15 December 2012 ~ 0 Comments

The Dinosaur, the Copycat, and the Clueless

If you want to copy my business, by all means – be my guest.  If it’s my pie, I’ll always have the biggest piece.

One thing that is interesting to me is that in a market of people who refer to themselves as “Internet Marketers” – there are very few actual Marketers to be found.

My business is a very finely tuned, and well oiled machine.  Things are balanced in a very specific way, and if you try to remove one element – like jenga, the whole tower falls.  You can’t take 3 pieces of my Jenga tower, and expect to have it stand as tall as the original.

It amazes me when I join a new Traffic Exchange, and the OTO’s are all the same, the upgrade structure is the same, the pricing is the same, the commission rate is the same, the features are the same, the surfing is the same, and three quarters of the time even the members are the same.

Why would I buy from them?  What am I getting from this?

It’s interesting to see people with no business experience buy a script and just think they can start making money.

If you are just providing features that other people already provide, then you better make a damn good case on why I should buy it from you instead.  If I go to the same coffee shop every day, and then one day you come to me and tell me hey – come to this coffee shop instead, I’m going to ask you why?  If you don’t have a good reason, why would I stop doing what I know is right and works?  I wouldn’t.

I see business owners do this every day, offering the exact same product, the exact same experience even, just in a different colored cup, then they don’t understand why they are not succeeding.

When that surprisingly fails them, they start to look around and see what other people are doing, and think well maybe that’s what I’m doing wrong,  so they change it to match.  Then they still don’t get sales.  So now you go to another place and see ah ok, now I see what the trick is – and go back to their business and try to change it.  Hmm, still no sales. And they can’t for the life of them figure out why that is.

There’s three sort of manifestations of the competitive mindset that when you look for them become very obvious.

Some forms of this are more obvious than others, but if you are in business you have fallen for one of these traps.

The Clueless

The Clueless is what makes the Competitive Mindset such a subconscious thing.  Every business owner has or will fall into the trap of the Competitive mindset.  You are clueless about your competitive mindset, because it came so naturally.  When you started your business you likely found yourself over your head and in some areas unsure of how to operate, so you likely turned to follow the models of other businesses in your industry.

You may have tweaked it to make it your own, or intended to do your own custom one later, but just going to use an influence of what you see, instead.

 The Copycat

Now your business is all set up and you want to measure the success – so you compare your business to other businesses in your industry.  You see your business not being successful, and you see another business that obviously is working – and you start to watch and see what it is they are doing that is working.  Without even knowing, now you have taken the role of the copycat – you let their business and them influence you so much that you find your own business ideas and practices starting to fall in line with theirs, and the more you follow, the more you are influenced, and then you end up following the same road.

This is great, if you only want to get where they are – but you can never pass those you follow.

The Twist..

The Copycat stage isn’t just reserved for new business owners – the same rule also applies to that successful business – and this has happened to me countless times.  You get so immersed in your own projects and your own work that your own business influences you so much, that you see it projected when you observe others.  For example on Thumbvu, TimTech has brought back the thumbmaster game (with a twist, of course) and I saw a 12×12 grid which is the same size as a very popular game on one of my sites and wanted to instantly think ‘WTF?’ – I went and played it and realized it wasn’t really anything like my game at all – it was just also a 12×12 grid, but I had been so immersed in my own business, that I saw one of it’s elements elsewhere and instantly assumed it was a copy, when it was really nothing of the such.

The Dinosaur

The Dinosaur is a business that has been ran for several years under influence of a competitive mindset, and in their eyes – the prime of their industry was when they entered it.  Everything since then has declined.  They built their business on the competitive mindset, and the only difference between them and you is that for them it was 3 years ago, what you are doing today.  The big time TE that they compared their success with in the Clueless stage, is what their business remains at today.  Their results decline as the industry adapts around them and they sit modeling businesses that have since failed, but were their major influences.  These people also protest any change to what they see as the perfect business model, one that unfortunately has a rocky future.

 

 

The truth is, while you’re focused so much on your little business in your little industry, the rest of the world is changing around you – and if you are seeking the same person you were looking for five years ago, three years ago, one year ago, even six months ago – you aren’t going to find them.  If you are running your business based on what you see other businesses doing NOW – you are already too late.

For your business to succeed, you can not have a competitive mindest, it is too small.  The top business in your industry is not your competitor, the business they may become in 10 years is – looking just at your strongest competitor is not far enough, you will reach them, but you will never pass them.  You’ll never find a piece of road that hasn’t been driven on – if you want to succeed you absolutely have to pave your own road, make your own success, stop focusing on what others are doing, because they are not your business, and what they do will not work for you – if you are wasting your time focusing on your “competition” then your business will fail on the simple fact alone that you are not focusing enough on your customers – do what makes YOUR business grow.  If you’re building a business based on someone elses influence, all you are doing is priming the market for them, so when they do it better (which they always will) your customers will leave without a second thought.

So do something creative, do something new.  Don’t do what makes Traffic Swirl Successful, Don’t do What makes Startxchange Successful, Don’t do what makes Tezak Traffic Power successful – Do what makes YOU Successful, and if you are driving down someone else’s road – you will never know what that is.

People talk about “Making the Pie bigger” and that is a result of the competitive mindset and essentially the true difference between people who do ok, and people who do incredibly.  The competitive mindset will give you a bigger piece of the pie, but it’s still just a piece.  People who look beyond the realm of their competition, break free of the competitive mindset, and focus on the market (Focus on their members) instead of the industry – create their own pie.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: if it’s my pie, I’m always going to get the biggest piece.

I like Pie.

 

 

P.S. If you think this post is about YOU or your business – you’re right.

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02 January 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Why New Years Matter.. but Shouldn’t..

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind ?”  I absolute love the New Years Eve / Day holiday time.  It’s a great ending to my favorite part of the year.  Christmas, followed by my birthday, and then the culmination of a years of efforts – New Years Eve.

A new year brings brand new opportunities.  It’s a time to reflect on your past and prepare for your future.  As a business owner it is my favorite time because I get to wipe the slate, clean the books, and plan a whole new year of events, ideas, and celebrate methods of new growth.  I get an opportunity to reflect upon my past, and use the lessons taught in 2011 to take me into 2012.  It’s a great feeling to start new and fresh, and new year is just that.  It’s time to not only prepare, but create our futures.  We as people decide to change our lives this day every year, we all pick a goal that we hope to take with us in to the new year to better our own lives and our own persons.

It’s important for us as people to make sure we are on a constant path of self enrichment and betterment.  It is up to ourselves to change our lives, we can’t sit and wait for someone else to do it for us, and this goal setting that New Years brings with it is one of the most profound parts of our existence.  Reflecting and taking action and responsibility.

Why?

Why do we feel the need to wait?

You are in control of your destiny, you are the only one who is empowered to make changes to your life.  Why wait?

A couple of quotes come to mind, both from music because I live every minute of my life with music, it is a deep passion of mine.

“You’ve got no one to blame for your unhappiness” – Wilson Phillips

Ok so the song is cheesy, but this line really sticks out.  You control your life and how you live it, if you wish something on yourself, then do something to make it happen! You can’t wait for someone or something to come and do it for you.

“You don’t have to wait until tomorrow, to resolve for change today” – Nate York

This is of great significance for me and basically sums up what I am trying to convey here.  I really should have made a blog post with just that one line.

If there is something you want, something you want to change, something you have been wanting to do.

Do it.  don’t wait for New Years day to plan to better yourself, why wait? Make resolutions, work towards bettering your life on New Years Day, and every day that follows.

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