It was another typical day: Some productive time in the office positioned between a few sales meetings. Follow-up calls were made. The website was looking fresh and organized.
But something caught me dead in my tracks.
I realized two amazing women–and I mean powerhouse-level women–had both expressed feelings of inadequacy, uneasiness or ambivalence regarding their competition. These two women found themselves in a place of fear, albeit brief, that catapulted them into negative thought cycle about their competition and where they stood in comparison.
The first thing I heard: “My business will offer x, y and z. But Company A, Company B and Company C are already doing the same thing in our area. So the market is saturated.”
When I heard this, I understood and agreed for a blip of a moment. The perfect business model recognizes a need and fills it. It doesn’t rely on others to bolster its success.
But what if every aspiring entrepreneur never did anything because it was already done before? What if your favorite pediatrician who listens and understands your family’s needs seemingly like no other doctor has before never opened her practice because she knew pediatrician A down the street was established long before her and was running a healthy business? What if we didn’t have the option to choose either Lyft or Uber? (I literally can’t imagine).
If this woman, who was at the cusp of starting her business plan, was thinking this way–how many other dreamers and entrepreneurial hopefuls never take the plunge because of these same feelings of inadequacy or fear of over-saturating the market?
I think you know where I’m going here. Not everyone can reinvent the wheel, but everyone has the ability to create a business they love while working with clients they love.
Put simply: You can offer something no one else can, and that’s you. Sally and her husband would never think of going to Company A after they had their complimentary consultation with you. They felt connected to you. The conversation was easy. Sparks were flying.
The best customers, your favorite ones, will gravitate to you and choose you because it’s you.
The second woman who expressed feelings of self-doubt said something along the lines of, “I’m worried about my competition because they are older and more experienced and I am.”
Again, this was a woman who has time and time again made an immeasurable impact on her community. She was selling herself short. She was at the cusp of the negative, self-deprecating cycle.
We live in a world where, at the root of everything, is the desire for perfection. If only I had a few more years under my belt, my business would be perfect. If only I had a few more testimonials, my business would be perfect. If only my business cards were as thick as my competitor’s.
But when did experience start to equal perfection?
Others who have more experience than you don’t own the market. They aren’t the ones who make the rules. There are no rules; it’s just you, your vision and your execution.
Age and experience truly don’t mean anything to your client or customer if you can’t connect with them in authentic and honest ways.
Competition will always be out there, but it’s 100 percent a learning opportunity. Observe what they’re doing. Learn what you can about them. Then go your own way. Will one company always be more productive because they can manufacture in house? Sure. Maybe another has been in the community for 20+ years and you don’t know how you’re going to surpass their success.
But if it’s your passion, if it’s your calling, you have to overlook the small things. You have to overlook the things someone else is doing right and focus on what you can do to be better.
You’ll find your tribe. Just be you. Let the competition be them.
Written by Emily Havens
Emily is the Marketing Director for SHE Sparks Business. She is an award-winning journalist who has a passion for women in business and female empowerment. Contact her at Connect@SHEsparksBIZ.com