What if someone already offers something similar to you?Nov 01, 2023
In the world of online entrepreneurship, there are many hidden insecurities and many different fears. As I have had the privilege to get to know people who create digitally deliverable content in many different genres, I have also discovered that the public image that some of them share doesn’t always line up with the people they are behind the scenes.
In public, people seem confident. In private, they’re filled with self-doubt. In public, they seem generous. In private, they’re fearful of losing whatever edge they believe they have. These insecurities can sneak out in a variety of ways, but they most certainly get magnified when encountering other entrepreneurs who sell similar products or share a similar message.
In this world, there are good leaders and there are bad leaders. There are good influencers and bad influencers. Both seem to have their place, but in my opinion, the leaders and influencers that are the most dangerous are the insecure ones because not only will they attempt to protect their perceived empire, they’ll also attempt to undermine yours and take you out of the game entirely. What they don’t realize, however, is that in doing so, they will expose themselves. In a relatively short period of time, they will unintentionally reveal the nature of their character and their actual motives.
If you’re a message-based entrepreneur, influencer, or content creator, please let me encourage you to operate from a place of others-centered generosity so you don’t make the mistakes of the insecure. Let others-centeredness be the guiding philosophy behind what you’re creating and what you’re attempting to build.
I mention this for many reasons, but let me share with you one of the primary reasons I’m mentioning this. Along the way, you will encounter other leaders or content creators who have a similar message or product to yours. Maybe they’ll be speaking about a related topic or they’ll attempt to serve a similar audience. When you encounter such things, what should you do? And if you’re just getting started and you likewise discover that there are already other people who do something similar to you, should you even bother attempting to build your online platform?
Let me start by answering the second question first. When you discover that you aren’t the only person who has the idea to serve a specific audience by creating content aimed toward solving a specific problem, that’s not a moment for discouragement. That’s often a moment for celebration because your idea has been validated. The market is demonstrating that there is a need for someone (or many people) to attempt to solve the very same problem you’re attempting to solve.
And because there are many people who need the solution you offer, it’s going to take more than one person to offer that kind of solution. That means there’s room in the market for you. The world needs more than one financial coach, weight loss expert, spiritual leader, marketing expert, or business mentor because this world is filled with different personality types and people at various seasons of life or personal development. Your unique gifting and perspective can help people in ways that someone else who teaches the same exact concepts won’t necessarily be able to help.
But let’s say you aren’t new at what you’re doing and you aren’t looking to validate your concept. You already know it has a place in the market and you’ve been creating relevant content in your genre for a while, but along the way you encounter someone else who does a similar thing. What should you do? Should you respond from a place of insecurity and defensiveness, or is there a better way to respond?
Note: In moments like this, most people express defensiveness and insecurity. They treat others like competitors and spend an unhealthy amount of their emotional energy undermining the work of their so-called competitors instead of creating new content that helps their audience. Don’t take this approach.
Repeat after me… You have no competition.
Say it again, but in a more personal way… “I have no competition.”
The reality is that the best thing you can do for your business is to spend your time and energy focused on providing great solutions, offering excellent customer service, and keeping yourself educated so you’ll be in a better position to serve those who need your help.
Many people know that I have two primary platforms, one in the area of online platform development and the other in the area of faith-based spiritual growth. Both platforms reflect issues and topics I care deeply about, but I am most certainly not the only person creating content in these spaces.
A quick search online will show you that there are many people attempting to offer content or resources to help others grow spiritually. They aren’t my competitors. I’m grateful for what they do because they’re helping people I’ll never get to help. Likewise, I’ll help people they’ll never get to help because of my unique personality, background, experience, and region of the world.
The same is true for the business content I’m creating. I’m not the only person teaching some of these principles, but I do have a unique take on them and a series of experiences I can refer back to that no one else can express in the same exact way. In essence, that means I have no competition. And since I truly believe that, I don’t need to treat others like competitors.
Having that mindset frees me up to stay focused on remaining helpful. It also gives me liberty to be generous and collaborative. Quite frequently, I partner together with other content-creators and influencers to mutually promote one another’s platforms. I love doing so because it keeps my heart in a healthier place, and every act of generosity I engage in seems to come back to me many times over.
So what does this mean for you if another entrepreneur is doing something similar to what you’re doing? It probably means you’re doing someone right. It means you’ve very likely identified an audience that needs multiple people to help them. It also means you should remain focused on providing great content and great customer service so you’ll be too busy building your platform to ever feel compelled to attempt to tear down the platform someone else is attempting to build.
© John Stange, 2023
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