This is one of those “would you rather….” posts. I wonder: would you rather take a small piece of a giant pie, or would you choose to have a small pie all to yourself? I’m talking about belonging to a broad category within an industry, or being completely unique in your niche. Category of one.
Ok, I do think you should strive to be the best. But not best compared to anyone else, but best at being unique. And then not in fluffy terms like “be yourself, everyone else is already taken”, but best at giving your customers a unique service and unique experience so that you will never ever be replaceable.
But this makes some demands. Per Frykman* writes: “In a world where everything changes faster than ever before, it is always tempting to fight hard to maintain the status quo that feels safe.” It is safe to have a small piece of a giant pie that everyone likes. Being the category of one is not safe. The greater the risk the greater the reward, but the very first step is to dare to take the step. Go against the flow. Dare to live out your full potential. Bake your own good damn pie.
Take someone you admire and look up to and I bet one of the things you admire is that they dare to do their own thing. That they are not generic.
The reward for being category of one (all pies aside)? You get to say yes or no to customers. You get to set your prices. You get to leave a legacy. You get to create your own Blue Ocean*. Do I need to continue? Or do you already agree that this is the only thing to strive for?