Entrepreneurial Leader Bill Taylor Shares Insight on Success


Entrepreneur, co-founder of Fast Company magazine and best selling author Bill Taylor has spent years researching success for his latest book, "Be the Only: Thriving in a World Where Best Isn’t Good Enough." And he has found that not only are business owners facing increasing competition, but competition is more competent than ever. To set themselves apart and find success, entrepreneurs must find and focus on their unique attributes, take risks and look for new ways to meet customers’ needs.

Taylor made his remarks during The NATSO Show 2016 in Orlando, Fla., where he offered a keynote address.

Taylor said operators should not try to be the best at what a lot of other people do but instead should focus on being the only one who does what they do. To identify what they are best at, Taylor suggests business owners ask themselves what their customers would miss if the company went out of business tomorrow. 

“In almost any industry there are so many competitors that if company A goes out of business Company B, C and D would be happy to serve their customers. You have to ask yourself, ‘What are we doing that if we stopped doing it our customers would feel that absence?’ That is the beginning of understanding what are the kernels of distinction that make us different and compelling,” he said.

Taylor urged NATSO members to ask themselves what they offer that their competitors don’t and identify the experiences they’re creating for their customers. Taylor said, “What are the promises you’re making that only you can make?” 

Finding and maintaining success often means going beyond the status quo and taking risks. Taylor said to remain successful, business owners need to create a sense of “positive dissatisfaction with the status quo” so they become comfortable with experimenting. Taylor suggested operators start with small changes. “Over a few years, taking little bets might create a line of site into how they can create big change in the future,” he said.

To find new opportunities, Taylor suggested owners look for dramatically new ways to solve an old problem. “Look for services and offerings and experiences customers don’t know they want until you provide it to them,” he said.   

Photo Credit: Chuck Fazio/NATSO

Mindy Long's photo

Mindy Long

Before launching a full-time freelance career, Long edited NATSO's Stop Watch magazine. Prior to that Long worked as a staff reporter for Transport Topics, a weekly trade newspaper, covering freight transportation, fuel and environmental issues. In addition to covering the transportation sector, Long has written, reported and edited for a variety of media outlets. She was the Washington correspondent for WCAX-TV (CBS) in Burlington, Vt., a criminal court reporter in Chicago and a freelance copy editor for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine in Washington D.C. Long hold a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill., and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.More

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