How to Be a Rock Star in Your Industry

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Scenario: "Dude, to be rock stars in our discount supermarket industry, we must be the most persistent fighters. Yay!" Close, but not quite. Remember when your teachers told you that the hardest workers will be the most successful? They were wrong:

It's not about working the hardest.

For instance, you could play basketball 15 hours a day, for twenty years, and have the best basketball coaches around you -- but you'd still be nowhere near Michael-Jordan-status. You likely don't have Jordan's God-given talents: size, quickness, arm length, speed, and instincts. That is -- even if you wanted and tried, you'll never be the best basketball player in the world. It's the same way with running a business:

Understand Where You Can't Be The Best

You could try building the most rockin' discount superstore in the world, but you could never beat Wal-mart in prices. Goliath has too many resources, people-power, inventory management controls, and negotiating power than you. If you compete with them on prices, you'll lose. You need to fight a different battle: one where you can win. So how do you become a rock star in your industry? Easy -- and a little obvious to you veteran Trizoko readers:

Employ the Kick-Ass Talents of Your Company

It's not about working hard. It's about discovering where your company can kick the most ass, and then persistently strengthening those all-world talents. Use this sucker: In my industry, my company can kick the most ass doing: _______________________________. For instance, if you're a local discount retailer in San Francisco: You know you can't compete with Wal-mart on prices; but:
  1. You can provide the freakishly best customer service in San Francisco.
  2. Or, you can kick the most ass by providing hard-to-find items in the city.
  3. Or, you can provide the best inventory to local college kids in the city.
  4. The list goes on.

Why Your Company Needs to Be a Rock Star

Rock-star status gives you the confidence to kick ass. Instead of being a small fish in a big pond where you'll die easily, your company becomes the biggest freakin' shark in a kiddie pool. Because nobody else can hold a candle to your all-world talents, that gets your company the confidence to start kicking ass. Scenario: Say you're a trained singer who's deciding between two local musical performances (the fat prize: $1 billion): First scenario: You'll compete with a couple of Grammy-artists:
  1. Mariah Carey
  2. Sarah McLachlan
Second scenario: You'll compete with:
  1. a 102-year old dude
  2. a 3-year old kid
Guess what scenario makes you the freakishly confident shark? It's the same way when steering your company: You can choose to be the smallest pea in your industry and die without anybody caring or noticing; or, you can choose the arena where you'll confidently, and utterly, destroy anybody that even attempts to beat you. According to Economist and New York Times contributor, Robert Frank: "Performance is strongly affected by self-perceptions." All businesses can be rock stars at something. The challenging part then is figuring out what that something is. (At Trizzy, we use a trial-and-error process to understand where we can rock the world. We'll write more about finding your company's all-world talents in a future article.) The template for ya:

My company can freakishly annihilate anybody in our industry when we: _______________________________.

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Posted on October 19

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