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There are some excellent entrepreneurs out there that are really good at what they do. Because of this, you may have the urge to copy those entrepreneurs to achieve your own success.
Trust me, I get it. It’s tempting.
When I was younger, I saw so many other entrepreneurs making money and finding success, and I just wanted to be them and have their lives so bad. I wanted it so bad that I often ended up trying to copy what they were doing.
And then I was surprised when it didn’t work!
You see, I didn’t realize that I was approaching businesses from such a misinformed point of view. I thought I would have just as much success if I did exactly what everyone else was doing and worked just as hard.
However, as I gained experience and found my own path to success, I realized that I was making the biggest mistake any entrepreneur can make: trying to be something they’re not. So, what I want to do is to help you avoid the trap of trying to copy other entrepreneurs so that you can find your own unique selling point that separates you from the rest of the market.
Where Entrepreneurs Go Wrong With Systems
The first thing that people want to copy from other entrepreneurs is their systems, which makes sense.They don’t know how to make money yet, and these other people have found a way that works. In fact, I used other people’s systems to start making money, and people throughout history have done the same.
The problem is that too many people think they can copy the exact system without making any changes.Trust me, I’ve made this mistake. I’ve seen what other successful entrepreneurs were doing and tried to copy their systems exactly…and then I failed. This is because I was making my business decisions from the wrong place.
See, there are two main places that your decisions can and will come from:
When you try to copy exactly what other people are doing, you’re approaching your business from a place of ego. You see what they’re doing and think you can do it just as well, if not better, than them. Even worse, you’re trying to shortcut the process and cut out the hard work that’s inherent to starting a successful business.
So, what I’ve started asking myself to make sure I’m not letting my ego drive my decisions is, “Even if I CAN do these things, SHOULD I?”My intuition answers that question for me, and then I go on to do my best to make the right decision for me.
With that said, there’s a way to model after people without copying them.
Actually, I encourage looking into people in your field and modeling your business off of the systems that they have in place. There are plenty of businesses that have come before you that have found the right way of doing things—and learning from these businesses can help you succeed.
How I Let My Ego Drive Me In 2018
Entrepreneurs on social media typically paint their lives to be picture perfect. You see the cars, the houses, the parties and the success, but you don’t see any of the struggle.
I’m not scared of showing you that.
When my business coach asked me whether I thought most of my decisions in 2018 were driven by ego or intuition, it was like reality slapped me in the face when I came to the realization that most of what I had done in 2018 was driven by ego.
I tried to do way too many things at once…
- We opened the Lurn Center
- We built a new education platform
- We transferred over to a new CRM
- We brought on several new team members
While this was incredible for the business, it was one of the most stressful years of my life. When I look back, I realize that I didn’t actually need to get all of this done in a single year. I wanted to do all of it because I, ANIK SINGAL, felt like I had to do it to keep up with what everyone else in the space was doing.
It wasn’t until I took some time away from work in India and visited with friends, family, our Dream Centers and an ashram that we’re working with that I realized that I had been making decisions more on what other people were doing and what I wanted than for the overall benefit of Lurn.
Even after over 15 years of entrepreneurship, I still have to take a step back at time to remember that. So, what I recommend that you do as a newer entrepreneur is to focus on modeling your business after other entrepreneurs rather than copying them.
The Difference Between Modeling And Copying
No matter what field you’re in, it’s likely that other businesses have done what you are planning to do before, and you can learn a lot from these businesses.Here’s the thing, though…once you find successful businesses and entrepreneurs similar to your, you can’t just copy them directly.
We’ve already decided that this is a bad idea.
Instead, look at their systems and see how you can incorporate them but still make your business your own.You need to do things YOUR way—even when you’re taking some hints from others.
Essentially, you need to DO YOU.Ask yourself...
- Who are you?
- What are your strengths?
- What makes you different?
- What do you have to offer?
To give you an example, I know that I'm better than 99% of the world at two very specific things:
- Copywriting - I know I can go toe to toe with any copywriter out there
- Monetizing subscribers - I'm one of the best out there at turning free or low-cost subscribers into customers by providing value
When I think about what we need to double down on moving forward here at Lurn, these are two big things that come to mind. Find those things that you're great at, and lean into them instead of trying to be something or someone that you're not.
My favorite example of this is my good friend and fellow entrepreneur Ritoban C. I’ve known Rito for over 10 years now, and he’s like a little brother to me. I’ve seen him rise and succeed as an entrepreneur, fall and rise back again.
Before he built that channel up, he would look at me and ask why he wasn’t having the levels of success that I was having. He thought that it was because I’m good on camera and he wasn’t. He thought that it was because I have an American accent and he has an Indian accent.
However, I challenged him to look in the mirror and think about what HE does well that nobody else does.
When we met up again for an interview about eSCAPE, he went live and over 300 people showed up immediately. What was even funnier was that he ended up building his entire audience in India rather than the United States or Europe, and his followers were actually complaining about MY accent.
What is came down to was that Rito found what he was good at and let the market dictate what he should do rather than trying to force himself to be like someone that he isn’t.
So, embrace who you are, and you’ll be much more likely to find the audience that likes YOU and YOUR business! If you’re going to copy systems, make sure you are just copying the bare bones of the systems and not the details.You should fill in the details with your own unique flair, and you should make sure that you are doing things YOUR way.
Overcoming The Reason Why New Entrepreneurs Fail
I understand the urge to copy others—especially when they're showing how successful they are on social media.Still, you won’t be able to replicate their success simply by copying them. Instead, be yourself and do things YOUR way.
It took me quite a few years to learn this, and I definitely learned it the hard way, but it's the only real way to reach success in business and in life.