For the most part, you don’t need to be watching anyone other than yourself; we’re all spending too much time watching and commenting these days. But, when you do look at other people though, there are three specific types to look for.
What follows is who they are, how to identify them, and what watching them will do for you.
The Person Who’s Doing A Lot Better Than You
This is someone you may know as a mentor, whether a real-life mentor (someone you know in person whom you can talk with and ask questions of regularly) or a virtual mentor (you read their books/blogs, watch their videos, listen to their podcast, etc). Or maybe you’re a fan of their work. Maybe you never even heard of them until someone told you about them or showed you their stuff, and you like it.
However you came across them, they’re where you want to be, in at least one aspect of their business and life. And you can use their success to help your own.
When watching this person (or these people), ask yourself:
- What is this person doing that I’m not doing?
- What are their habits?
- Who are their associates?
- How are they doing things differently from me?
- How does this person have to be thinking to be where they are and do what they do?
- What traits, tactics, and ideas can I borrow from this person and use as my own?
If this person is a virtual mentor, you may not have the luxury of asking detailed questions and/or getting answers. So challenge yourself to think, and experiment. You may come up with a brand new idea as a result.
Note that this person need not be in the same line or work that you’re in. A rapper can use a sales idea employed by a successful restaurant owner. A basketball player can use training techniques learned from an article on the military.
Doing The Same Thing As You, But In A Different Way
This is the person who may be in the same line of work, sport or industry as you, but is building their success in a different way. Kobe Bryant, for example, played guard in the NBA; Hakeem Olajuwon played Center. Both are legendary players. And Kobe went to Texas to have Hakeem tutor Kobe on post moves.
This might be the person who you consider your equal, or you even think you’re better than, but who’s just performing better than you in some aspect, and you need to figure out why. Study them and ask the same questions of yourself as what was shared above. There are some existing differences that are creating that contrast.
This could also be someone who’s at a similar (or different) career stage, and/but doing a completely different job. Kobe had a friendly early-career relationship with Michael Jackson, for example.
Personally, I like to get ideas from people who are doing things that I don’t do — musicians, artists, landscapers, architects — and see how their ideas would work for me. With so many information-sharers out there, every “best practice” becomes old and tired even faster these days as everyone starts using them. So maybe your best idea will come from a place that most people would never look.
The Person Who’s Where You Used To Be
This is the person who’s looking to you as a mentor, is a part of your audience, or is a fan (or all three). They’re aiming to replicate your success for themselves in at least one area. The people in this group are those who ask you, what would you tell your younger self? Or, what would you do differently if you started over today? Because they’re going to apply that answer to themselves. And the great thing is, you know exactly —
- Where they are now
- What they’re going to face in getting “here” (where you are today)
- How to do it — along with how you’d do it differently if you could do it all again
These people (who may not necessarily be younger than you) will read, watch and listen to your content, buy your products, and show up to your events — IF you’re speaking their language and show that you understand their challenges and needs. The best way to do that is to talk to them: Read and reply to your comments, DMs, and emails, and maybe have a direct conversation or two with those who show that they’re serious and dedicated fans. They’ll tell you exactly what they need; supply it and now you’re in business.
Read The Seller’s Mindset to turn that opportunity into revenue.
So there you have it — the person you aspire to being tomorrow; the person who’s out-performing you today; and the person who wants to get to where you already are. They’re easy to find, and they’re available.
- #236: How Your Audience Selects Itself
- #223: Getting In Front Of The RIGHT Audience
- How To Deal With Unmotivated People
- Elbow Room: Go Where You Can Stand Out
- How To Put Yourself On