I invite you to imagine a line of bicyclists riding in close succession, one behind another.

Competitive cyclists call this a draft. The lead cyclist cuts through the air like the prow of a ship, creating less wind resistance for those who follow. Bicyclists draft to save energy and increase their speed.

When my clients come to me wanting to open a consulting or coaching or healing arts practice, I encourage them to find examples of people who are already doing the type of work that they want to do.

Investigate what works for others.

To develop your unique offering, it can help to see what others do, investigate why it works, and then create your own unique message informed by what’s proven to work.

By identifying what works for people who succeed in your desired field—without copying exactly what they do, you identify what might work for you, too. You let others who’ve succeed make your way easier and draft for you.

Especially in Marketing

Marketing basically means identifying what people want, demonstrating that you can help them meet their needs, and helping them to find out about what you do. If one practitioner has already identified a need in the market, crafted language to demonstrate they meet this need, successfully attracted clients, and created a profitable business, then you likely can, too.

Do not listen to your inner Judge.

The challenge is that when my clients initially discover websites of people who are doing work that is similar to the work they long to be doing, their Judge often says things like:

● There’s no market for what you offer.

● Everyone else out there is so much better than you are.

● Your idea has already been done, and somebody else did it better.

● Your dreams are just a waste of time and energy.

● You’re no expert. You don’t have the credentials they have.

● You are too much older or too much younger than the successful people.

The list goes on. The voice of self-defeat is often a harsh one. And it lies.

The truth is that if one practitioner is successful in doing work that you want to be doing, it is a good sign. It means that a market (a group of people willing to buy a good or service) already exists.

If you meet an unmet need, then there is space.

Now, you might ask, is there really enough space for another practitioner in this field? It is a worthwhile question.

The answer depends on whether you are offering a unique solution that addresses an unmet need.

For example, if you live in a town of two thousand people and there are already three pizzerias, there may not be space for another typical pizzeria. But is there one doing flatbreads in a wood-fired oven using local ingredients?

There may be hundreds of other coaches in your city, but how many clients does each coach want to see at a time? Fifteen? Twenty, max? If you do the numbers, you’ll likely notice that there is space for what you offer, as long as you are serving a need and your message is compelling.

If people trust you to meet their needs, they are likely to choose you out of the crowd.

How might you draft?

If these concepts apply to an endeavor you’re engaging with, I invite you to do the following:

1. Think of a new endeavor you’re thinking about pursuing. For example, perhaps you’re considering applying to new jobs or starting a business or writing a book.

2. Ask yourself how this concept of drafting might apply to your project, and what steps you might take to learn from others who are ahead of you. Write down any thoughts that come to mind.

3. Then take one step to apply this concept of drafting. For example, if you’re considering writing a book, you might do an Amazon search to see what other books exist on your topic of interest and how your book might differ. Like other offerings, your book is more likely to be successful if similar topics have sold well and if your book meets readers’ needs in a unique way.

Stay curious about how you might learn from others in your field. The more you do, the more likely you are to experience flow and ease along your journey.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Much love,

 

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