Whenever I tell someone I'm a life coach the questions I usually get asked are, ‘Can you really make money off that?’ ‘Isn’t that an American thing?’ ‘Are you like Tony Robbins?’ I love answering all these types of questions because I love talking about life coaching. But the other day someone asked me,
‘Isn't there a lot of competition?’
I’d heard similar questions before..... ‘Isn't life coaching a pretty saturated market?’
Her question reminded me of when I was a teenage. I remember telling my mum I wanted to be a costume designer. I love to sew, I used to make my own clothes and I especially loved circus costumes. The response my mother gave me, ‘That’s a very competitive industry.’
Have you ever had a career dream, but you pushed it to the back of your mind because you thought (or someone else told you) that ‘it was too competitive?’ ‘The market is saturated?’ or ‘it’s really hard to make money in that field?’
Just the other week I was speaking to a woman who had worked in accounting all of her career. She had two young children who were about to start school and she thought now would be the perfect time to change career.
She began to talk about her passions and she mentioned photography.
Travelling to wild and unseen places and photographing them to share with others was a deep passion of hers. She had visited many exotic locations and captured remoteness scenes to share with friends and family.
When I asked her what was holding her back from pursuing it more seriously she said, ‘there’s too much competition’.
I was shocked. This woman was so quick to write of her passion, fearing there wasn’t enough room in the marketplace for her. It made me wonder, how many of us are shying away from pursuing our dreams because of perceived competition.
It prompted me to do some research on the matter and I came across this research paper; The N-Effect - More Competitors, Less Competition by Stephen Garcia and Avishalom Tor.
In a nutshell, the research found that when the number of people compete in a competition the less harder the participants try due to their belief that the chances of success have been diminished. An example; participants trying to finish an easy quiz among the top 20% in terms of speed finished significantly faster if they believed they were competing in a pool of 10 rather than 100 other people.
These research results made me wonder, how many people are holding themselves back from pursuing their ideal career because they think the competition is too strong?
If history is anything to go by, we can see how untrue this fear really is.
Examples of success in saturated markets include gyms, herbal supplements, phone carriers, electronics, apparel, musicians etc. The list goes on
I don’t believe in a flooded market. Not when you are offering a unique service or product. What you offer the world - no one else can offer. Scarcity creates high value and high demand, and the good news is, there is only one of you.
Whether you want to become a coach, a photographer, a mortgage broker or start your own accountancy firm, there is enough room in the market for you. Especially because now more than ever, consumers are buying from people they like and trust. You have something to offer the marketplace that no one else has. And by believing there isn’t space for you is denying people the opportunity to buy from you and benefit from this great thing you have to share.
Believing that the competition is too strong or that the marketplace is already flooded comes from having a scarcity mindset. A belief that there isn’t enough for everyone. That only a small handful of photographers can be successful, that there are only a select few people who will get job promotions.
The way to counteract that is to have an abundance mindset. A belief that there is enough jobs, money and opportunity for everyone. Because there is.
A good way to find out if you are being held back by a scarcity mindset is by asking yourself, ‘if there were an oversupply of jobs in that field I want to work in, would I transition careers?’ If the answer is yes, then chances are you’re holding yourself back for fear that there isn’t enough for you in that industry.
So if you believed there were an abundance of jobs, clients and money in every industry, which one would you transition into?
When I ask people this question the response I often get is, ‘well if that were true wouldn’t everyone be in the same career?’ The short answer is ‘no!’.
Not Everyone Wants To Be In The Same Career as You
We assume because we really want something that must mean everyone else wants it too. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Our unique upbringing, passions and skills mean we view the world with a very different lens to others. However, because we have always seen the world through that lens we assume everyone else has the same lens on. Just like a fish can no longer see the water it is swimming in, it has become so part of its environment.
Often we don’t realise we are doing this until we take time to do some self introspection and learn more about who we really are and what we really want.
For example; I worked with a particular client for several weeks on her values, strengths and passions before helping her write her definition of success. Once she has completed this one sentence she looked at it and said ‘isn’t this everyone’s definition of success?’
This smart and intelligent woman was viewing the world through her own lens, assuming that what would make her happy would be what made others happy. This is a trap we all fall into. And sadly it holds us back from really pursuing our dreams because we falsely believe everyone is chasing the same thing as us.
If you believed there was an abundance of opportunity in the career direction you wanted to take what would you be doing differently?
If you would like help discovering a career that will give you greater fulfilment and satisfaction, book in a FREE discovery session with me to learn how I can help you.