As a business owner in a highly competitive workforce, there was one constant concern I couldn't seem to shake. I'm all about taking risk where it makes sense, but I also practice caution and common sense in an attempt to preserve my efforts and energy. These are the kinds of thoughts that were running through my head:
"So many people are already doing that."
"I'll never be able to make waves in that field."
"I just can't compete with the top dogs!"
For any person looking to go into business or promote a message, emotions fueling these kinds of thoughts are absolutely relevant and understandable. No one wants to fail, lose money or waste time, and, without some reasonable amount of caution and fear, decisions may be irrational and not thought in the best possible way. The problem with the hesitations listed above, is that those are NOT the concerns that are going to make us successful and here is why.
Every single person in this world, business owner or employee, has something unique and different to bring to the table. We are all gifted in different ways, and, while your gift may be comparable to the gift of another sharing a similar message, it's not the same. Your talents and passions are unique to you, giving you the best possible spin on your own business. Yes, there are tons of health bloggers, nail salon owners and car dealers out there but your personal perspectives and your own areas of focus are going to make you creative and original. The concerns you should be feeling should look more like this:
"How am I going to drive my creativity each month as I move forward?"
"How can I make sure my passion for this business is directly reflected in my creativity and marketing?"
"How can I CONNECT with my competition in order to learn from them and also dissolve my fear of the unknown?
Do you see the difference between the first set of questions and the second? Internalizing these mindsets are not only reinforcing but extremely powerful! If you're looking to start-up (could be a business, blog or even non-profit), think about what makes YOU tick and what really brings excitement to the work you are doing. Incorporate that into your branding, your message, your bio and your goals. Rather than fearing your competition, make friends with them. Follow them and learn about what they are doing and what makes THEIR efforts different from YOURS.
There will never be enough resources, services or products out there for our growing society and world. Packaged and marketed properly, your business can and will prevail and the first step is your mindset. My personal anecdote here is my marketing business. I was hesitant to dive head first. I knew there were a ton of businesses out there doing amazing things in this field and doing it well. They were big and had far more capital than I did. After a while, I realized the kinds of clients I attracted were reflective of what I personally felt passionate about: healthcare, food and empowering people to be advocates for their own health. I was attracting physicians, nutritionists and business owners who felt the same passion I did. Even though I do work with non-healthcare related businesses, my passion and experience carried over. My niche was a win-win and I was so happy to have tapped into it.
Takeaways? Figure out what drives you, understand how your passion will make you different from the rest of the crowd and pursue it. Make friends with competitors, set goals and stay focused. There is room for you and everyone else out there who dreams of starting up. Don't allow the people who are already working in your space successfully to discourage you. Understand that there is always room for the new, the improved and the innovative.
Good luck on your ventures. Expect great things from yourself and work towards your success.