Don’t give away your value

Anytime you start something new you will face naysayers.  In many cases these people will come from those closest to you.  These same people will likely come to you with what they believe are good intentions to deter and discourage you from pursuing, or pushing forward in your new venture.  While many people want to say they support your new venture many will not.  Frankly there’s nothing wrong with that.  Everyone is entitled to their opinions whether they should share it or not.  The challenge you will face is to either bow to the criticism or push past it.  If you’ve started a business, program, or venture most won’t be able to see the vision that you see.  You must show it to them your value.

When starting my business I was routinely asked by my mentor and friend a simple question.  What does success look like? Success for everyone is defined differently. Does success in a venture mean money or a specific amount of money? Does it me freedom to do what you wish? Does it mean having the ability to bring value to other people? Here’s the trick to the question. Whatever success looks like to you own it. The main step is taking steps to answer that question.   When you do answer it move onto the next piece that will take you even further.

As your business or venture progresses, and you’re doing the right things to cause a ruckus, people will begin reaching out to you.  You may be surprised and encouraged that you’re making an impact, but be careful.  I want to see the good in people, and I hope that people act in good faith.  Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.  People will see what you’re doing and will look to steal it and claim it as their own. Don’t fear it happening work to make sure that you’re the better product on the market. That means you need to prove yourself time and time again.

Another person and/or business may come to you under a clouded veil.  They may offer you something, or frankly nothing, but in return they want to gain access to the network and value that you’ve created.  Watch out for these people.  Every time this comes up take time to step back and evaluate what’s being offered, and what you may be giving up in return.  If the opportunity doesn’t benefit you pass on it. A good partnership should benefit both parties.  If someone wants to use your services they should be willing to pay for it.  If they’re not, then they’re not really interested and may be looking to get something for nothing. It’s one thing if you’re priced out of the market. Depending on the market you’re after make sure you know where you land. If your focus is on the high end then make sure you’re services reflect your pricing. If the value is there your customers will come in time.

I once had someone word for word copy and paste my blog onto their website and tried to claim it as their own.  When I confronted them about it they tried to make it sound like they were doing me a favor.  Mind you, they had not asked for permission to do so, and in most cases people never will regardless of copyright.  My initial reaction was to say that it was a simple mistake.  While I’ll never know whether that was true I fought them on it.  Eventually they took the information down, but I wouldn’t have known what steps to take without support from my business mentor.  Knowing the value, you bring comes with having a solid group of people around you.  This group of people have no stake in your business, but are there to fight alongside of you and help you protect it.

If people are attacking you don’t run from the attack, embrace it.  People usually don’t care what’s going on outside of their own lives.  If they’re taking the time to attack you then you’re clearly doing something right.  Keep your head down and push forward.  Don’t stop for anything and be willing to fight when the time calls.  Whether you know it or not, there are people out there that want to see you succeed. Keep at it.