Seriously though, mind your own business!
Easier said than done, right? Sometimes we need to step in when we feel a situation warrants us to do so. But that’s not what I’m talking about, this time.
Awhile ago I had a good friend reach out to me to help bring her vision to life by designing a logo for her new home based business she was excited to be starting. Of course I said, “YES!” I was just as excited for her as she was and loved that she chose me to be the one to join her on her journey.
And then came the lack of confidence that comes out of no where, sits on your shoulder and whispers in your ear, “Why do you think you can be successful at this?” She shared with me that she was beginning to question herself on whether she could turn her passion into a SUCCESSFUL side hustle. When I asked why she was suddenly questioning her excitement about getting started she said, “There are so many people already doing the same thing I am in town and there’s no way I can compete with all of them!”
It didn’t take long for me to tell her what I thought.
Stand out from the crowd!
I asked my dear friend if she knew just how many graphic designers there are in our fine city. There are…a lot! So many that it can be overwhelming for potential clients to decide who can offer the best, most affordable option to help them promote their business so they too stand out from the crowd.
After my amazing staff and I lost our design jobs at our local newspaper due to the company’s choice to outsource the work to India, I had to think quick. After all, I had been there for almost 20 years and I had expected to die there. I LOVED my job and woke up every morning excited to get to work. Now what was I going to do?
With the encouragement of my husband I decided to jump in with both feet and start my own home business and reach out to our community advertisers who weren’t interested in having their advertisements designed in another country. We live in a community that thrives on supporting local and to see 13 very talented and creative community members lose their jobs just so the company they had dedicated themselves to could save a buck.
That was the beginning of 2013 and I’ve never looked back.
Don't worry about what everyone else is doing!
Sure, I too questioned myself when I ventured out on my own, but I believed in myself. I knew I was one of the most creative designers in the business and it only made me better at what I did because I absolutely LOVE what I do!
Someone said somewhere that we are our own best reference on our resume. We know the job we are able to do, we know we will be punctual, we get along with others, we are committed to the task at hand, and we are the best choice for hire.
But how do we let them know?
We believe in ourselves, and even though there will be times that you will second guess the job you are doing there will be little reminders that show up to let you know to just worry about yourself and what YOU’RE doing.
Awhile back I started following one of my competitors because I felt that I could learn some of the new ways of doing things in this ever changing world. She is young and vibrant, and carries a smile easily when she speaks. And truth be told, there were times that I told myself that she was better than me and I needed to learn so much more to be more successful than I felt she was.
And then someone smacked me upside the head and offered me my own reminder.
There's always more than what you see
One of my said competitor’s clients reached out to me not long ago to ask if I could help with his graphic design needs and of course I said, “ABSOLUTELY!” Though I couldn’t help but wonder why he had jumped ship and reached out to me instead, I immediately popped in to her FB page to see if she was still in business. I didn’t understand why the one person I had compared myself to in the past wasn’t needed any more by someone I knew she did a lot of work for.
I was confused.
One of my best clients was the one who had recommended me for the job when he was looking for someone new to work with, so I had to ask what happened. I was told that it wasn’t due to poor design but because the customer service wasn’t great. (I must note that I’m aware there are two sides to every story so I have to take what I hear with a grain of salt). However, to be the best at what you do you have to make sure you’re personable and available, even with the ones who make you work for the money.
Cause we all know that there’s those ones.
Me…dancing naked in the rain!
Just do you!
The bottom line is you just need to continue to be yourself and believe in what you have to offer others. The best and most affordable form of advertising is word of mouth and the best place to start is in your immediate circle
Use your family and friends as your test market. Promote your product to them and ask for their feedback so you know where you need to make improvements. Ask for suggestions on what they would like you to add to your product line up, or to the services you offer. They will be the first to help spread the word and recommend you to others, and before you know it you’ll only be looking forward with the future in your hands.
My friend decided to do her own thing and quit worrying about the competition. She has become more successful than she thought possible and now has her product in local shops, and a customer base that continues to grow daily. She is so creative and talented and is constantly creating new designs and exciting items to what she has to offer, and I’m so proud of her for following her passion and bringing her vision to life.
Seriously though, mind your OWN business and the business will take care of itself!