RE: Don’t be an apple

BE FIRST, BE DARING, BE DIFFERENT

I opened up a fortune cookie last night and read:
“To Be Successful In Business Be First, Be Daring, Be Different.”

I dropped the little slip of paper into my near empty coffee cup. As I was discarding the cup, however, it struck me that this fortune extolled the exact advice I give many of my clients—not just about business, but about careers and as a way to live their lives. It really did say something about someone’s future! I dug the wet fortune out of the cup with a letter opener to look at it again.

In the last ten years, a great many products and services have become commodities. If you’re not sure what I mean, think of apples. When you go into the supermarket for an apple, you are not likely to care what orchard it came from—you just want it to be sweet, juicy and reasonably priced. No apple stands out as being First, Daring or Different.

Ten or fifteen years ago, if you wanted a computer, your choices were an IBM (First), an IBM “clone” (Daring), or an Apple Computer like the MacIntosh (Different). Today, however, if you want a computer you may still look for a brand name, but you’re unlikely to care which brand name it is. In other words, name-brand computers have, for most of us, become . . . well . . . apples.

This has happened with services, too–probably with the service you provide. Too many of us are “apples.” Too few of us are First , Daring or Different.

But when you’re an apple, the only way you can compete is by price–and that means smaller margins for smaller businesses.

The solution is to stop being an apple. When you’re First, your competitors are the apples. When you’re Daring or Different, you’ll attract the people who don’t want just any apple. Here’s what you can do:

(1) Change your business. For instance, many of my colleagues have told me I’m crazy to include unlimited phone and e-mail contact in my coaching fee.

(2) Articulate your unique value to your customers . While, like most coaches, I’ll work with anyone who is serious about bringing success into his or her life, I specialize in helping professionals and entrepreneurs who are struggling to get more clients.

(3) Get professional assistance. Turning yourself from an apple into anything else is never easy. That’s why coaching has become so popular. It costs you nothing to find out whether coaching might be right for you. Give me a call toll-free at 888-289-5551 or write me to set up a time for us to talk.

In the meantime, start working on being First, being Daring, and being Different and keep REACHING . . .

-Sandy