It doesn't matter what field you go into or what type of business you want to get off the ground. If you want to make it, others have to see that you have a spark others don't, that you're above average. If all your behaviors point to the conclusion you're a Jane or Joe Schmoe, things may continue to be 'just average'. If you're guilty of any of the following points, it might be worth giving yourself a little shakeup.
1. You speak up, but not to the right people
Water cooler water too cold and don't know how to fix it? Get the supplier's contact information and give them a call directly. Don't like how your laptop is freezing? Don't vent to your co-worker, take it in to support yourself and get it looked at. Above average people don't just vent their frustrations. They figure out exactly who is responsible or in a position of authority to make a positive change on specific issues, and then they deliver their message and requests to those individuals. Or, they do it themselves. And oh yeah. They do it politely while showing the potential benefits of the modifications, too, with evidence as needed. The how is equally important -- so have some finesse.
2. You don't take notes or ask for anything in writing
Research proves that writing things out longhand is a useful memory and data prioritization tool--if you're not writing things down, you're basically telling your brain to take a snooze and asking for future conflicts based on misunderstandings. Not cool. Don't like to write things out? Embrace your internal 'note' system or do yourself a favor and sign-up for an Evernote (or dust off the your account's cobwebs).
3. You wait for opportunities instead of asking for them
Most people show up, wait for some directions, follow said directions (well enough, anyway), and hope they get noticed for the fact they've put up with work another day. What above average people do, though, is ask their management how their skills can be applied to other areas, both for their career and the benefit of the company or startup. They find options and see if supervisors can match them, and they constantly look for ways to build on what they know. They embrace cross-functional work and seek it out.
Misdirected complaints, lack of documentation, and poor initiative are all hallmarks of mediocrity. But you're not average, right? Nope. So don't settle. Take charge, pay attention, use your voice (the right way), and prove it to yourself.