The thought process behind a competitive advantage often begins with what you can do that no other competitor can do.
It’s about ownership. About that special aspect that makes your brand your brand.
All the while you search for that sole differentiator, brands all around you are setting themselves apart not in what they do, but in how much they do.
Consider combining these two aspects. It’s not so much about outperforming a competitor, it’s about out-executing them.
You and all your competitors have great ideas for differentiation, but the sole factor that will set you apart is action.
Stay Positive & Take Action
How fast you find a process for things determines how quickly you can scale.
The quicker you scale, the further you get ahead of your competitors.
Formula has it that the smartest way to get ahead is to focus on developing a process for any task possible. In fact, one might say discovering a process that produces a solution again and again is more urgent than finding a band-aid solution.
Stay Positive & Consistency Is Everything
Two quick ways to create some space or pure pride in your life.
Toss what’s slow, broken or holding you back. This may mean parting ways with an object (or person) that holds a sentimental value to you. It may mean cutting cable or tossing the sweatshirt you haven’t worn in more than a year. The thing about clutter is that it purveys across all aspects of life. Clean out one spot and see the benefit of a clear mind in every spot.
Alternatively you can build what you believe in with more gusto than you have before and ship it. This may mean finishing the book you started to write and sharing it as a PDF. It may mean focusing on a process that already works and figuring out how to make it better, faster, smoother. Make something remarkably better and see the benefit of confidence in all other work.
Stay Positive & Make It Great Or Toss It, But Please Do At Least One Of Those
There’s limited space at the top of anything.
When you let your guard down, it’s easy for another to replace you (or an idea or business or a product).
The most unbelievable doers in our world keep a piece of paper with their goals written on them in their pockets and review them at least once if not three or four times a day. They keep those goals top of mind… and one might say that’s why they will accomplish them.
The smartest brands in our world vet every idea through a single lens of accomplishing something. Zappos keeps customer service top of mind by giving employees the funds to find new ways to make a customer experience better–making customer service always top of mind for them.
It’s worth reflecting, then, what are you keeping top of mind? How? Is it worth it?
Stay Positive & If You Don’t Decide What’s Top Of Mind For You, Someone Else Will
With any financial planning or projections, it’s smart to showcase the best case scenario as well as the worst case scenario. What would happen if things didn’t go the way you hoped?
What if profits took a 65 percent hit from what you originally projected?
What if the vendor doesn’t show up and you’re out of your highest profiting item for three days?
I’ve found this to be a helpful exercise for any idea, not just financial planning.
What if people hate the theme of your brick and mortar shop?
What if people don’t share your blog post?
You’re better off role-playing these scenarios and working through the kinks yourself because you’re bound to have devil’s advocates in any room when you deliver or talk about your project.
In other words, you’ll have to answer them anyway. Might as well do it now when they’re not in the room and catching you off guard and distracting others from the value you bring.
The best way to zip the lips of a devil’s advocate is to speak for them early, to have all the answers and to share those solutions and workarounds first.
Why do any of this? Because from time to time, the devil’s advocate has a good idea.
But more importantly, it’s to shut them up and to stop them from stealing your time.
Stay Positive & Slow Down Now, To Move Forward Faster Later
You can’t move a mountain in one day. You can’t really move a mountain at all.
What you can do is a move a rock on that mountain. Day after day.
Before you know it people will be saying you moved a mountain.
Stay Positive & Rock By Rock
On your pursuit of doing and being more, you’re going to have people tell you that your goal is unattainable, that your expectations are too far out there, that you’ll have a much more difficult time than what you think.
More often than not they take that stance because they’ve never seen it differently. They don’t share you’re passion. They’re afraid for you.
In one sense, it’s worth listening to them, to double-check that the foundation you’ve built is strong enough, that you’re ready to work around the devil’s advocate. Listen to be prepared.
But by no means should you fall into the camp of it being undoable. It may not be in the sense that they see it and maybe not in the sense as you see it now. There will be pivoting. There will be sacrifices. But all that matters for you is the end goal, no matter how you get there.
On a day like today, it’s worth being thankful for all those who have said you couldn’t, and all those who will watch you do it anyway.
Stay Positive & Onward