Avoid being a commodity

 I’ve been an optometrist for 20 years now, officially longer than I haven’t. But what do most people think about when they think of an eye doctor? What do you think about?

If you’re like most people, you think we sell glasses and contacts. And that’s a profession that’s rapidly being commoditized.

Big online companies like 1-800-CONTACTS and Amazon have tons of money. Those are our competitors. It’s not the optometrist down the street. Those big companies are my competitors, just like they’re yours.

There’s a really good book called Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd by Younge Moon. She uses a great analogy to explain what should really make you different. She equated it to the cereal aisle at a supermarket.

If you’ve ever been to the cereal aisle at a supermarket, you know it’s long and that there’s a lot of different cereals. While it’s probably easy for you to pick a cereal, imagine a martian trying to pick. All the cereals would look too similar. It would take forever to choose because he’s a novice!

So you have to make sure you’re different. You have to think of your product, service, or business, and determine what truly makes you different. How are you going to stand out from 50 other boxes of cereal?

Your ‘what’ is definitely one way. Your ‘how’ is another way. But your ‘why’ should be at the heart of all of that.

I don’t know about you, but I am not a commodity. You cannot buy me down the street. Can you buy glasses and contacts? Absolutely. But you can’t buy me, my team, and the relationship we bring to you. Our relationships we build are not a commodity.

What are you doing to be sure you aren’t a commodity? Do you really understand your ‘why’? Are you working on building relationships that can’t be duplicated?

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