frustrating days trying to do even the simplest thing and I remember one really patient person at Microsoft staying on line with me for a couple of hours while we worked through a problem I was having. Glad you liked the article.


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