I began my business as a self-mastery coach seven years ago. Not one element was online and I didn’t even have a Facebook page. I’d coach someone for a very, VERY small fee, which would then turn into, thankfully, courtesy of word of mouth, the next. Within 24 months came the turning point where I was saying no to potential clients as I could not possibly fit in more hours between family, having a life and my busy, high paying corporate gig. So I did what was still fairly new then, and created an online program.
What happened after only 12 months of launching the program, was a large eye opener into the world of business.
I had a frantic phone call from a friend stating that someone had launched the same program, almost identical title & almost identical business name.
I immediately looked it up online and wow, I discovered that someone who was part of the second intake of the program had taken it & run with it too. Obviously not changing much at all.
I could not help but smile. It was the first time that I actually took my business seriously because in my mind, I had done a good enough job that someone wanted to copy me! Little old me! They do say imitation is the best form of flattery.
In a time when I could have been angry, frustrated and calling things unfair, I realised that my lack of confidence in what I was putting out in the marketplace, mostly because the topics were seemingly easily for me to ‘teach’, made me not value what I was providing. Yet actually I was simply working in my genius zone. It made me realise that I was treating my business like a hobby, not a real business.
Though to the person re-using the content, they most likely thought that I was in a real business & obviously liked what they saw/learnt/discovered.
How many times a day do you spend looking outwards, wondering what the market is doing, wishing you could be like that person, had thought of an idea that you see out ‘there’ now, or wished you had implemented just a little bit earlier to make your product/content/discovery be first to market?
Of course, there may be lessons in all of that for you (confidence to believe in it and create it perhaps being the first!?), however the biggest one of all is the need to focus on what it is that makes you and your business a success.
It doesn’t come from outside expectations, being someone else or even copying someone else’s idea.
The confidence to put yourself out there, speak your ideal customers language and create what it is that YOU truly desire in business is vastly overlooked. Yet, without doing so, you actually jeopardise your business. Your goals. Your passions.
Confidence comes from within, not outside of yourself.
- Put some blinkers on to the world around you. Take yourself off line for 72 hours (at least!). Write a list of your business goals, including what makes you an ‘expert’ in the area you have chosen to work. If this is hard in itself, go right back to your values in life & your WHY in business. Then build on it.
- What are areas that you have always been recognised as doing well – from a wide range of people; school, life, career? Are you allowing yourself to do this in your business, or are you ‘shoulding’ on yourself trying to be who you are not?
- Create a list of consistent action steps to get you to where you are headed. Are you daily tasks bringing you closer or further away from your business goals? Only you can decide and change it.
While I am definitely not advocating copying someone else’s work (even if it does give them a sense of flattery), nor simply accepting that someone has taken your own work, do check in if you have the confidence to take yourself seriously in business.
There is loads to be learnt from those who have done it before, yet nothing compares to our own inner work when it all comes down to consistent success and the resilience to keep on going.