Have you ever seen this scenario: You’re at an event, mingling with other entrepreneurs and business people. Someone asks you what you do, and you tell them. Their immediate response is “Oh, that’s a tough tough business!” or “What makes you different than all of the other people doing the same thing?”
I have had this conversation many times. Do you feel discouraged by talk like that?
In 1 Kings 5:1-12, Solomon has just taken the throne. Now, it might seem like a king has no worries, after all, he’s the king, right? Who in the kingdom can compete with him? Well I don’t think the transition is always quite so smooth. Do you know what the bounty on the head of a new king is? No, I don’t have a number, but check out these assassinations / hostile takeovers here, and here, and here, and… You get the picture.
So what did Solomon do? He exchanged services with a neighboring king. He made friends.
Don’t be afraid to play nice yourself and here’s why:
Think “Colleague” rather than “Competition”
As a designer, I meet a lot of people who design, who code websites, and who print stuff. Some of these folks get overwhelmed themselves and who do you think they may call when there’s more work than skilled workers available? Meeting with your colleagues can also help you decide how to best position your own offerings and determine where the true needs for your services actually are.
For example, if are you a massage therapist, ask your colleagues what kinds of clients they serve? Where do they meet them? What services do they offer?
Think “Partner” rather than “Competitor”
I’ve also met several people who’s core business focus is not on design but do it because it needs to be done in order for them to accomplish their part of the project. It’s a win-win when they can focus on their own efforts while delegating the design portion of the project to me. Likewise, if someone is better with maintaining social media or marketing email campaigns, who am I going to call when those portions of my projects are ready to go? Their are many strategic partnerships that can be found when you dig a little deeper into the core of a colleague’s services.
For example, if you are an independent author, do any of your colleagues write books with similar themes that can be self published into a special Christmas offering?
Think “Friend” rather than “Enemy”
Know your strongest offerings and what it is that distinguishes you from a similar colleague. If I have a client who would be better suited to working with one of my colleagues than with me, that’s the time to step up and say “Hey, so and so is amazing in this particular area. Why don’t I ask them to work with you on this portion of the project?” Now note, your colleagues may or may not return the favor, but God sees these moments of the heart and like a farmer, you will reap what you sow if not in this season, then the next.
If these tips have helped you, please share them with your friends!