Today is part four in this five part conversation around the idea of Dealing With Competition Like A Pro. You can catch up by reading PART 1, PART 2, and PART 3.
We all can get overwhelmed seeing what other people are doing. We can get caught up in the latest and the greatest and get confused with the direction of our own business, especially if the competitors in our industry launch new products, services, or strategies. We feel obligated and guilty in a way to keep up with the jones’s and do what everyone else’s doing. There is chapter that I LOVE in a book called Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson. It's titled "Under Do Your Competition. The chapter talks about the benefit of simplifying your focus.
"Conventional wisdom says that in order to beat your competition you have to one up them. If they have 4 features you need 5. This sort of one upping is a dead end. When you get suckered into an arms race, you wind up in a never ending battle that costs you massive amounts of money, time, and drive. And it forces you to be on the defensive too. Defensive companies can't think ahead. They can only think behind. They don't lead, they follow. So what to do instead? Do less than your competitors to beat them. Solve the simple problems and leave the hairy, difficult, nasty problems to the competition. Instead of one upping, try one downing. …Don't shy away from the fact that your product or service does less. Highlight it. Be proud of it. Sell it as aggressively as competitors sell their extensive feature lists." -REWORK
That perspective is so refreshing to me. We can simplify our "feature list" both personally in our careers and in our business model if we focus on our strengths instead of trying to be everything to everyone.
SIMPLIFY BY FOCUSING ON YOUR STRENGTHS
I have learned personally that when I focus on my own strengths or the strengths of our company, I stop getting distracted by what others are doing. And I can spend my time and feel confident building up my strengths and strategizing how to better execute them instead of worrying that I am not measuring up. The latest and greatest doesn't always last, especially if people are striving for it with no rhyme or reason other than to compete with everyone else.
Here are a couple ways to identify your strengths. They should feel really natural to you like they are coming from deep down inside.
1 // What are you most confident in?
2 // What are you most passionate about in your business?
3 // What do you want to do more of in your business?
Go out and DO THESE THINGS. Focus on doing them better. And you'll find that you'll be less distracted with the pressure to do what everyone else is doing.