Okay pumpkins, time for another random flip to a page of Tim Ferriss’ Tools of Titans book. This time, it’s page 177, featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger… super interesting guy. Did you know he was a millionaire and entrepreneur before he ever got into acting?
Here’s a great quote from Arnold:
“My confidence came from my vision…I am a big believer that if you have a very clear vision of where you want to go, then the rest of it is much easier. Because you always know why…you have to struggle more, and why you have to be more disciplined…. I felt that I could win it, and that was what I was there for. I wasn’t there to compete. I was there to win.”
So this reminds me of something. I went to a networking event last week, the first official networking event I went to for OahuConnect. I didn’t expect to find clients right then, of course, but definitely wanted to continue to build my network. There was about 22 people there… and 6 or 7 of them were marketers/website designers. That’s about 30%! How could I stand out to people as the go-to choice among all these “competitors”? Honestly, it got me down and got me thinking about whether I am doing the right thing. I mean, hey, some of them just started at UH Manoa as marketing majors, so I know they don’t have anything “on me” as far as experience and expertise… but I just didn’t feel the energy to compete with all these “expert marketers.”
It was funny, we had a guest speaker, the owner of Growler USA, who had a ton of knowledge and things to say… but the last half of the questions were mostly from people suggesting different marketing ideas through their questions. “Have you tried this?” “Oh no, you signed up with Yelp? Ohhhh… what packaged did you get? There’s only one where you won’t get screwed over.” “Have you tried appealing just to the Asian tourists?” “Have you hooked up with AirBNB?” “Have you tried bigger signs?” “Have you tried a tour bus that picks people up in Waikiki?” It seemed like they weren’t there to learn – they were there to showcase their awe-inspiring knowledge in order to stand out from all the other web designer/marketers.
So, I realized I don’t need to spend any of my time and energy going to places where there is some sort of competition going on like that. I need to focus my energy on creating situations where I can win, not compete. I have some ideas in the works.
Are you wasting your energy and aloha on competing when you really should just be focused on winning? Are you “just another _____” (bar, restaurant, nail shop, mobile mechanic, etc) in the places you’re spending your effort? What can you do to carve out a niche for yourself so people come to you, versus having you jump through hoops and price wars as you compete for their business?
It’s hard to see these things for yourself so shoot me a message I’d love to discuss it with you.