It’s a big world.
A world big enough that opportunity and possibility are nearly limitless, but also so big that we can easily become overwhelmed.
In a world of 7 billion people, is any thought truly unique? Are there any original ideas anymore? Who am I to even try and why should my contribution matter?
I hear these a lot:
- How could I compete?
- Who would listen to me?
- What sets me apart?
- What’s the point of even creating?
It’s easy to be discouraged when we see other people doing awesome things. Today more than ever, we see the best of the best and the cream of the crop on a daily basis.
We’re drowned in phenomenal work day in and day out to the point where we question our own abilities. They make it seem so easy, is it just effortless for them?
You follow the people who make things you’re interested in, right? This creates a Bubble of Awesomeness. This bubble is where you live. Every day, you consume feeds with content from the people who are the best of the best at what you like to do.
You’ve created a pseudo reality for yourself.
What you see in your feed on a daily basis isn’t a representation of the world as a whole—it’s merely your own personally-curated Bubble of Awesomeness.
Why compare yourself to the 0.0000028% of people who do things you consider amazing instead of the remaining 99.99999% of the world?
Have you ever had trouble explaining to your family what you do? Do any of your family and friends still not quite understand what you do?
This should be a clear indication that there’s immense room, and immense opportunity! If your own family doesn’t know, that’s a sign that what you do is not as common and over-saturated as you think.
In the real world, it’s an infinitesimally small dot!
Let’s dive in deeper on this notion of there’s “too many people already doing what I want to do”:
1. “Too many” people is a good thing!
If there are many people doing the thing you want to do and you see a lot of people who are already successful at it, you should be super excited!
It’s proof of market validation. This means there is a market for the kind of work you want to do and you can know that there is demand for it.
What you should be afraid of is nobody is doing this thing and no proof of demand or interest in the subject. Don’t be scared by existing success, be glad that someone has paved the way and pioneered. If anything they’ve primed the system to be ready for you.
An industry may appear to be saturated, but you aren’t seeing the number of people yet to put any money down. There may not be an existing solution that is right for them. Others might have paid for a solution, but that solution might not be a perfect fit. They may be reluctantly purchasing because it’s the best option available.
There’s always room for someone to do things differently and capture interest.
2. There are 7 billion people.
Think of someone popular you look up to. As famous as you think they are, there are certainly millions and mostly likely billions of people who have no idea who they are.
Not to mention, look at the trajectory in that population chart above. More people are born every day than die every day. That’s more people coming into the world that will one day want to consume your content. There has never been a better time to be a producer.
Will you step up?
3. You are an influence to people.
Whether you have 1,000 followers, 100 followers, 10 followers, or 0 followers, believe it or not, you are an influence to someone. Even if it’s just your friends, you are an influence to them!
Many people focus too much on getting to that next milestone:
- Once I have 100 followers, then this will be worth it.
- Once I have 1,000 followers, then my work really matters.
- Once I have 10,000 followers, then I’ve actually made it.
Here’s the thing though:
You already influence people.
Your work already matters. If you care at all to any degree about the work you do and you make an effort to do it, then you’ve already made it.
Focus on the people who you already influence. Build relationships with them. Invest in getting to know their story and what makes them tick.
It may be hard to realize now, but you won’t always have that opportunity. This is a unique time you’re in right now. Once you have 10,000, 50,000, 100,000 followers, subscribers, etc., you won’t be able to facilitate those special 1-on-1 relationships. You won’t be able to have those valuable 1-on-1 discussions with each and every one of them.
What a lot of people don’t realize is the 5 friends, 10 subscribers, or 100 followers they have now are actually the key to the next 10,000. Many people overlook this because they’re so focused on getting to the next level, but these people are your ambassadors.
Again, you have a unique opportunity right now to build real relationship and invest in the people you currently influence. They are the people who will spread the word about you and share your story. Don’t ignore them.
4. You have your own unique voice.
Who me? Yes, you! You have unique experiences, style, perspective, and history that all lend themselves toward you having a unique take on a subject.
What this means is it doesn’t matter if something has already been said before or already been done before—you can swipe it and share it it your own voice.
Did he just say “swipe it?” As in, steal someone else’s idea?
That’s right. There’s nothing new under the sun, so stop trying to be original. Take a great idea or concept and present it from your perspective. Make it new. Make it fresh.
It's when you stop trying so hard to be original that you find ways of presenting old ideas in a new light. It’s here where you innovate.
— Sean McCabe (@seanwes) August 3, 2014
Maybe someone you know has a really great message that you agree with and are on board with, but they curse in all of their talks and that’s not your thing.
Take a piece of their packaged whole and repurpose it in your own voice. What you offer will resonate to a different audience—or to the same audience in a different way.
Other people may have a certain level of success, but we often underestimate the greater reach that message could have with one little thing tweaked, or one nuance that’s different from that person.
Remember, you have a unique voice. Embrace it and don’t be afraid to repurpose old ideas. It takes hearing new information 7 times before it is retained.
5. There’s room.
10 years from now, people will look back on you with envy. “Imagine if I had started then,” they’ll say. “The internet was so young back then. think of the opportunity for growth they had!”
It’s true. Most people consume. Very few produce. You’re so focused on the small minority of people producing that you feel like your contribution doesn’t matter, but oh—it does!
If you’re scared and thinking that you want to make something but you’re not sure—that’s good! That means you have the desire inside of you to be a producer. You want to make things. You are the small minority who wants want to put your creations out in the world. That is awesome!
Please, I beg you: don’t hesitate in putting yourself out there. The world needs what you have to offer. The consumption-oriented population is voraciously hungry for your content.
There are far from “too many” doing what you do.
It’s not too late.
There is room.
Your voice matters.