Your company isn’t made for everyone – that’s exactly how you want it to be
December 1, 2020
With the way this year has been, it’s become obvious to most of us, that right now, it’s especially easy to compare ourselves with others. The problem that’s absorbed through that is that you become obsessed with worrying that everyone needs to LOVE what you sell, no matter what you do or say. This is just a friendly reminder that your company isn’t for everyone – that’s exactly how you want it to be.
It’s easy to compare how people are living their life, spending their time, pivoting their business and making business decisions. We all have a case of FOMO and if I’m honest it’s making us all feel a bit insecure. I had my routines, networking events and spaces to hangout at that I knew well. While the people in them changed, the set-up was the same and gave me the sense of predictability I needed, so that I could share how Switchback could solve business owners’ biggest problems.
Now we are all trying to fit-in from a distance, in ways none of us have been through before. It occurred to me that fitting in is impossible to do with people who don’t get it, or can’t relate to what you are offering. Stop trying to make them get it. I have always pushed people to stand for something big in their business. To stand for the most authentic things that matter to you and your business.
If you try to stand for everything it means you don’t stand for anything.
If you aren’t challenging people’s ideas or their way of thinking, they aren’t growing. Your business isn’t there to keep people in exactly the same position they were previously. You are there to change their shape, change their home, change their mind, to delegate, handoff, push, pull, or morph whatever it is you do for people. So stop caring so much trying to make everyone like you. You don’t want that anyway, you are here to help just the people who need you the most. Also remember that meek brands are not memorable brands.
I don’t mean you have to be the bad-boy of your industry (though you could be), but there is no point in being mediocre. Don’t be meek just so that you don’t ruffle anyone’s feathers. Don’t be agreeable just so that people smile at you. Don’t be so cheap that anyone can afford you, but yet you can’t afford to invest in doing exceptional work. Showcase what you value – the things that really matter to you.
Make bold statements, paint walls with those values and unique processes. Create a team that drinks your Kool-Aid and will follow you anywhere. Ignore the doubters that tell you to be cheaper, faster and liked by more people. Your goal as a business, and as a person for that matter, is to be the best you can possibly be. To be the most authentic, hard-core version of your brand.
Say what you are passionate about even if you know not everyone will be on board. Your ship doesn’t have room for everyone anyway. It was made for those who get it, who are ready for what you have to say and are willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen. They are super fans of your brand values and ideas, of your products and services, willing to paddle with you through the pivots.
This is not to say those people will always be the same, we all need different things in our lives at different times and life has an ebb and flow. When one group has what it needs, your mission is to find the next group that is seeking what you have to offer, you adapt and evolve too. Where is the need the greatest?
Your job is to be the BEST you can be. Don’t just be the best in your industry, that limits you to what people have done before you. Being the best you can be, no matter what, means you are only competing with yourself. It will get you unstuck and in full control of your company.
Stop trying to be so likeable. People are looking for something deeper; they are looking for something to believe in. Be the ‘something’ that speaks to them. Be the greatest experience they have ever had at a gym, building a home, buying a gift, planning an event or when creating a brand.
2020 has taught me that the people that you seek-out when things are up in the air are the people you should be spending your time with. It’s taught me that clearly defining what we are as a company will not be for everyone – we aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. However, we are for people who want to put in the right sort of effort in order to see great value and returns on creating a brand that people understand and remember. One that people come back to and buy from over and over. We are uncompromising about the process and the time investment because we believe working through the process is what creates amazing things.
We believe in our partners, collaborators and clients. We believe in the businesses that are brave enough to double down because they stand for something amazing, and must share it with their tribe. We believe in being so curious that we will be honest enough to say if something doesn’t feel right for a business, even though it’s what they said they want.
Now is not the time to doubt yourself, don’t water-down your brand. Be flexible, but still full of substance. Stand for something clear, honest and brave. Tell everyone you know and don’t hesitate for a second – even if you lose a follower, a like, or an easy smile. We aren’t here to do easy things. We are here to do hard things – that’s why we are entrepreneurs. Your company isn’t for everyone, but that’s because you stand for something bigger.