What is holding your back? What is keeping you from achieving your goals? Whether you believe it or not, but we can often describe the problem with 3 words: “fear of competition”.
The first hurdle you need to overcome is procrastination. Deep down inside of you, you know what you want to do. You know what you need to do. So why do you keep on procrastinating. Procrastination is not the problem. We need to determine why we procrastinate. When you know the reason for procrastination, you can do something about it.
Why Do You Procrastinate?
We come back to our three words: “fear of competition”. Whatever your dream is, why aren’t you doing it? Why aren’t you writing that book or why haven’t started that dream business of yours? The answer is often simple. You have done all the research. You know exactly what you need to do. But then, also as part of your research, you start looking at the competition.
The idea is to do research and determine whether you will have a market for your service or product. But this only makes you realize that there are other people already writing books on your topic, right?. Or you find that there is strong competition for the service you want to provide or for the product you want to market. You find that you are not the only person who would be providing that particular service.
Fact is; you are also not the only person facing this scenario. But the ones who are successful are the ones who take action. The people who take the first step, and then the next…and the next….are the ones who eventually see the results.
There Will Always Be Competition.
When you see other people and their products that will compete with what you want to do, don’t back-off. “But there are already so many products on the market (or books written on the topic), I will never be able to sell my product / book”, you say.
You need to change your thinking. Don’t fear the competition. Seeing all the activity, realize that there must be a huge demand for what you want to do. Do more research and see how you can develop your own unique approach. It is a known fact in marketing that you need to market yourself before you market the product. People often ‘buy’ you, not the product.
Have you ever noticed how someone would walk away from a ‘bargain’? Yet they would end up paying double for the same product from someone else?
There can be two explanations for this:
- The customer had more trust in the second person, even though he charged a higher rate or price. People prefer doing business with someone they like and trust.
- The price might have been so low in the first transaction that the customer became suspicious and doubted the quality of the product.
If you want to write a book, do some research on the books which are available on your topic. Do some case studies. Read the various reviews on the books. See if you can determine what people were looking for, but couldn’t find in the book. It is good to read the good reviews, but also look at some negative reviews. This is where you will find what people were looking for or questions that you can provide the answers too.
Follow the same procedure with any product or service. Find the gaps, add your unique personality to it and present it to the world.
Don’t Fear The Competition.
You’ve made a start, but your stress levels are going through the roof. You always have to compete with everybody else and the competition is really getting to you. Just as you want to launch your book or your new product, you learn that you are not the only one to have a launch.
How can you get ahead of the competition and stay there? The answer is simple: Don’t fear the competition. In her article ‘Their Success doesn’t Threaten Ours’, Lysa TerKeurst explains why competition isn’t always good.
She mentions how “competition is good. Except when it isn’t. It’s good for board games and sports fields. But it can feel different when it comes to our most important work.” TerKeurst says we should acknowledge God’s provision, which is big enough for us all.
She further makes a statement which I think is applicable to the majority of us. We all have desires, dreams and hopes for the future. But we look at them as coming from a place of limited supply. That will always feed the notion that someone else’s success is a threat to ours.
We need to do the exact opposite. We should ask God to bless others. Look for ways to help others succeed. Instead of competing, encourage other people and assure them that the world needs more of what they have to offer.
Find Yourself, Be Yourself.
Whether you want to write a book, develop a new product or provide a service, one of the first considerations often are “what is in demand”?
There is nothing wrong with knowing what is in demand. But, when last did you pay attention to you? In your search for a topic, product or service which is ‘in demand’, the answer is sometimes closer than you think.
It is often suggested to find your passion and to do something that you are passionate about. The saying goes “do something you love and you won’t work another day”. Many people believe this, others are more skeptical.
Fact is if you are passionate about something, chances are good that you will find may people who share in your passion. By now you know you shouldn’t fear the competition. So what should you do? Start paying attention to yourself. Find yourself. Develop your own unique personality – your voice – and present that to the world. This is especially true in the craft of writing. In this great article, Jennifer Louden shows 5 Ways to Develop Your Writer’s Voice.
Don’t be discouraged by competition. Be encouraged by the fact that there is a demand. Study the competition. Look for ‘holes’ in the market by doing case studies and fill them. Acknowledge and believe in God’s abundant provision. There is enough for everybody.
Try this exercise. Ask a close friend, relative or family member (more than one to make it interesting) to write a summary of how they perceive you. Ask them to give a short description of both your strong and weak points. You may be in for a surprise when you find that other people see you differently than what you think of yourself.
After you have done this exercise, come back here and share your new-found strengths with us. Let’s encourage one another and rise to new heights together.