Ed’s note: This post was written by guest editor Monica Kade of The Monica Kade Podcast.
Everyone’s always saying, “What’s your competition doing?”
Well, I’m going to tell you, “I don’t know.”
I know. You must think I’m crazy. And you’re probably thinking, WTF? I get it. It’s counterintuitive. And you may not believe what I’m saying is true. You don’t have to. Just hear me out.
When it comes to building a personal brand, I believe that looking at your competition can actually be detrimental.
There is a dream in your heart that’s yours. It’s been stamped in your blueprint.
It’s yours for the taking if you choose it.
And because of our very connected digital world, we have the tendency to be influenced. We don’t mean to, yet we do. We look at what others are doing and try to replicate it. We see others becoming “successful” (whatever that means to you) and we try to emulate them.
What I have seen through the clients I’ve worked with is how this dilutes their message. When we say, ‘I’m like such-and-such’, then we’re taking away from who we are. We’re becoming multiple people. Where is our authenticity, then?
I’m not suggesting that you cannot be inspired by what others are doing, but pure inspiration comes from within. It’s the very whisper that spoke your dream into your consciousness.
So, yes, we can definitely find inspiration in the world around us, but the moment we try to copy any part of what someone else is doing, we’re not acting from inspiration. We have been influenced. And the truth is, what works for someone else isn’t always going to work for us. We may end up investing our time and energy in places that weren’t meant for our business to begin with.
So, if what I am saying speaks true to you, now what? Do you close your magazines, books and ban yourself from social media? Do you stop educating yourself? Not even close.
It’s more about being aware of who you are. It’s about having crystal clarity around your personal brand and message before you take any actions to launch it into the world.
Spend time with the feeling that says, “Ooh, I really want to launch my _______ business.”
Before you jump up to see what other people in your industry are doing, or check to see if your pricing is right, or determine if you are doing everything (videos, podcasts, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, blogging – and anything else) that everyone else is doing, STOP!
What is it that inspires you? What social media platform do you feel truly moved to use? Are you a great writer? Or do you hate it? Maybe you’re better speaking your words.
Those who come to me for help have an idea and they have a general direction they’re shooting for, and many spread themselves thin. They see all the offerings their competitors have and they simply believe they have to do it all. You don’t have to. Feel relieved?
Start where you are. Get clear.
Be so clear that when you do look out into the world to observe what is around you, you’re not swayed off course by the shiny lights.
Be so certain in yourself that you know who you are and what you stand for amongst a noisy marketplace.
Be so sure of your ability that you know there is no-one else out there who can do exactly what you do. You must know that.
Your clarity and self-belief will keep you grounded and you’ll learn to build your personal brand, and fine-tune your message in a truly authentic way.
I know it can be difficult to find your true north, and I strongly believe that the answer lies in your spirit. If you’re chasing your own dream, then you have the answers. Stay true to your message. The world needs more people doing the thing that makes them come alive.
I realise that finding the answer can at times seem impossible and that all forces are going against you (especially in the beginning) and if that’s you, ask for help. Choose wisely.
The fact is, sometimes we just need someone to facilitate the answers out of us (which is what I help people with). Find someone you can trust, someone who won’t always tell you ‘what’ to do, but can ask you the right questions so you can bring the real you out and realise for yourself ‘what’ the truest action is.
Remember, if your eyes are always on the competition, then who’s manning your ship?
Monica Kade is highly sought after for her work with entrepreneurs, which helps them to find clarity, fine-tune and express their personal business message. She has a rare ability to connect her clients to the space within them, so they realise the solution to their question. She has 12+ years in communications and publishing. Through her work, she supports people to express themselves and be better communicators professionally and personally. Her offerings include masterclasses, one-on-one sessions, and copywriting.