Ways to distinguish yourself – #80 Don't chase exclusivity without a clear plan to leverage it

Yesterday I met with Ramit Sethi
and while we talked about a ton of things, one of the things we
discussed was the people’s need to chase exclusivity (examples: be it
going to a certain business school, living in a certain community/city,
driving a certain car etc.) without a clear leverage plan.

I agree with Ramit’s observation. I have seen this time and again when
I watch people trying to join a business school. When asked “Why
exactly do you want to go to THIS business school” most often I hear an
answer that is VALID but not CONVINCING. It is almost like it is the
RIGHT thing to do to get ahead. They have validations, meaning they
know of people who have been successful taking this path and of course,
they don’t look at a larger set of people who don’t use this
exclusivity to their advantage. To be clear, I don’t have anything for
or against business schools. My only point is that if you do make such
an investment of time and money, you better make the MOST out of that

I talked about the need to gather the right puzzle pieces
and if exclusivity will provide you with another important piece for
your puzzle, then yes, go ahead and explore that option. However, if
your chasing this exclusivity just because everyone and their friends
are doing it, then it may be worthwhile to think about this again. This
is just because of the fact that anything exclusive costs more than
average (time, money or both) and it is in your best interest to
compare ROI from investing for this exclusivity or pursuing something
else with the same amount of investment.

Question for you: What kind of exclusivity are you chasing right now? Can you make the most out of that exclusivity when you do get it?