Can you remember what it was like as you were growing your business or your career (your clientele, your partnerships, your marketing/branding, being recognized so you could get promoted)? It was hard, wasn’t it? There was so much to figure out. Moving parts everywhere. Launch your product. Design your marketing. Grow your social media following. Get foot traffic in the door. Close the sale. Learn how to be an accountant until you can afford to hire one. The list goes on.
For many people – myself included, at times – it was such a struggle that you’d reach out to a colleague for help. And what would they do? They’d give you a canned, sugar-coated response about how they grew their business. The most vague response in the history of responses. It was a conversation that left you feeling disappointed, certainly no further clarity than before you’d approached them in the first place.
I can’t be the only one that has experienced this, right?
The truth is, I had to discover many answers on my own. Often times when I was hitting a roadblock, the answer was out there. I just had to go and find it. It might have been something I had to test and learn. It might have been looking at the project or issue from a completely different angle. It may have just been a bad idea start to finish!
If you feel stuck right now in your career or business, try to implement one of these ideas into this next week. Remember, intention and consistency are key:
- Differentiate yourself.
We all have competitors in our respective industries. For the consumer, many businesses often blend together and they feel even more confused after seeing, hearing, reading or speaking to more than one person in an industry. They think we’re all the same. Honestly, can you blame them? We’re inundated with ads on social media, commercials, and billboards.
Here’s how I suggest differentiating yourself:
- Watch your competition. Analyze their processes, their product, their marketing, their client experience. (Am I suggesting you purchase their product? Yes, quite possibly! If that’s what it takes to explore A to Z, then buy their product. Look at the turntime, the packaging, the confirmation email, the service. Pay attention to detail.)
- Now that you know what you’re up against, do NOT replicate their systems or experience. If you do, you’re not going to give the prospective client a reason to choose YOU. I 100% absolutely want you to learn from the competitor. They may have something that sparks an idea, or an efficiency that you want to incorporate. However, you have to figure out what makes you better – your service, your customer experience, your packaging, your product.
- Lastly, exploit that difference. That’s what you want your customer to focus on. I am not asking you to “call out the competitor”. No, I am asking you to turn the potential customer’s focus to something else entirely. The competitor may have a quicker turntime than you, but why should a client still choose you? Is your price better? Is your experience better for the them? Is your product higher quality? Focus your branding and marketing efforts on identifying the DIFFERENCE.
- Test it out.
Often times, we have ideas floating around in our big, beautiful brains. It could be efficiencies for our processes. It could be a new product design. It could be a marketing campaign for social media. What happens? We get into our own heads, tell ourselves no one else is suggesting it and therefore maybe it’s not a great idea… or we’re afraid of the idea being a flop and how that will reflect on us. Have you been there?
If you don’t try it, how do you know it will fail? Take a bold step this week and test something out. If your social media engagement isn’t as strong as you’d like, why not turn things upside down and try a completely different type of ad or post?
- Soak in any opportunity to learn.
Since often times people aren’t willing to make time to meet with you, share tips/tricks, or strategize… this is your best play. Read, attend conferences, sit in on webinars or workshops. Hire a business coach. Soak it all in. I have learned and implemented more from what I’ve learned on my own from authors, instructors, my business coach, and webinars than I have from coffee appointments and meetings. What I love about this is that you are entirely in control of this aspect.
Someone you admire doesn’t have time to meet with you? No problem. They wouldn’t have told you or showed you near what you can learn from a book.
Hiring a business coach costs money? Yes, of course it does. However, it’s an investment into YOU and YOUR business. It should MORE than pay for the cost of the coach when you begin to implement what you’re learning.
The free webinars and workshops try to sell you something at the end? Yes, of course they do. You can still learn something through the workshop, however! (No one said you have to buy at the end)
Read. Read. Read. Don’t stop reading. Ever. Maybe you only have 20 minutes to read? That’s okay. Stick with it, highlight things, take notes, and most importantly, put it into practice.
Do you have time to read, go through online webinars, or work intently (and uninterrupted) on your business? Even just 30 minutes? If you don’t, download my FREE Morning Routine. Carve out a piece of time for you to invest back into yourself.
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