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writing in the margins

How to Stand out in a Saturated Industry

You look around and have a great idea. There is something inside you that ignites when you think about opening up your own business in ________________(fill in the blank) field. But then you google how many businesses already exist in this field. Then your stomach starts to sink. Self-doubt starts to stifle the flames that your passion flamed.

Should I? I mean, it’s already been done before. Is it even worth it? I’m not as good as so-and-so.

Skeeeeeert. Let me bump your breaks right quick.

There is enough room for everyone to get a slice of the pie.

Want proof? Count how many pizzerias there are in your neck of the woods, from chains like Blaze and Dominoes to the mom and pop shops. Seriously, go on google if you have to get a rough estimate. Got the number?

In my neck of the woods there’s at least 21 that I can count on at the top of my head. Yes, I’m a pizza connoisseur. Out of the 21 there are 3 I love to eat depending on my huger pang or social situation. Madison’s Pizza in my opinion is the best spot all around. They always have a great and fresh selection. They have a healthy topping to cheese ratio and their crust! Fugetaboutit! My husband and have been going there since our college days so we have a rapport with the staff. If I’m hanging with my crew who has dietary restrictions and live that healthy lifestyle, I choose NoHo for their gluten & dairy free pizza OR order a couple pie’s from Whole Foods pizzeria.

The point, if you haven’t already figured it out, is that there is enough room for everybody. Say it out-loud for the people in the back. THERE IS ENOUGH ROOM FOR EVERYBODY!

In the 21 options in my town alone, I only invest in 3 and that’s just me in my small circle of friends.  All those businesses are still running and I’ve lived in Albany now for almost 10 years. And guess what, there is still room for more pizza spots.

I have one particular friend who drives 40 minutes one way to pick up his pizza from his hometown because that’s the particular pizzeria that makes his heart happy. You know you are doing something right when someone loves your pizza that much.

At the end of the day, each one of these businesses sale pizza but they go about it a little differently. Some have specific spices and water that blend the dough just right, some have Great Nona Philomena’s secret 12-hour marinara sauce recipe, others are efficient, and their customer service is superb—the way they go about their business sets them apart in a saturated industry.

You build your tribe of loyal and happy customers by honing in on what sets you apart.

Stop comparing yourself to others. That’s just waste of a lot of precious time and doesn’t make anybody feel good. Doesn’t make you feel good, doesn’t make the people you are throwing shade at good, and it doesn’t make the people that are trying to find that special thing that only your business has any good either.

Why fight for your limitations when it takes just as much energy to fight for your dreams? Do the dang thing your way! The way you only know how. That’s your ticket to make your business stand out in a saturated market.

But Alejandra, I don’t know what “my way” is. That’s cool, you will never know if you don’t start. One of the most underrated secrets to success is to start before you are ready. Take a moment to let that sink in.

When you start before you are ready you take action. That action messy and scrappy as it may be, becomes a catalyst. The more you do, the more you learn, the more you develop your style and what sets you apart, which leads to those Washingtons, Lincolns and Hamiltons. Gotta start somewhere before you can make it rain so be patient as your actions start to become systems for a strong and fruitful foundation.

Oh, and please don’t worry about your competition—worry about serving your people the best way only you can and they will not only repeat their investments with you but evangelize your business and brand to those they know and love.

Now stop reading this and get to work.

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