Many of us start a business with a fire and passion like nothing else. We conceive an idea, we develop it and bring it into fruition. A unique expression of ourselves and what we want to create in this world.
But then we go and spoil it by doing this one thing…
Even the most seasoned entrepreneurs have sadly fallen into the trap of trying to fit in – mainly because it’s a socially accepted norm that is drummed into us from an early age.
We are all born unique with our own version of creative expression on our hearts and when we hit school age it is gradually drummed out of us over time and replaced with the need for conformity and the requirement to fit in, not stand out.
Now, most entrepreneurs have a spirit of rebellion. They can’t stand conformity.
I’m not saying it’s easy, because it’s still challenging for many business owners to go against what is socially acceptable, but to be truly successful, we need to go against what we’ve been taught …we need to stand out and be different.
Here are 6 ‘conformity’ trap symptoms that and how to spot them:
#1 Your enthusiasm for what you’re doing is dwindling
You used to bounce out of bed and couldn’t wait to get started – but nowadays your business feels more like a chore than a choice.
Every day turns into the next and you start to feel like you’re back on that ‘hamster wheel’ of life – although this time you’re not just working the 9 to 5, it’s more like 6 to 10!
You start to resent what you’re doing and even hating it. Your business has become a monster that you can’t control.
#2 You copy your competitors
Comparison is the thief of joy and if you’re secretly ‘green with envy’ over what your competitors are doing, it means that you’ve fallen into the conformity trap.
Looking at what other businesses are doing and trying to directly copy what they are doing is very different to benchmarking systems and processes in top ranking competitors.
If you don’t have solid belief in the unique voice of your business, then you’ll fall into comparing yourself to your nearest competitors and trying to copy them. When you do this, you become a poor copy of someone else, not the best version of you.
#3 Outdated models and systems
Change is the enemy of conformity. If your business feels old and slightly out of touch, it probably is.
The world of commerce has changed dramatically over the last 10 years and continues to change and evolve. If you’re not keeping up to date on the latest changes in online marketing then you’ll fall behind like a huge, unwieldly dinosaur.
The old way of doing business is just that. Some things still work, but why not work smarter, not harder?
#4 Flogging a dead horse
I use this idiom to make a point. It means what you’re doing is a waste of your time, effort and will not succeed.
If you feel like whatever you’re doing is never enough in your business – all that social media work, producing your products and offering your services, going to networking events, attending exhibitions and local fayres …and yet you still see a tumble weed in your bank account… then that’s a clue of conformity.
When something is never enough – it’s usually true. Stop now and try a different approach.
#5 The most annoying platitudes
The definition of vanity marketing: having thousands of followers, likes and comments of ‘oh, I love that’ and yet you still have a dwindling bank account.
When people ‘like’ but don’t buy it typically means that you’re marketing isn’t strong enough to motivate them to part with their cash.
If you are conforming, your product and service differential won’t be strong enough. You may produce the most incredible thing, but unless you’re hitting the uniqueness button – which draws your IDEAL customers to you - then you’re falling into trap 5 of conformity.
6# ‘Meh’ Marketing
If you have more than one product or service and you’re not segmenting your marketing i.e. talking directly to EACH ONE of your audiences, then you’re falling into the sixth and final conformity trap.
‘All for one’ marketing, or generalist marketing equates to lazy marketing AND it will not generate sufficient sales for you, and you’ll be perceived as ’meh’ by the consumer.
Conforming and fitting in, by feeling safe and not rocking your consumer’s world, will not allow you to stand out from the crowd. You will blend in and people will just walk on by, perhaps with the platitudes that I’ve already given in point #5.
So, there you have it, the 6 symptoms that you’re falling into the conformity trap. If you’d like to learn more about other symptoms that could be affecting your business growth and sales, then check out my free masterclass on ‘What the top 5% of successful female business owners know …that you don’t’ HERE.