1. Abundance of competition indicates unoriginality. If you’re truly unique, the only one who does what you do – the WAY that you do it – then no second-rate, chump-ass imitation should be able to hurt you. Screw the competition. Just because they’re there doesn’t mean you can’t beat them. What do you do that brings people back for more of YOU?
2. Ambition without focus is stalemate. If you’re constantly firing in all directions, you’re never going to hit anything squarely. It’s only when you hunker down into the leaves and concentrate 100% of your energies on one particular target that you become a bountiful hunter.
And not just in the wilderness, but in business too. I meet too many entrepreneurs who impatiently jump from idea to idea, project to project; never picking a lane, never make any progress. Because their ambition is spread too thin. What they don’t realize is that focus is the mobilizing force. What consumes your time but isn’t making you any money?
3. Complacency is the great growth-destroyer. “But I don’t have time to grow right now.” Every time I hear somebody say this, my heart breaks just a little more. I know the economy sucks. I know business is slow. I know times are tough. But there’s never an excuse for not growing. Every day you need to get stronger in SOME way. Size is irrelevant. I’d rather grow microscopically than not at all. Where do you need to get out of your own way?
4. Demonstration of competency proves inconsequential. When you eat out at a restaurant, you assume the chef is a good cook. Why? Because baseline ability is the price of admission. The ante. The buy-in. And this type of customer expectation pervades every industry.
Now, it didn’t used to. First, good was good enough. Then great was good enough. Now, great isn’t that great anymore. People demand WOW. Lesson learned: If you’re anything below a B+, you’re finished. What do you offer besides quality?
5. Diversity of offerings buoys recessions. During the economic collapse of 2008-2009, the smartest move I made as entrepreneur was to diversify my offerings. That way, when the proverbial shit hit the economic fan, my business was ready to absorb the blow. The secret is to out-grow, out-evolve and out-expand your competitors. Here’s a rapid-fire list for doing so:
(a) Clone yourself through teaching others. Self-duplication wins.
(b) Make sure everything you do leads to something else you do. Recognize the movement value of your ideas.
(c) Only work with clients that represent long-term potential. Think 14th sale. Cul-de-sac clients are dangerous.
(d) Identify the most important things for you to work on that will grow your business the fastest. Make a list of those things. Post the list in a visible location in your office. Then make sure anything you’re doing at any given time is congruent with that list.
Remember: Diversity isn’t just equity – it’s a life raft. What percentage of your revenues this year came from products and services you didn’t offer three years ago?
6. Fear of evolution typecasts brands. Evolve slowly and constantly. Evolve regularly and effortlessly. Sure, your genetic reflex to avoid change will try to kick in. But don’t let it. As Charles Darwin suggestion, “Take advantage of slight successive variations and advance by the shortest and slowest steps.”
Remember: Flux IS equilibrium. Occasional moments of stability are nice, but brands that keep moving keep winning. Go stretch yourself. Move mental furniture. Make growth and change a normal part of who you are. What decade is your brand still trapped in?
7. Gradual is the great moneymaker. What’s your hurry anyway? Try getting rich slow. There’s a secret most self-help books won’t tell you: Get rich slow. After all, things that grow fast are easily destroyed. Might as well take a foundational approach.
As my mentor William Jenkins once told me, “It takes longer to do things the right way. And people do them improperly to do them quickly. But what’s the benefit of building a house in six months (that should take a year) if you’re just going to tear it down anyway?” Remember: If you’re willing to practice prodigious patience, you’ll get yours. And it will be worth the wait. How patient are you willing to be?
8. Maintenance of momentum monetizes message. Just do something. Anything. Action stimulates forward momentum. Even when progress is minimal. Even when you have no idea what the hell you’re doing. Just keep moving. Think of entrepreneurship as crossing a minefield: The most dangerous choice is to just freeze. The safest thing you could do is keep moving. How are you keeping your momentum going?
9. Permission is the great delayer. The reason your dreams haven’t materialized is because you’re waiting for permission. From your friends. From your family. From your spouse. From the world. Here’s a hint: You don’t need it. Requirement of permission suffocates ambition. Just go.
Who cares if you’re not ready enough or smart enough? Who cares if you don’t have enough money, experience or credentials? Just go. You don’t need somebody twice your age who knows NOTHING about who you really are to validate your existence and stamp your creative passport. Give yourself permission to not need permission and get to work. Do you ask who’s going to LET you or who’s going to STOP you?
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Do your competitors hate you?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “24 Ways to Out Grow the Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
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