Tag Archives: business tips

Don’t Envy the Competition, Respect the Customers Decision

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Every day is a battle to earn business as an entrepreneur. That’s why it’s called, “The Grind”.

Day in and day out we create, give and share in hopes to gain attention, interest and a deeper connection with potential customers. And every day I get reminded just how much competition there is in this business.

The internet loves to show me just how well my competitors are doing. The five, six and seven figure success stories roll through my social media feed hourly. I’ve even seen how quickly my audience, customers and clients can be swayed and switch from my community to the “other guys” (or gals).

Did you feel that…The confusion, disappointment, and anger?

Perhaps it’s envy you feel?

OUCH!

Yeah it hurts, when the time, energy and resources we give to building a relationship doesn’t go our way. It feels as though we’ve failed…ourselves, our families, our employees, even our customers. It’s easy to beat ourselves up, get pissed at a lost prospect and feel jealous towards our competitors. I’ve fallen victim to this many times (can you relate?).

Truth is…the customer is right.

Here’s why you should support and respect the customers decision:

The Competition is Better– You cannot fault your audience for recognizing a competitor who has better skills than you. Truth is we all have mad strengths and bad weaknesses. In this round of competition your opponent just happened to shine a bit brighter than you did. Although we may perceive this as a bad thing. The great thing is…their success is showing you there is room for you to get better.

If you’re brave enough, I recommend you hire them. Yes, I said hire your competition. This is an excellent way to shorten your learning curve from someone who’s been there, done that (I’ve hired several over the years, Michael Hyatt for platform building, Jennifer Kem for marketing, Kimanzi Constable for writing and Marty Bhatia for productivity). Own your deficiencies, work to make improvements, and you’ll see you’re not even close to your “glass ceiling”. You’ll realize that much more is possible for you, your business, your pocket book and those you’re soon called to serve.

The Competition is Different– Sometimes it has nothing to do with being better at all, talent is a dime a dozen. Instead, how you are unique can be what wins your customer over. How many times have you heard a client tell you, “You’re just different then others” (Or something similar). We all have something special we offer to the world and this gift is experienced by each person in a distinctly different way.

We can’t be everything to everyone and you shouldn’t try to be. If your competitor wins a client because they’re different don’t think as though you’ve lost a client, instead support others who bask in blazing their own trail. And you keep blazing yours.

The Competition was Aligned– Entrepreneurs easily get caught up in the mentality that being better or being different is what wins. We believe these factors alone are what win more fans, followers and paying customers. Simon Sinek shares in the book, Start with Why, that customer’s also make their decisions based on what you, as a business, believe.

Customers will choose the business that aligns best with their values, principles and purpose. If that’s your competitor, respect them for choosing a business with depth. Don’t get so caught up in winning that you lose sight of your “Why”. Build a business of meaning and impact first, the winning will follow your truth.

The Competition was Complimentary– Although you may feel you and your customer are on the same page, alignment isn’t always what your customer needs right now. Acknowledge that your competition provided complimentary services to their skills. If you’re open to helping others, then help them. Even if it means giving your competition a customer.

Be conscious if someone else would be the right fit for your customer. Connect them to someone in your network that you know and trust. When your customer is stuck, your decision to guide them rather than “sell” them may be just the light they needed. They will never forget you helped them. Ever.

It’s not the Competition– It’s tempting to beat ourselves up, have a negative reaction and envy other’s good fortune. Just like you and I, customers base their decisions on a variety factors (both rational and irrational). Paulo Coelho once said, “Know that the universe is conspiring in your favor, even though we may not understand how.” You may never know why a customer truly went elsewhere and you don’t need to.

Respect the customers decision wasn’t only about you and your competitor, there could have been any number of other reasons for their decision. Keep living your purpose, meet the demands of reality, and take action towards achievement. You will be found.

Here’s how I see it…my competition may win a customer, but we all win if I give respect, support and love. It’s NOT a zero-sum game. It’s a game of possibilities.

What can we win when we choose to lift each other up?

I challenge you to explore, advocate and innovate. Come together. How can you support and respect your customers decision in a way that continues to help others, the community and the world?

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5 Powerful Tips for Living an Inspired Life

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We make it our goal to create content, materials and services which make people feel inspired. Why?  We believe in living an inspired life.  What I mean by inspired is a hunger for work, for play, and for life as a whole; a sense of freedom that grows from having insatiable creativity, a bold confidence and the unstoppable courage to pursue your passion.

An inspired life is personally exciting and professionally energizing. It resonates with your natural talents and is connected to your inner sense of purpose. An inspired life naturally brings increased fulfillment and a feeling of significance. You feel as though you are part of something bigger and more meaningful. You feel as though you are giving something back to the world.

An inspired life is not something you simply experience, it is something you create. You design it, you build it and you live it. Below are a few tips that I’ve found to be very powerful in helping others create their very own inspired life.

1. WRITE THE SCRIPT

This is often difficult exercise, especially to start, but we all have a vision of how we want to be remembered or the story we want people to share about us when we’ve passed.   It’s the scripted movie in our minds of what a happy, healthy and successful life looks like for us.

Take a moment to visualize your movie.  As you continue to paint a more vivid picture of each scene begin “writing the script”.  Napoleon Hill once said, “Reduce your plan to writing…. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire.”

That being said, I recommend taking a ”finish line view” and begin at the end. Not to sound morbid here, but think of your life on its last day or picture your funeral and work back from there. Stephen Covey once called it “begin with the end in mind”.

Pro tip: Review this step after each of the following tips could be helpful. The end product should inspire you.

2. BE SUPERHUMAN (this tip was the hardest for me to do)

Your talents, strengths and desires all provide you with a unique and sometimes an almost superhuman source of energy. Your unique talents and strengths are so natural to you you often don’t recognize how different, influential and inspiring they are to others.

Other times you might be aware of your strengths, but take them for granted because they come so easy to you. Under-utilizing your strengths leads to weak and inconsistent performance. Understanding your talents and utilizing your strengths will unlock even better opportunities, paving a path to greater success.

Your passion also generates strong energy. Oprah Winfrey has expressed, “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” Pursuing your passion ignites creativity, courage and inspiration. Ignoring this energy and not doing what you truly desire can create the unsatisfying feelings of fear, fatigue and insignificance.

There are a number of different reasons why you become complacent, don’t pursue your passion and lose touch with your natural energy. When you do, where do you find yourself?  Instead of pulling toward the activities that excite and energize you you find yourself stuck doing things that exhaust you and zap you of your energy. You begin to avoid new and challenging adventures, miss out on fun and lose a sense of what ignites the fire inside.

Don’t ignore your superhuman powers; utilize the energy for your success.

3. FIND THE ONE.

Decide in one word or with a short personal motto the main reason why you live how you live. One word provides a focused, clear and concise description of your why. Describe the “why” behind your movie script and why you do what you do.

Choosing a why gives your dream a significant purpose and makes your vision compelling. In his book Start With Why, Simon Sinek states, “Great leaders lead with WHY. They embody a sense of purpose that inspires those around them.” Define your why and it will be the reason people initially connect with you, continue to follow you and remain loyal for years to come.

One word examples: Inspire (I can’t help it, I love this word.) Lead, Explore, Love, Innovate, Create, Success, etc.

Short theme examples: To ignite inspiration, To cultivate growth, To feel connected, To live abundantly, To enable greatness

4. BEGIN CONSTRUCTION

To transform your vision into action and begin building your dreams ask yourself:

  • HOW am I going to achieve my WHY? (These are typically the goals, objectives or milestones you set)
  • WHAT behaviors, systems, strategies, and solutions do I need to get the HOW done in the most effective and efficient way?
  • Do I have the knowledge and skills to achieve the WHAT?
  • (if no to #3) WHO must I become or what must I learn/change to achieve the WHAT or WHO in my network can assist me in this growth process?
  • What level of commitment am I?

5. REMEMBER THE NUTS & BOLTS

The integrity of an airplane is a must to ensure the safety of everyone on board during takeoff, flight and landing. All parts must be maintained, repaired or replaced and every nut and bolt must be in place so the parts fit together seamlessly for optimal performance.

We, as individuals, teams or businesses, are no different. We must be whole and complete to achieve our peak levels of success. Seamless integration is important if you want to perform at heightened levels of excellence.

Here is a little sample of how to streamline success:

The true driver behind all you do is feeling. Feelings are the nuts and bolts that hold everything together. We rarely seek the material, tangible, outside things; it’s the emotional, intangible, inside things we truly want to experience.

Yes, you have milestones you want to hit, goals you want to achieve and destinations to reach, but it’s not simply the house, money, job or lover that you want…is it? (If so, you’ll most likely never experience the inspired life).   What we live for are the feelings associated with attaining them.

Our journey is about fulfilling what I call your “innate ambitions” or your inner most desires that make these goals meaningful.  It’s these feelings that create memorable moments.

So when you set your goals throughout the year, don’t just write down a S.M.A.R.T. goal, go deeper and add a written description of your ambition or the underlying motivating feeling you’ll receive when accomplishing your aspirations.

These tips are simply the powerful ones I’ve used both on myself and with clients.  I hope they help you along your journey, but instead of discussing my small, inconsequential tips in the comments, let me ask you:

What does an inspired life look like to you and what advice would you give about what it takes to live an exhilarating, purposeful, compelling life?

 

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