Mind Your Own Business


Do you ever find yourself comparing your business to another business? Or comparing how much you charge to how much they charge? Ever wish your business could just plain be more like that one? Then I have some bad news. Your business can’t be like their business. And you don’t want it to be.

Trying to be a BETTER business turned into trying to be more like someone else’s business.
In 2009, Becky and I blindly started a business. Having no experience in entrepreneurship, we began devouring information from anyone and anywhere. We were trying new things and testing the waters as business owners. Learning how this new industry worked. And as we started learning more about the industry and the other businesses in it, it became harder and harder to not compare our business to the others. Trying to be a BETTER business turned into trying to be more like someone else’s business.

We started using these unhealthy comparisons as a guide. We let them decide our next move. We were so focused on trying to do what the competition was ALREADY doing that we couldn’t think outside the box that we let them put us in. We assumed that because they were doing it, it must be working for their business and that it would work for ours.

Our new business was doing alright. We grew here and there and learned some good lessons along the way. But if we would have stayed on that track, we would have always just been mediocre. Always looking to do what everyone else was doing, which would ultimately have lead to ALWAYS playing catch up and never getting ahead.

When I say it like that, it sounds like a no brainer. Of course we don’t want that for our business. As creatives, we didn’t start a business for it to be just like another business. We started a business because we wanted to create. To build something that allows us to do what we love and make money doing it.

This can be a difficult thing to remember, everyday. We hear about what is helping this or that business grow. We see it on social media. We hear about it over coffee with them. Hell, we pay people to tell us about it at a workshop.

Stand up for your business. Let it be its own. Make it be its own.
So what’s the key? It’s simple. Stand up for your business. Let it be its own. Make it be its own. Sure, take an idea a colleague gave you. Absolutely, read a ton of books. Go to workshops. Sit down with another entrepreneur to pick their brain. And use what you learn. But whatever it is, make damn sure it fits into YOUR business and how YOU want to run it.

What’s even better than that? Figure out, on your own, new ways to grow. Brainstorm regularly. Come up with a plan. If it fails, tweak it. Try again. Failed again. Try again. Failed again. Scrap it. Make a new plan. It worked? Make it better. You get the idea. Eventually, you’ll find something that works for your business and no one will be able to do it quite like you.

Do that enough and you’ll start to notice you don’t care so much about what anyone else is doing. And after you spend some time doing that, you’ll be the one people are asking to coffee.

Comments 6

  1. I needed this reminder thank you so much! After 5 years I have started to question my business plan and direction because of comparisons to other vendors. But, I cannot forget I don’t want and never intended to be like them. Again thank you for the reminder.

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    Thanks for reading Chris! I love what you said there! That you “never intended to be like them.” Bringing it all back to our original intentions is SO liberating, right?

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