I love to sing. In 8th grade, I signed up for the choir class.
Soon I learned my skills were not as amazing as I had hoped.
It was difficult to read music and was unable to sing a specific a note on request.
...so I copied the person next to me and followed their lead.
It wasn't long before I become an expert at listening to the person to my right and immediately matching their pitch and volume. No one noticed I was a split second behind... at least no one said anything.
It was the best I could do. By being a fast imitator and keeping up, I passed the class.
--- Which could be referred to as mimic, copycat, impersonator, parodist, pretend, fake, simulate, replicate or duplicate.
Life and business can be complicated and a little scary. Most begin without a foundation. Without a vision, belief system and expertise... they "copy". The simpler and less risky approach is to ask others: "What do you believe?" and follow along... for now."
This is how everyone begins, but.....
There is a risk when mimicking others. If the "original" is out of touch, searching for answers, there is a copy of a copy of a marginal plan. There is additional risk since only surface activities are apparent.
The best person to listen to (and respond to) is the customer. The customer (and past or future customers) remain the smartest person in the room.
Rule for one week:
- Do not listen to or read about the "competition".
- Read nothing about the marketplace or "experts".
- Connect with customers only.
- Understand what they think, feel and want to do.
Focusing only on customers for a week (or a month) and harnessing the power of perspective taking will uncover what is most important. Customers it when companies are obsessed with customer service.
Let's start next week. After the first week (or month), you may have such success that you will duplicate the rule to the next period... into two, then three, then four and then make it permanent. Hope so.