Succeed By Doing The Things Your Peers Will Never Do

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If you want to succeed in the entrepreneurial world, it's all about trying new things. Here's how to get things rolling:

Have you ever had a great idea, but were told by everyone around you that it wasn’t possible? That it was too early? Or that it would never work? If you’re an entrepreneur, chances are you’ve heard all of these responses and more.

Imagine if Jeff Bezos had listened to all the people who thought selling books on the internet was crazy. That was the genesis of a business that has completely transformed our entire eCommerce landscape. In other words, things would look completely different today if Bezos had believed the people who said starting an internet bookseller was something they would never do.

At a WIRED conference in October 2018, Bezos told the crowd to ignore those who say their ideas are wrong or bad: “The real needle-movers are driven by being right when most of the world is wrong.” Bezos’s ideology is actually backed up by science: Studies have proven that people who are more willing to entertain the idea that they’re wrong make better choices.

There are plenty of ideas that most people wouldn’t do for an assortment of reasons. In my opinion, that’s all the more reason to try them. They may be high-risk, but they offer even higher rewards if you end up being right.

Finding An Undervalued Idea

So, how do you find your undervalued idea that’s different from anything else you’ve seen in your industry?

Maybe start by looking outside your industry. I was inspired to start my fast SEO implementation company by looking into a web application firewall. This was outside my industry, but I stumbled upon some key insights for improving my services. It gave me the confidence to offer an SEO guarantee, a concept that’s unheard of in the SEO industry. Other industry experts, due to their expert biases, thought I was crazy to offer this guarantee — in a volatile industry with constant changes, it’s not exactly easy to promise a client certain SEO results.

But by playing to my strengths and only offering guarantees to select clients that qualified, I saw an 80% success rate with achieving that guarantee for my clients, creating a strong reputation for my brand and giving clients a reason to pass my name along to others.

Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment

Sometimes when companies get comfortable operating within a specific niche, they can miss great opportunities that are easy to execute on.

Crystal Imagery is a high-end glassware maker whose clients include the U.S. House of Representatives, the CIA, and high-end resorts. Crystal Imagery’s custom deep-engraved bar and stemware are finer in quality than the laser-engraved ones of its competitors. However, in an online search, it was very hard for potential customers to realize this disparity because the visuals of Crystal Imagery’s product look similar to inferior products on sites like Amazon.

Thanks to this insight, the opportunity to compete with other, lower-cost vendors seemed to present itself. I suggested a big experiment: a promotional strategy that offers free samples. At first, the company balked, thinking that it could potentially lose quite a bit of money producing samples for clients that would not place orders. I eventually convinced the company to try this idea with qualifying customers for a trial run. Crystal Imagery ended up making 30% more from its website in 2018 than it had in the previous year. Why? Because when people received a sample product, they had a very high closing rate.

Because Crystal Imagery decided to take the leap and go through with this experiment, they were able to see a reward that may have never come if they hadn’t said “yes” to something that most of their peers wouldn’t have tried.

Failure Is Not The End Of The Road

“Being wrong isn’t a bad thing like they teach you in school. It is an opportunity to learn,” once said the great physicist Richard Feynman. The fear of failure is the number one thing that holds entrepreneurs back. And in the age of social media, where people only seem to share their successes and never their failures or setbacks, it can be easy to feel even more afraid of your “big idea” failing.

Fellow SEO expert Barry Adams recently took a brave step by sharing a failure he experienced in delivering a client positive SEO results. While most people are afraid to be vulnerable and share experiences like this due to fear of losing business or ruining their reputation, Adams’s post resonated strongly with his followers. Dozens responded, thanking him for his honesty in an industry where most tend to hide their failures.

Think about it: If a business has a page of reviews that are all full five-star ratings, chances are you won’t fully trust that business. There’s simply no business that operates that perfectly or doesn’t ever experience an “off day.” That’s why people are more trusting of businesses with both good and bad reviews: They may not be perfect, but they’re real. Failure is real. Everyone experiences a setback every now and then, and it shouldn’t keep you from continuing to experiment.

Most Undervalued Ideas Look Bad At First

There’s always going to be a reason to not try something — especially when everyone around you is telling you that you’re wrong about your idea’s potential. A lot of undervalued ideas look bad at first — in my opinion, that’s exactly why you should try them. You can bring over ideas that have been proven to work in different industries, or create a new concept on your own and experiment with it. No matter what happens: At worst, it will be a learning experience. At best, you’ll reap rewards you may have never expected, and that’s always worth a shot.



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