Somewhere in Mesopotamia, around the year 3500 B.C. someone created a way to spin pottery. They created a device that would turn 'round and 'round and were able to then make plates and bowls. About 300 years later another group of people decided to take this nifty pottery creator and improve upon it; creating the first chariot. (source)
In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm talking about the invention (and, later, re-imagined) of the wheel.
You see, no wheels exist in nature. Someone had to come up with a concept and create one. Basically, the greatest invention of all time was intended not to pull carts or run under cars, but to spin pottery a la Patrick Swayze.
"What the hell is your point?"; you might be thinking. Well here it is:
You cannot re-create the wheel.
But you can improve upon it.
So how does that relate to you and your business?
Simple. Your idea is not new, but you can make it better than, different from and improved upon from the original creator.
This is where the money is.
I started out as a blog designer in a sea of blog designers. I mean seriously, this niche was absolutely everywhere. So I knew going into it that I wasn't going to make it on my talent alone. Yes, I'm good at what I do. Yes, I know more about design than some of my competitors. But what was going to set me a part?
At the time I was a blogger on the Blogger platform (aka Blogspot) and so that's what I was used to creating on. After a cursory Google search, I discovered that there really was no niche for blog designers who specialized in Blogger designs! Everyone was all about Wordpress and thus I re-imagined my wheel. I created a new need using something that was already needed. And that, my friends, is how you make it.
Your small business, no matter what it may be, is really no different. Be it planner stickers, knitted sweaters, child rearing expertise or organizing services, chances are your business is one of many. Rather than being daunted by your Google search results, you should be laser focused on making your already good idea into a great one. One that goes over and above what others in your industry are providing.
To sidetrack a second; the four D's of dance (drive, dedication, desire and discipline) are fundamentals that were instilled in me from he time I could talk. A former ballerina myself, I danced before I walked (literally, I crawled, pulled up and then twirled around the room. Some say I never stopped...) and worked my way up the ladder in my Company. Years later (to get back on point - see what I did there? ;-P), I would discover that the four D's of dance were not limited to the ballet. They're fundamentals for life!
And here's how you can use them to improve on your wheel:
Without the drive to go on after seeing just how many competitors you're going to have, you're going to fail and fail pretty damn epically. You will be overwhelmed and start stinkin' thinkin' that your idea is overdone and under-appreciated. In reality, the drive (and focus) to make it should force your mind to overcome these obstacles and start figuring out the best ways to market yourself as better than the rest of your niche.
No one said this small business/side hustle turned full time gig was going to be easy. Your drive and focus aren't going to be enough to propel you forward. You're going to need to dedicate almost every second of your time to your craft. If you're still doing the 9-5 deal and looking to create a small business; or you're still working the 9-5 but already starting to create the side hustle, dedication is the only way you'll earn your first dollar. From pursuing sponsors, advertising, and marketing your business knowing how much work is involved and sucking it up buttercup will be your only light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
Drive to succeed can only take you so far. You want it and that's great. But does it burn a fire in the fit of your stomach that flames up through to your heart when you think about your small business? If not, it might be a good idea to really rethink what you're doing. Do you want to operate your own company because everyone else is and it seems like an easy way to earn an income? Then you're a damn fool. #sorrynotsorry Running a small business is everything BUT easy! And if your burning desire doesn't make you taste it, get out now.
Strength and dignity are great traits to possess but running a side hustle is about a lot more than that. You have to have the discipline to do what it takes to succeed. while the other three D's might help advance you from blogger to creativepreneur, the discipline to handle your business correctly is what will take you to the big payouts. Courses, classes, printables and blog posts; nevermind social media marketing and all those replies! It's so much to take in. Use your focus to create a structure that will not only pay of in success but also help prevent you from becoming a sellout.
The wheel was invented in 3500 B.C. I can't math so I don't know how many years ago that is but I do know that our species as we know it didn't even exist then. And we (that is, humans) have been improving it and finding a million other uses for the wheel. If generations of homo sapiens can continuously re-imagine the wheel then you can re-imagine an idea and make it better than anyone has ever seen.
Until next time,
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