Why Doing Business As USUAL Is Suicidal

When push comes to shove, the usual businesses die first long before the unusual ones ever do!

Business is an evolutionary process and only the strong will survive. Your entrance into the world of business can be both a blessing and curse depending on how you approach the world of business. The business terrain is a highly competitive one and gives no room for mediocres. A great deal of businesses has failed as a result of not fully taking cognizance of this fact.

More than ever before, the world is crying out for SIGNIFICANT [unusual] businesses. People want businesses that represent something unique and useful; they want companies that are different and making a difference. So if you are going to survive in the business world of today, then doing business as usual is definitely not the road you want to take. You’ve got to be unusual to survive the kind of global competition today’s business world is made up of.

The way business as Usual works

In case you’re wondering what I mean by business as usual, it’s just a simple phrase I use to describe mediocre businesses. They are the businesses that lack a greater purpose for being other than making profits. That is, businesses that are merely existing in their industry but never owning a spot or carving a niche for themselves.

They are the businesses that don’t stir up any reaction when mentioned; they are the businesses that don’t generate positive word of mouth; they are the businesses that don’t represent anything in the minds of their customers or prospects; they are the businesses that don’t come up with anything new; they follow all the rules and always prefer things to remain as they have been.

They are the businesses no one hears or knows about except from the mouth of their salespeople. They exist only as a number in the marketplace they operate in. They are only good for statistical purposes and are not a major force to reckon with. They are the first to die at the event of any market changes. They are the businesses that thrive on survival because they focus on just making a living.

You are dead if you’re just like the rest!

It’s just simple logic, why would anyone remember your business if there’s nothing remarkable about your business? There are a thousand and one competitions out there and people want to know what’s so unusual about your business that makes you different from all others. Especially at a time like this when the whole world is going through a financially constraining phase, people are more prudent with the way they spend. Meaning, getting money out of people’s pocket ain’t going to be as easy as it used to be.

So unless your business is well positioned and well differentiated in the eyes of the prospect and your customers, then making a sale might become increasingly difficult. You have to offer them [the marketplace] a compelling reason why it’s your business they should be dealing with and not the competitions. What would you consistently do to them that would guarantee their loyalty? Answering this question is your only chance of survival in this era of intense business competition.

The danger of doing ‘your own thing’

You see, the business as usual mindset is especially common amongst small businesses because of the general drive to ‘be their own boss’ and ‘do their own thing’. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be your own boss or doing your thing, the real problem with this approach to doing business is the fact that it tends to revolve around you the owner.

And once your business is all about you the owner, it becomes increasingly difficult for you to think of your business in other terms other than a tool for meeting your personal and immediate needs. This is where the whole business as usual mindset begins to set in. When you are the only person driving your business, there’s no way you are going to get past the survival mode – what to eat, where to sleep, what to wear.

Your focus will not be to do the unusual; your focus will be to get by. Since you don’t see beyond your needs being met when you think of your business, you won’t see any need to do unusual things that will make your business distinct. Your business becomes another 9-5 job that puts food on your table. Nothing else will seem to matter so long as there’s money coming in.

In no time, comfortability sets in and maintaining the status quo becomes your only goal. You don’t want to rock the boat; everything is going smoothly, why would you want to do anything silly all in the name of innovation when your customers don’t seem to be complaining about what you’re currently offering? So you plateau and probably think it’s time to put your small business empire on autopilot. But guess what?

When MONEY [survival] is the FOCUS, business is as USUAL

I have generally studied most small businesses that end up winding up when there’s a little shaking in the market they operate in. Most of their businesses weren’t anywhere near exciting at the time they existed. Their customers didn’t consider them special neither did their own employees feel they were part of something greater than themselves. All that seemed to matter to the owners was how much money their business was making them.

They were no jobs they couldn’t do, every client was a client even though the client requests for inferior work. They represented all sorts of disjointed perceptions in the mind of their customers. You simply couldn’t just place a hand on what they were about, except that they were more interested in collecting money than in adding value.

Before long, someone else comes along and takes the bull by the horn in that same industry, by then, it’s already too late for them to make any significant changes. To get past the survival mode, you have to look beyond yourself as the owner of your business and focus on the market you serve. Their needs must always be exceeded and not just being met.

Here’s the thing, if all you ever do is meet a customer’s need, then the customer would only be satisfied. He/she will not be angry since they got what they came for. But that’s no different from what others are offering too. For you to get more from a customer, you’ve got to do more than they asked for.

Here’s what I mean;

To be memorable in the mind of the customer means you’ve got to do something unusual, something they never anticipated. Through your product or service, their expectation and perception about what you are offering must be elevated beyond the general industry standard, that’s the only way you can be remembered.

You want your business to occupy the highest position in their mind when compared to all others in your industry. You want them to associate your business with a particular and unusual idea. You want your business to be the reference point in your industry, that’s what really being unusual means. To occupy an irreplaceable position in the customer and prospect’s mind – to deliver the unexpected. Only when you can take them beyond their wildest expectations will they never stop spreading the message of your unusual business.

It’s not WHAT you do, But HOW you Do it

The trap of doing business as usual is mostly associated with the mindset you bring into your business than on what you actually end up doing in your business. It doesn’t matter the market or industry you are in, it doesn’t matter what it is you sell or provide, what matters is how you see and perceive your business and its role in the environment in which you operate.

If you see your business as an instrument for making a difference, then you wouldn’t do the usual things common amongst other businesses in your industry. But if you see your business as a personal instrument for your own benefit, then you wouldn’t see any need to do things differently with and through your business.

It is often a matter of intention rather than action. It begins with your original intent for going into business. If your intent is to make a difference, you would be different [unusual] and would use your business for something SIGNIFICANT [unique & useful]. In the end, it all boils down to whether you are in business to make a difference or in it to make a living.

The benefits of being UNUSUAL

  • You stand out from the crowd
  • Standing out from the crowd makes it easier to be spotted
  • Being spotted eliminates all others who are present and increases your odds of success
  • Being spotted draws attention towards you and then,
  • Makes it easier for you to make an impression
  • The impression made will always be remembered
  • The remembered impression made turns into a FREE advert for your business through word of mouth
  • Eventually, word of mouth brings you more customers to also make an impression on!

In the end, it’s only those who are unusual that will be spotted and only those who are spotted will be contacted and those that are contacted will be rewarded with more and more business and enjoy the greatest form of marketing; word of mouth advertising, thus eventually increasing their chances of turning leads into lifetime clients.

How to Do Business NOT as USUAL

It wouldn’t be fair on my part if I talked about and showed you what doing business as usual is without pointing to you or giving you a clue on how to actually do business unusually. That is what this site was created to help you achieve. Here you get to read the most unusual articles about how to build SIGNIFICANT [unusual] businesses in the whole world wide web for free [pardon the play on words, it was intended to make you almost bite your tongue. I hope you did!]. To get them, you are going to have to subscribe by entering your full name and email address below.

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  1. says

    Another great and special publication Tito! This was YOUR post here bro. You are truly UNUSUAL and exemplify all that you preach. It goes far beyond your gifted writing ability, but it’s transparent through your brand and each word that you speak (type).

    I think the way you broke down the difference between a regular [USUAL] business and an extraordinarily [UNUSUAL] help us all understand what we really want. Most want to standout from the crowd, be remembered, make an impression, increase chances of success, etc – but most think that this MAY happen in their regular business. It won’t. and if it does by accident, it won’t last. I’m glad you made this clear.

    Great job Tito, as usual!

    Keep it up!

    • says

      Thanks bro for the affirmation.
      It goes to show that when we strive to do the unusual though they are often tasking, they are the best way to identify with like minds. But when we play on the same level as the rest, we only end up being average.

      It is good having people like you around this community, because you literally had credibility to the principles taught here. Thank you so much for being a very rare and unusual blogger. Couldn’t have asked for a better brother, from across the border!

  2. Stuart says

    Tito, first off, thank you for contributing to Value 101. It means a lot.

    Now, onto this post. Whenever someone responds to my question of “How’s work?” with “Business as usual”, I immediately know that they aren’t feeling inspired. It’s quite negative, and to repeatedly say it not just to others, but to yourself, is damaging to you and others around you.

    It’s suicidal, as you say.

    Doing unusual stuff is just that, unusual. People most likely won’t get it. They’ll think it’s weird, quirky, even a little funky. But if it works, then BOOM! You’re the next big thing, everyone loves you, and you’re going to be bigger than Apple. Well, maybe not so much like this, but if it works, then people will be lauding your innovation and creativity. They’ll think you are something of a genius.

    So be unusual. Good companies do the usual stuff well. Great companies do the unusual stuff, period :-)

    • says

      Hi Stuart,
      Very awesome feedback you gave here, I am so feeling the passion in your voice. The final sentence simply was well put and I will be making reference to it for a very long long time, thanks for bringing in this great value to the discussion.

      “Good companies do the usual stuff well. Great companies do the unusual stuff, period!”

  3. Chelsea Thomas says

    Hey Tito,

    Its so easy to follow the norm aka the usual. Seperating yourself is a bit tricky. In all reality there aren’t many businesses in a niche all on their own. We all have competition.

    One thing that I use to help me be unusual and seperate myself from the rest is to attack my niche from a better and different angle than what my competitors are doing.

    I’ve said this so many times but the personality of your business/blog or whatever should be the beginning stages for finding your unusual presences.

    Great stuff. I will continue in my journey torwards being unusual in my niche.

    • says

      Hello Chelsea,
      I do agree there not many businesses all by themselves, no such thing. All the more reason why being unusual is the way out. In a market where everyone almost does the same thing, you cannot afford to be like them if you desire to succeed. You have to find a way to distinguish your business from the pack, or else you will get swallowed up by the early players in the game.

      Bringing in a different angle is one way to be unusual. If only entrepreneurs will do their business from their heart, finding an unusual approach wouldn’t be much of a deal. But because they do business with their head, only thinking about themselves, being different and making a difference then becomes difficult.

      The heart is where the passion lies and in there lies our key to being competitive in business.

  4. nazimwarriach says

    Hi Tito,
    This is an incredible post as usual.
    Uniqueness and Perfection can make any business unusual and special for its customers.

  5. Hector Avellaneda says

    Tito, reading this post made me remember of a story one of my mentors shared on his blog while he was on a trip staying in a South African resort.

    One day during lunch, he was craving the all american “Club Sandwich”. Unfortunately, that was not an option on the menu. After expressing what he was craving to the waiter they assured him that they were in business to serve the needs of their customers and they gathered everything necessary to make him a club sandwich.

    How unusual and how extraordinary is that? Most restaurants do not take special orders and the fact that they were willing to go out of their way to serve him something that was not on the menu was definitely something that would make this restaurant stand out fromt he rest BUT I havent told you the best part yet!

    To my mentors surprise (who’s name is Brian Parsley by the way) the next day at lunch he say an addition to the menu! It was called “The Parsley Club”. The restaurant realized that they were missing something in their menu that most western customers wanted and they took action right away, reprinting all of their menus overnight and adding the “Parsley Club” sandwich to the menu.

    How’s that for being unique and being UNUSUAL!?

    Awesome post Tito!

  6. Jacob Smith says

    Hello Tito,

    First and foremost I really appreciate your write-ups, my mind was broaden about business and I’m learning actually. It is true that being unusual an different to others in the business field is very important, Well, anyway thanks for sharing this wonderful informative post I truly learning from it.

    • says

      Hi Jacob!

      Great to have you here with us. Actually, we are a growing community of unusual entrepreneurs helping one another build unusual businesses!

      Hope you grabbed your own copy of the FREE ebook? I strongly suggest you do, it is your manual for doing business NOT as usual.

      Feel free to stop by as often as possible.
      Thanks for the thoughtful feedback.


  1. Closed Indefinitely…Because I Was Wrong and I Intend to Stop Adding Junk to the Web | Paid in Passive says:

    […] Why Doing Business As USUAL Is Suicidal […]

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