I’ve begun to notice a pattern on my Facebook page. The posts that get the greatest engagement are those that tackle the topic of not competing, but being so true to your own unique genius and offering that the need to compete is removed.
I know that it is something that I am deeply passionate about, and it appears that it is something that is capturing others’ interest too.
I am the least competitive person that you could probably meet; that doesn’t mean I am not ambitious, I am. But I am not ambitious at the expense of others, which is my definition of competition.
You see I don’t believe in competing in your market, I believe you are truly unique and can therefore make your own market, in conjunction with other people who do similar work, and or serve the same people.
I have built my career around not standing out, always in the background trying to make others better, bigger and more successful. And I tried to do that when I went into business too and you know what? It failed. And failed, and failed. And every time I tried to do something smart to get round putting myself out there, I didn’t get the results I wanted.
And that’s because there is no getting around it. You do need to put yourself out there if you want to help more people and have a greater impact with your work.
But you don’t have to feel like you are shouting ‘Look at me! Look at me!
When I started my first business I went on a course to learn the basics of how to set up in business, and all the nuts and bolts of running it and making it a success. There was a huge focus on that training on my competition.
Who was my competition? What were they offering? How much were they charging? How could I stand apart? What was my USP?
So here I was, fresh out of coaching school, having never run a business, full of hope and excitement, but now I am being told to focus on all these people who have more experience than me, are being positioned as being ‘better’ than me (well they had to be, they were already doing what I hadn’t started doing yet). What that type of teaching is really saying is ‘stay small, be like everyone else, hustle and compete’. To me that is a total turn off, and I actually found the whole thing not helpful at all, but incredibly intimidating.
I work with a coach in the US who could be considered my competition as we work in similar fields, but rather than try and outdo each other, we work TOGETHER for the collective success of our clients and practices. That is what I wish for you.
You may find yourself in the company of others who are representing a similar field or modality as you – and your instinct may be one of fear around that.
I remember signing up for a high end group program a while back and I was doing a wee bit of Facebook stalking as new members were added to the group – as you do! At that time I was exploring offering values based communications training to businesses in New Zealand. And here was a lady who popped up as having joined the group who was not only offering communications based training and coaching to businesses in New Zealand, but was also originally from Scotland as well! My reaction was one of utter deflation, possibly bordering on depression! She’s doing exactly what I’m doing! She’s my competition!
I thought I had created a safe place to get my ‘edge’ and here is my competition learning all the same tricks as me. How can this possibly end well?
Well, I’ll tell you how it ended. That lady is one of my closest colleagues and I refer clients to her as often as I can! We are friends and we work to help each others’ success collectively. We complement each other, we don’t compete. We don’t have to.
And if you were to speak to her, she’d tell you she had all the same fears that I did until she got to know me too!
My genius is seeing the powerful impact your work has for your dream clients, and putting that into a relatable message that will have them knocking down your door to work with you. I take the building blocks of what you do and help you communicate it in a way that is greater than the sum of its parts.
You have a deep, powerful genius too – and that is what holds the key to shining without shouting.
If you notice people around you that are in a similar market to you, your very first challenge is to reach out to them, because I guarantee you, you will find something that you can help each other with for your COLLECTIVE SUCCESS.
Next, spend time really working out what it is that makes you different – not how you can undercut on pricing or bulk up your offer with loads of bonuses – what makes YOU different? Your blend of experience and skills is unique to you, and it is a perfect match for your perfect clients. Once you are aware of what it is that makes you perfect for them, you can craft an amazingly authentic message that is like flame to a moth for your perfect clients.
If you are not driven by competition, (and I recognise that many people thrive in a competitive environment, I’m just not one of them, and from the response to my posts, it appears I am not alone) then I guarantee once you find that unique message, you will not longer feel the energy drain of competition but rather actively help your colleagues to their success, which in turn will feed yours.
Still not convinced? Give me 30 mins and I’ll show you your unique genius in a way you’ve not seen it before!