An Open Letter to My Competitors

Dear Competitors,

Although this applies to many, there are two of you in particular I am addressing.

Read this carefully.

I know you’re watching us. I know you’re talking about us. I know that you’ve had people apply to StyleLabs Inc. and The Silent Salesman to gather competitive intel. I even know some of you have been hiring our former staff so you can learn our “secrets”

Let me make this easier for you all...

I believe we can be competitors and friends at the same time. I believe that although we often bid against each other, there is more than enough business for all of us. Even in a downturn.

Remember, if you act from a place of scarcity, you’ll attract scarcity. If you live in abundance, you attract abundance.

So here it is...

To be like us, to be better than us, to take our clients, here’s what you have to do:

  1. You have to care. A lot. You have to be vested in your client's success more than your own.
  2. You have to be willing to go to bed at 1AM and wake up at 445 every single day.
  3. You have to be willing to outwork and outcare me.
  4. You have to put in time every day to learn. Learn about your clients business. Learn about your craft. Master your craft.
  5. You have to invest in research, development and innovation. I mean hundreds of thousands of dollars every single year. This means investing in people and in code before buying that fancy new car.
  6. You have to invest in the right people. Create a culture of competency. Read this one twice.
  7. You have to chase mastery, not money. Money is the derivative. Mastery is the mandate.
  8. Stop talking shit. Stop it.
  9. Think with your heart, AND your head.
  10. Don’t beg for business. Don’t act desperate. Don’t chase it. People should work with you because they believe in you, not because they are persuaded to. You won’t be able to keep it up and you’ll end up eating a bunch of shit.
  11. Create great content. To do this you need to invest in research, consumer behaviour and audience. Copying and pasting doesn’t work. It makes your client look stupid. It makes you look stupid(er), Google doesn’t like it.
  12. Know your worth. Don’t discount to get business and then cut corners. Make sure you have the right tools to do the right job.
  13. Don’t over promise and under deliver. Manage expectations. Always define the floor and the possibility of a ceiling.
  14. Educate and empower your client. Teach them everything. If they get it, they won’t leave you. They will be loyal and evangelize you and you’ll spend less time justifying your value.

Focus on what’s important.

And, if you really want to know what makes StyleLabs, StyleLabs, pick up the phone and call me. Ask me. I’ll tell you everything. I don’t want you out there making an ass out of yourself, tainting our industry and customer perception. I don’t want you taking people’s money and not delivering. I don’t want you teaching your staff that doing half-hearted work is ok. It’s not right.

You know where to find me. Here to help.


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