Who Are You Competing With?
Today all you need is a smartphone and an internet connection to go into business.
That’s great news for creative entrepreneurs. Entry is as easy as walking through an open door.
But once you’re in the room, you’ll find it filled wall-to-wall with people just like you.
In a world where everyone has a microphone, there are more opportunities to be heard….and ignored. Shout into a crowd and those closest will hear you. The rest won’t know you exist.
Unless you get an amplified mike.
To do that, you need to get on stage. Podcasts and advertisements can amplify your voice. They can’t guarantee you’ll be heard.
We compete with three things in today’s marketplace. And not one of them is new. After you read this, you’ll understand where you fit, and what you can do about it.
Competing with Others
If anyone else says what you say, or does what you do, you compete with them.
The internet has given you more competitors. Not only do you have to compete with similar voices, you have to compete with every voice. TikTok videos. YouTube. Email spam. Netflix. Hulu. Blogs.
Basically everything that can hold anyone’s attention.
How do you compete with all that?
- Target the right people. Don’t waste time talking about dogs with cat lovers. Don’t rant about politics with apathetic teenagers. Share your message with a few people that care and you won’t waste your breath.
- Keep it short. Some scientists say our attention spans rival goldfish. Then why do we spend hours with our smartphones? Grab someone’s gaze on the small screen and get to the point. Then you’ll have power and build a following.
You win in the chorus of a million whispers by being unusual. Sing a different tune. Dance when others sing. Test common wisdom and draw new conclusions. Otherwise, you’re just a gray figure in a stadium of gray figures.
Competing with Yourself
Why worry about what everyone else is doing?
Learn enough so you can do it differently. Offer something only you can. Raise the bar on what you did yesterday. Set your own standard, and measure success by how you improve lives.
When you compete in a crowded arena, the rules are set by the crowd. Know the rules, but don’t let them be your standard. Draw inspiration wherever you can. If something that works in another industry can be applied to yours, try it.
You might start a revolution of excellence.
And if others think you’re crazy, don’t worry. If it works, that will be all the applause you need.
If it doesn’t, you’ll learn more than your competitors.
And when you take the lead, some will come to you for lessons.
You’ll never get there trying to stand out by being the same.
Competing with No One
This is where you invent the game.
It’s riskier than the rest. But the rewards can be phenomenal. All you need is a hungry crowd big enough to keep you busy — and profitable.
Getting there first isn’t enough.
If you get there first and succeed, count on others jumping into the market to cash in.
When Who Wants to Be a Millionaire came on, every network offered a show like it. Not one succeeded. In fact, I can’t remember the names of any of those shows. But I can’t forget Regis asking, “Is that your final answer?”
Wins like that often come once in a lifetime. But if you’ve got the guts to try, go for it. Your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity only comes through the door of risk.
You can’t know what’s behind that door if you don’t open it.
Unless you have an identical twin ,the chances of someone being exactly like you are less than zero.
How can you use that to your advantage?
Here’s an easy way to stand out. Take a popular idea. Test it for yourself to see if it’s true. Tell us your opinion. What would you do instead or what would you tell your friends?
The more honest you are, the more we’ll trust you.
And the more likely some of us will listen.
So go ahead and put your nerd hat on. It’s better to amaze or amuse than to bore.