Being a former East Coaster naturally I was stoked to head to Boston for HostingCon. I haven’t attended many conferences so I was excited to absorb information, hang out with my team outside of the office, and catch up with vendors and partners. Needless to say, by the time Wednesday rolled around I was officially burnt out. Between burning the candle at both ends, hitting the conference sessions and vendor meetings all day all while keeping up with email was a grind. There was an internal thread going around questioning how effective we are in pushing our brand and producing compelling content. In my sleep deprived state I was feeling a little bummed out questioning if what we were doing (putting ourselves out there) was the best strategy. Just as I’m spiraling into this bad place I walked into an Industry Trends session presented by Christian Dawson the COO of ServInt and he reassured me that we’re on the right track.
As I sat down the slide deck read, ‘Be Interesting.’ He went on to explain that the best way to find your niche in a competitive industry is to follow your passions. He noted that you can’t beat the big guys on price, perceived quality of service, and certainly not on ad spend and mass awareness but you CAN beat the big guys by being more responsive, more nimble, more market-targeted, and most importantly by being MORE INTERESTING. (For the record, that’s why we keep this guy on staff.) Christian went on to say that sameness + smallness = invisibility. In order to be less invisible he suggests being interesting. As I’m sitting there taking it in, the internal struggle started bouncing around my head again until he closed with his most emphasized point: HAVE THE COURAGE TO BE YOURSELF.
All in all it seems like a cheesy lesson but it really hit home for me. We’re a wacky, small company largely off the map trying to compete with all the top players. I’ve learned the best thing we have going for us is ourselves and we’ve got great products to back it up. We do business openly and honestly and always put our customers first, as long as we continue to go down this path we can’t go wrong.
Big thanks to Christian for the pep talk