This image showed up in my newsfeed recently. I love this quote for two reasons: 1. Because I think it’s 100% true and 2. Because I love the show Shark Tank!
When I meet with clients and we talk about defining their brand, we always have a conversation about who their target market is and what they want their brand to “say”. Inevitably, the conversation veers towards a discussion of who they consider to be their competition, which in turn often heads down a slippery slope of comparing themselves and their business to someone else.
The thing is, you will ALWAYS find someone else who is faster or more creative or a better cook or _______(fill in the blank with your business).
You can compare yourself to others for days on end and find things that others do differently or better than you. Someone else will have more resources or a better location for their business. They will have more money or more staff. But one thing that no one else has is you. You are your brand. That is where I always start the conversation. What differentiates you from your competitors is you. Plain and simple.
It starts with believing in yourself and your business. For most of us, it also means getting rid of the negative, comparative self-talk that goes through our head every time we see a new Facebook status from our “competition” that makes us feel like we aren’t doing a good enough job. It doesn’t take much to feel inadequate when you spend all day reading about what other businesses are saying and doing and comparing your business to theirs.
Instead of spending hours on end focusing on what your competition is doing, try turning that energy inward and treating your own business as your competition. Evaluate what makes YOU stand out from the pack, what YOUR core competencies are and what YOU excel at. And make sure that you believe it and that your brand is reflective of it.
Then go out and tell the world about it! When you choose to spend your time networking and promoting your own business instead of crawling the web and comparing yourself to everyone else, that’s when things happen. It may sound a bit pollyannaish, but it’s true. Because at the end of the day, business is built on relationships and the personal touch. The thing that makes you authentically you is something that no other company in the world can claim. It’s when you start to believe it yourself, and you get out of your own head, that things will start to click.