DEALING WITH COMPETITION LIKE A PRO 4/5

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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.

PRETTY BIG MOHAWK HAIR TUTORIAL

1 // Part the crown of your hair (all the way around). Pin it up on top of your head to get it out of the way.

2 // Make a bun with the top portion of the remaining hair.  (If your hair is thin consider backcombing/teasing first)

3 // Make a bun with the bottom portion of the remaining hair.  (if your hair is thin consider backcombing/teasing first) Pull to loosen the 2 buns. I like a slightly messy look.

4 // Take down the crown of your hair.

5 // Back comb/tease the crown of your hair.  Select a small amount of hair to stay out near the front/side of your face.

6 // Roll the hair down to your scalp. Adjust the shape of the twist if you need to.

7 // Secure the twist with a few pins on the side.

8 // Take the last small piece of hair and twist it. 

9 // Continue twisting the small piece of hair into a coil bun on the side of your head. Then secure with pins. This coil bun can be a focal point near your face. You just feel it out. and figure out what shape looks cute by your face. 

10 // Spray with hair spray. I like the Hard Head hair spray by Bed Head.

*NOTE* If you have thin hair then back comb /tease the under side of your hair for every step. Then smooth the top if necessary. (photos by Janelle Marina)

DEALING WITH COMPETITION LIKE A PRO 3/5

Today is part three in this five part conversation around the idea of Handling Competition Like A Pro. You can catch up by reading PART 1  (includes why I even wrote this series) and PART 2. And today is, well.... PART 3.

Sometimes it’s hard to be excited for other people’s successes. Have you ever felt that way? You want to be excited for your friend, peer, or competitor but sometimes the benefits of their efforts are an obvious reminder of the work that you’re NOT doing. And you feel guilty. You want to feel happy for them, but the lack of your discipline, hard work, and follow through is a daunting reality that can cloud your excitement for their success. Is that right? Well, that’s not fair to them...But I do agree that it’s a challenge to be excited for others when you don’t feel excited about what your’re doing, producing, creating, etc. So, I’ll let you in on a little secret:

START DOING STUFF YOU’RE PROUD OF. 

Whenever I feel like my company is just coasting along, I spent some time brainstorming what we need to do in order for me to feel like we're KILLING IT as a team and doing stuff we’re proud of. In this past season the list included things like: launching one new brand and website once a week, selling-out our workshops, producing helpful content for our clients and readers on a regular basis, and so on. And then we started DOING THEM and hustling; doing all that we could to make them happen. And now I feel like we’re officially killing it. (At least for now...by our terms, of course)! lol

If you feel like you're lagging, my suggestion is to brainstorm what types of things you need to do in your business to feel like you are really KILLING IT. What types of clients would you work with? How would you get those clients? What would your schedule look like? How would you market your business? What needs to be improved? What skills do you need to practice? What do you need to learn or master? etc. Then put a game plan together incorporating these action points and START doing them! These aren't your 5 year goals or your definition of success either. The list is just simple day to day things to create momentum to ensure that you’re moving forward, hustling, working hard, and doing all that you can. 

I guarantee that once you pin point the tasks and start doing stuff you’re proud of you will feel a whole new level of confidence in your abilities, momentum, and business strategy. And you’ll be able to guilt-freely congratulate your peers or competitors on their successes, knowing that you are doing all that you can in your own business. You have my permission to START KILLING IT!

READ PART 4