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How are you different than your competition?

identifying your niche, standing out from your competitionI started this article with respect to identifying how one can pursue self-employment in a seemingly crowded niche, but this really is applicable to anyone. If you are looking for work and competing for a position, the tips in this post should help you with your job search. How are you different than those you are competing with? If you can't answer this question, how will you differentiate yourself from your competition?

Recently, I had the priviledge of talking to a guy about self-employment. I LOVE talking about work that fits. In this case, this guy is a military veteran who, after serving our country, joined a  line of work that seems to be what he needed to do, but conflicts with his inner drive.

Mike (fictitious name for protection) is working in law enforcement. However, his passion is fitness. He thinks he'd like to take advantage of his GI Bill benefits and pursue his degree in a discipline related to exercise science. At first glance, one might think that will be a tough field because of the competition. There are fitness trainers galore out there. You can walk into a gym and find half a dozen personal trainers. One guy told me he has watched how it took his brother 15 years to make a decent living as a personal trainer, but is that really necessary?

I don't think so. As Mike and I talked, the security of a long-term job in law enforcement doesn't seem to outweigh the desire to do work that matters. Mike has a heart to be involved in the communtiy and in church. In fact, that is how we have been introduced. We are blitzing a neighborhood near our newest campus location. His work doesn't allow him to follow his passion, and he loves people and exercise.

As I tend to do, I start prodding him about how to make self-employment work, particularly amongst all the competition. I share with him how my friends Steve and Jody Berkey are doing this with 90 Revolutions. Steve is a physical therapist who wants to help triatheletes train without pain. We quickly identify some niche opportunities that can allow him to start and grow a business in exercise. Personally, I don't really care about all the certifications you may have, and the associated lettering behind your name. I want results for my investment, a good experience, and great customer service. Mike can control all 3 of these factors and be successful.

At the end of our conversation, he's really jazzed. His personality is of the type that he will make his plan and follow through. Mike also is thrilled at the prospect of working for himself doing work he loves. Once you find this, work never seems like work.

What are you doing? Do you love it? Are you aftraid to start you own venture? The key to competing with others in your space is finding your niche and an audience that wants what you are offering. You need to make a plan, connect with your audience/tribe, and implement. Success won't come overnight, but you can be successful if you are determined, prepared, and implement.

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