Failure is one of the worst feelings in the world. In the moment, you’re defeated and humiliated. What’s worse, in this day and age with social media it’s more public than ever! I’m going to level with you guys and admit something: I’ve failed way more times than I’ve ever succeeded. I’ve always been a glass half full kind of guy though, and I’ll let you in on a secret: With failure, comes lessons learned if you’re willing to listen. It can be very challenging while you’re still licking your wounds, but taking a step back and being objective can give you tremendous perspective. The great thing about this painful process is that it sets you up for an even greater comeback the next time around. I’m going to start by asking you a tough question.
Why should I care? This is the brutal question no one is willing to ask to your face but we all think it at some point. However, once you can answer this question you’re well on your way to a successful career in your field. Think about it for a second. A good friend/family member or acquaintance posts on their social media platform that they just got certified as a personal trainer or that they’re now a real estate agent. Or they started a business, the concept still applies. Sorry to be a downer, but guess what: Nobody cares. Not until you give them a reason to. You could have the best product or service on the market, but if you don’t convince people to care about your offering it doesn’t matter. You accomplish this by doing the following:
- Add value to the marketplace. It’s easy to do a simple Google search and find a local massage therapist, hair stylist, you name it. The market is heavily saturated and it can be very hard to differentiate yourself from the deep sea of professionals. You have to position yourself as the go-to professional in your sector. This is done by giving out free information, building relationships with people in your industry (both in-person and online, think about long-term exponential growth), being active in your community and cultivating an audience that will listen to your message. These are just a handful of examples, but notice a theme here: Give, give, give. You should definitely value your time as a professional but don’t be so “busy” that all you’re doing is working in your business and not on it.
- The Rock said it best; FOCUS! Get really good at one thing, committing to the long-term process of becoming the best in your industry. His Airness is a great example of this concept. The Air Jordan shoe, Hanes commercials and other sponsorships (remember the Ball Park hot dog commercials?) were a direct result of Michael Jordan focusing on one thing: Playing basketball. He became the best player he could be (many argue GOAT, but that’s a conversation for another day) and many other opportunities arose. Learn from his example and many others: Become the very best you can at one thing and then diversify. Many would-be entrepreneurs start a second business opportunity with the intent of earning a second stream of income. This is a great strategy, but don’t make my mistake and do this too early!
Just like getting in shape, any worthwhile goal takes two things: Time and patience. Building a business is no exception, make no mistake! The two strategies I’ve outlined above will help you to build credibility in an over-crowded marketplace. This is essential to creating a strong brand and building a good reputation as a professional. Long-term, you’ll position yourself as the professional that can solve your future customers’ problem with your unique solution. After watching that commercial, I really want a hot dog now…
To your lifelong health and success,
-Demarco Crum, CPT