Most business owners and entrepreneurs take this path because it offers a certain level of tangible freedom. During the beginning stages, there’s always a level of uncertainty, so why not utilize other’s successes and failures in order to evolve your brand in a meaningful and effective way.
On a recent episode of Bond Appetit, I sat down with Sean D’Souza, the esteemed founder of psychotactics.com. He gave some insight into the ways you can get more autonomy from your business using simple structures that others teach or demonstrate.
Using Feedback to Improve Your Brand
If something in your business is either successful or isn’t working, you should want to hear about it, therefore, feedback is crucial for anyone in business.
Sean, reads his emails religiously – He has done for roughly 18 years. It’s within these daily emails that truly hold the key to the feedback treasure.
Say a prospect or client messages you explaining that they didn’t receive a download that they were originally promised. While many of us would roll our eyes and think along the lines of “Ugh that’s such a pain,” Sean sees it as a window of opportunity.
Instead of tutting and sending that message to the ‘deleted’ folder to be eternally forgotten in the pits of an email void – instead ask yourself, “why didn’t that person get that download? Is there a different way to do it? Are the instructions clear and correct?” When you start asking customer focused questions you can look for solid answers.
Using these pieces of feedback as business improving guides means you’ll only be improving upon components that need your energy and attention.
Uniqueness Shouldn’t Always Be a Business Priority
There’s a current trend of people moving away from “conventional careers,” and branching out into freelancing and entrepreneurship.
While that may hold the potential for financial insecurity, people are still opting for the freedom that free enterprise can bring. With that said, if you’re entering into a lesser trodden or completely unique market, you may be at a disadvantage.
Brand uniqueness isn’t always desirable, and Sean explains exactly why. “A lot of people tell me that they’re quite unique or they’re not unique at all. I would prefer the people that say they’re not unique at all.” Upon reflection, this may seem like a ridiculous statement to make, you obviously want to stand out as a new feature inside a niche market, right?
Unique concepts could work in your favour as novelty can sell quite well, but the likelihood of your business failing drastically rises if you’re first to the start line.
Competition is a good thing. Why? Well, competition is a benchmark of an already thriving industry. When certain models previously exist and work within a fully functioning market, you know that people are educated on the concept – which saves you time – and is desired.
Over time, you can begin to refine or develop your sliver of uniqueness within your personal brand to set yourself apart from the rest as you become more established.
Use Other’s Mistakes to Make Better Business Decisions
Google, Dominos, MacDonald’s, they were not the first of their kind, but they sure-as-sugar stand out as a cut above the rest. As Sean rightly points out, Google was the fourteenth search engine in existence, but made it to the top spot as the world’s web browser of choice. The reason behind this is, they learned heavily from their fallen predecessors.
There had to be someone who did all the groundwork first, and has successful, teachable knowledge or a format that you can learn from. “If you’re the first one at YouTube, you have to figure everything out yourself,” he explains, “But, if you’re the second guy you have someone likely to teach you stuff.”
It’s understandable that when you’re the first one to do embark on a new business venture, you’re going to be the one making humongous mistakes while learning the ropes. So, taking learned examples from those within a similar market and improving upon them can ensure that you’re not repeating similar follies.
Author: Ronsley Vaz
Ronsley is the founder & chief day dreamer at AMPLIFY. He is an author, speaker & serial entrepreneur.
He has a Masters’ degree in Software Engineering and an MBA in Psychology and Leadership. He is known as the creator of We Are Podcast – the first Podcasting Conference in the Southern Hemisphere, and the host of The Bond Appetit Podcast and Should I Start a Podcast. He has an audience of over 3 million in 133 countries.