What do you do when you come across another business or person who’s doing exactly what you want to do, but better? If you haven’t had this experience, it will come.
Listen to my tips for beating imposter syndrome and learning from your competition to grow your business.
So here’s a question for you: What do you do when you come across someone else — a business, blogger, artist, or whatever — someone who is doing something similar to you and they are totally ROCKING it?
And when you see their website, their offer, or their work you think: “Wow, this is exactly what I want to do, and they’re doing it better than me.”
If you haven’t had this moment yet, I can promise you: It will come.
They may have a more polished website. They may have a bigger team of employees. A million followers on social media. They may have a big ol’ fat advertising budget that you just don’t have.
Two things generally happen when you come face to face with this kind of competitor:
ONE – you get hit a with a MAJOR dose imposter syndrome that tells you: “I can’t compete with this, maybe I should just give up.”
OR TWO – you think, “sweet… I’ll just copy what they’re doing since it’s obviously working.”
Today I want to talk a little about why neither options are great and what you can do instead to learn, grow, and stay excited about your business.
First, giving up serves nobody. It doesn’t serve your people. It doesn’t serve you.
Sure, there are times when a business idea is just a dud and letting it go is a smart move. But the fact that you’ve found someone who’s killing it and doing something similar to you is an indication that people want what you have.
When you come across your best of the best competition, think of it as an opportunity to consider exactly HOW you are different and what you uniquely bring to the table.
Because business isn’t always about who has the most polish or the least expensive product. People buy for different reasons, and if you can figure out how you can uniquely serve them, you’ll be fine.
So don’t give up. There’s plenty of room for everyone as long as you bring YOU to the table.
Next, let’s address the copycat issue.
I remember when I first got started with my health and wellness business how tempting it was to almost stalk the people who were several steps ahead of me. I loved their content, story, mission… it all resonated with me in a way.
But I learned the hard way, that playing shadow to someone else doesn’t help you at all.
First, no matter how hard you try – you will not be able to completely duplicate someone else’s success. Without their same team, budget, and life experiences – you will never recreate what they’ve done.
And guess what? That’s a good thing.
Because we don’t need a second-rate version of someone else’s stuff. We need a first-rate version of YOU.
That’s not to say you can’t MODEL your business after successful ones. When it comes to strategies, funnels, marketing tactics, etc. It’s critical that you find your competition and learn from their successes.
But it’s just as critical to also keep in mind what makes YOU different and the mission you are on. If you get obsessed with what your competition is doing, you may find yourself trying to imitate their success only to realize you’ve stepped off the path to your long-term vision.
And trust me, the journey back to YOUR path is rough.
When I work with my clients we ALWAYS start with ensuring the foundation of their business is solid. Meaning: You need to know WHY you do what you do. You need a clear mission and vision for your business because that’s ultimately what matters.
So when you find that rockstar competitor who’s killing it, here are my top three tips for learning from them without losing yourself in the process:
- Always go back to your mission. Remind yourself WHY you do what you do to ensure that you don’t get sidetracked by someone else’s vision.
- Notice the systems, methods, and messages that are working for them. Don’t plagiarize ANYTHING (trust me, your customers will know and it will only harm your business). But, you can research their tactics and apply them to your unique mission to accelerate your growth. Learn from your competitors, don’t copy them.
- Look for the gaps. What do you do differently? What do you do better? What experience, perspective, or value do YOU bring to the table? Highlight those things in your marketing efforts. If you can find your competitors holes, I promise you their customers have found them, too… and they may be looking for someone EXACTLY like YOU.
So keep your eye open for your competitors. Don’t let them deflate your enthusiasm or sidetrack your efforts. The world needs what YOU have. Serve the people you were born to serve. And do it the way you were born to do it.