Your own wisdom, talent and hardwork can only make you stand out where you already are. They will make you noticed and maybe praised. But if you are trying to go far beyond where you are then you need to join a community of people who are already far beyond where you are. People who are already where you want to go. That is the only way to be sure of getting there.
I see a lot of people cultivating deserts. They want to do what the system/place they are in is not suited for. Like a government primary school teacher wanting to introduce e-learning to her pupils and move the entire teaching process to an electronic platform. She will more likely get herself newspaper attention and praises from people than see results commensurate with her efforts. If she was doing same at an IT training school, she won't be getting any newspaper attention and praises but she will be getting results.
If results are what is most important to you and not praises, then you should stop cultivating deserts and struggling with a system not suited for what you want to achieve. You should seek out a community of people already where you want to be. Go where you won't be the smartest. Go where you won't be standing out. Go where others will help you grow and achieve your goals rather than add to the difficulty. Be part of a vibrant community that will support you and make what you want to do look common and achievable.
Thankfully now, it doesn't require a physical change in environment. You don't need to emigrate to USA to be part of a forward thinking high-tech community. You don't need to be move to France to be part of a native french speaking community. You don't need to relocate to China to be part of a martial arts community. There will always be a community nearby or online.
For my professional programming career goal, I joined a very vibrant online community. I stopped complaining about the lack of great programmers to learn from in Nigeria or a community to mentor me. Now I learn from the best in the world. I joined the community of people already making it big time from programming and are generously sharing their experience and knowledge.
When I was learning French actively, I joined others who were already on that path too. I joined local communities at Alliance Francaise and the other learning institutes I went to. When I started writing daily, I looked for an online community of people already writing daily; people who made it look easy and common. When I wanted to start my own business, I began moving more with people already running their own businesses. They helped me change my mentality and look beyond the hardships to the opportunities. Even when I was learning to swim, I searched online for a swimming club and that was how I met the amazing lady who taught me how to swim.
In every thing I want to achieve, I try to be part of a community of people already achieving it. It has helped me a lot and reduced my struggle. It's not fun cultivating a desert. Relocate to where there's plenty of rain, nutrients and friendly sunshine; where you will get all the help you need. Join the community of people already where you want to be.