This weekend I was down in Monterey, California, enjoying the sunshine and sea air.
While checking out the Fisherman’s Wharf area I noticed what looked to be something like a crayfish or mini-lobster/shrimp or crab. It turned out to be a tuna crab that had been pushed North by the El Niño weather (basically pushing warm ocean water farther North from Baja California).
Then as I looked at the beach I noticed the sandy beach awash in red. Investigating, I noticed that the same tuna crab I’d seen earlier was now washed up on the beach en mass.
Don’t be like these tuna crabs.
One flaw that often brings down perfectly reasonable people is trying to do what everyone else is doing instead of taking the path less traveled.
If you’re job hunting and your resume looks just like everyone else’s. And you’re posting it to the same job boards the same way. You’ll struggle like everyone else. Why? Because your commoditizing your unique gifts. If you want to be just a number, go ahead and follow the same rules as everyone else. If you want to get what others aren’t, then you must take a different approach.
The same goes for your small business marketing.
Are you marketing and selling the same way everyone else in your industry does it?
Do they have the corner of the best marketing practices in the industry? Or are they just doing what they learned?
You can’t do the same and expect to set yourself apart. And if you’re not different, then you’re a commodity…subject to the same opportunities as every other commodity (basically those opportunities dry up when you stop differentiating yourself).
So how do you avoid the early death of the tuna crab?
Know that the quickest way to marginalization is to follow everyone else. You have to understand what your competitive advantage is and then constantly focus on making that meaningful in the eyes of your clients.
Look outside your industry and see how businesses in other industries achieve a similar goal by tacking the problems in a different fashion. Often there are no “right” answers. But there are many potentially solid ideas that can be implemented quickly.
So don’t be a tuna crab. Be different. Be awesome!