If you’re doing something new, if you’re bringing some change, it’s unlikely that you’re going to fit into most of the networking and business groups in town.
When you’re bringing change, when you’re offering a different business model, you’re unlike to be understood by those who practice business as usual.
Amancio Ortega, the founder of Zara, made his company a success not by attending Fashion Weeks in London, or following the rules of the fashion industry, but by listening to his customers and creating a business model customer centred, not competition centred.
He gave his customers what they wanted and in a record time, rather than the opposite model of creating fashion garments as seen in London and Milan that initially, nobody wanted to wear. He observed the market and reacted to it, rather than spending time and money convincing people to wear things that they didn’t want to wear. He mastered the art of pulling instead of pushing.
You can’t do a work that matters if you’re trying to please people, if you’re trying to confirm and follow the rules and if you’re working to validate the system or your industry.
But you can’t do work that matters either if you’re focused on what the competition is doing, in how to be different, louder or more clever.
Pleasing the establishment can be as damaging as wanting to beat the competition.
Amancio Ortega didn’t learn this at any MBA, mainly because he left school at the age of 14.
But there was a story he wanted to tell. A story not for the Fashion Magazines or clever business strategist, but a story for the people he wanted to serve.
Who have you been lately focusing on? Your customers, the establishment or your competitors?