Remarkable business calls for: creative ideas vs. mundane solutions, active involvement in developing your team vs. passive engagement, and uncommon focus on a vision that matters vs. scattered activity on minor issues. Remarkable business makes no room for the lazy executive. When you evaluate yourself and your managers, where do you (they) fall? Are you willing to tell yourself the truth about your team? Are you willing to do anything about what you discover? REMARKABLE LEADERSHIP In "Is Being A Good Leader Good Enough?," Yvonne DiVita provides a thought-provoking perspective that you may not agree with entirely, but that is sure to inspire you on some level.\u00a0 According to Yvonne, \u201cYou can\u2019t be good or good enough or even great\u2014you must be remarkable.\u201d She says, \u201cRemarkable leaders are focused on the unexpected. They anticipate the future, fully aware that past performance is no guarantee of future success.\u201d I like this idea because it keeps us fully in the challenge of life and business, and that\u2019s where the excitement and creativity is. Some of us want to create things that\u00a0 never existed before or to solve what seems like an impossible problem. I call those problems opportunities. Some call them pains. Yvonne calls them challenges. She says, \u201cChallenges come in the form of intrigue, mystery and hardship.\u201d It\u2019s so true. Opportunities cost. Hardships teach us something and mysteries reveal business-changing secrets. But only those who dig into them get the benefit.\u00a0 Yvonne says these types of moments \u201crequire fast thinking, a creative mindset and confidence.\u201d I want to know: Are you up to the challenge? REMARKABLE INFLUENCE One of the largest areas of concern for small businesses is marketing. If we can\u2019t get this right, then we can\u2019t get the word out about our product. In "Why Influencers Matter to Small Business," Ivana Taylor says, \u201cWe\u2019ve been conditioned to think of celebrities as influencers because a single mention from them can set product sales soaring.\u201d But with the Internet there are influencers\u2014with loyal audiences\u2014all around us. We just have to find them, and then build sincere and mutually beneficial relationships with them (Hint: give before you expect to get). Ivana gives great advice on how to discover influencers, but what stands out to me is her take on how to become one. She says, \u201cActually becoming an influencer and being known for your expertise within a particular industry or subject area\u201d is the key and \u201call it takes is persistence and strategy.\u201d The first step to her strategy includes taking the time to \u201cbuild your personal brand.\u201d REMARKABLE BRANDING Now, you may call the process of building your personal brand by another name, but the point is to distinguish yourself so that you are memorable for the right reasons. In "The Enduring Value of Brands," John Mariotti says, \u201cBrands are a shorthand name for a promise and a relationship.\u201d\u00a0 And while he references large companies like McDonald's and Google, there\u2019s value for the small business owner. Your business stands for something, and if you are going to establish a memorable brand, then you will have to decide what that \u201csomething\u201d is and promote it consistently. John says to build brand value, you should "build a relationship, never break the promise of what a brand stands for, and that brand will last a long time.\u201d As small business owners we can start with clear and specific baby steps: What is your name? Your tagline? Your logo? The problem that you consistently solve? And as John puts it, what is your \u201cpromise?\u201d Deciding on and establishing a brand takes effort, time and money, but with the Internet it\u2019s not as expensive as it used to be. Knowing who you are and consistently promoting it in your online messages helps establish and move your brand forward. Ivana\u2019s article, "Why Influencers Matter to Small Business," has some links to help you address this. Just remember: Creating a remarkable business takes remarkable effort in multiple areas, but why shouldn't you and your company be up for the challenge?