Why You Don’t Need a Unique Idea or Unique Skills to Succeed

I was visiting with a coaching prospect this morning who wanted to find a career that he would enjoy, a common goal for my clients. Something that he said made me sit back and pause for a moment. He had checked out a quite a few other coaches before me and said that they were asking a bunch of questions around what “unique” skills he had to offer. He was stuck partly because he wasn't quite sure what made him “unique.”

I chuckled a little, because this is a classic mistake in business, thinking that you have to be “unique” to succeed. It's actually one of my pet peeves, people preaching how you have to have an original idea or be different to succeed in business.

Take a look around you. How many convenience stores are there? How many shoe stores? Coffee shops? Restaurants? Sales reps? Service reps?

My point is, YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE UNIQUE TO SUCCEED! As a matter of fact, entire businesses succeed solely because they are NOT unique! Take McDonald's for example, the reason they are successful is that they figured out what worked, and then copied and pasted that all over the globe.

In fact, if you are completely unique in business, doing something that no one else is doing, you are likely to fail. Why? Because if no one else is doing it, that probably means there isn't a need for your product or service!

I'm successful as a career coach because people aren't as unique as they would like to think. The professional testing service I use has over 800 career paths, none of which are unique. Can you imagine trying to succeed as a career coach that specializes in helping dogs find a career that makes them happy? It's unique, but not practical or in demand, that's the same with most unique ideas. My clients go through a battery of questions which then ranks those careers in order based on the answers, shows potential salary ranges, job outlooks, educational requirements, job satisfaction ratings, etc.

All of that works because the careers are not unique, so there is a ton of data behind each of these careers choices based on feedback from hundreds of thousands of people. I'm not even unique as a career coach, there are lots of us out there because a lot of people want help figuring out what they would enjoy doing that will pay the bills. I like to think I'm better than the vast majority of the other ones out there and I think my clients would agree, but I'm probably not the best career coach on the planet even though I've got a perfect five-star rating on Google at the moment. I'm certainly not the only one. I don't have to be, and neither do you.

Stop feeling like you have to be unique to succeed guys! Figure out what you like to do, what you're good at, and what people will pay for and go, start doing it!

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Don Smith

Don Smith is the founder of The Personal Growth Channel, LLC., and a certified life coach who helps people get results while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Happily married with five children, he lives in Springfield, Illinois. If you would like to work with Don, please click here to visit his coaching page.