Make Yourself Harder To Replace as an Entrepreneur

If you haven’t noticed it yet — there’s a hell of a rocky ride waiting for us up ahead.

🔹 Central banks all around the world are increasing interest rates.

💠 Companies are laying off employees.

🔹 Average households are slashing their spending.

💠 The drying cash flow, in turn, is leaving businesses dead in the water.

It begs the question. How safe are you?

It doesn’t matter whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee — the question remains all the same.

Fortunately, you don’t need to run faster than the tiger. All you have to do is outpace the slow runners (here, it would be mindless hustlers). Here’s how to do that.

1. Know Your Market (Target Audience+Competition)

It’s far easier to replace those who only work to make ends meet than those who work for something bigger.

Let’s not delude ourselves. The market doesn’t care about you. Not on its best days and certainly not on its worst. It only cares about its own demands: its own problems.

But what’s tricky is that they can change drastically under differing financial situations. That’s when you need to consider the elasticity of demand.

For example, Netflix lost a good amount of its subscriber base due to its price hike, show cancellation, and dip in quality. It’s because:

1⃣ to an average user, the new price wasn’t justifiable

2⃣ there were other better substitutes available at the market at a much cheaper cost

Such products or services are elastic. The demand for these commodities can drastically shift due to market situations.

On the other hand, when the gas price or the internet price goes up, you will still have to keep buying. It’s because:

1⃣ you can’t get by without them

2⃣ there aren’t any substitutes for these products

That’s why these are inelastic products. Their demands stay relatively unperturbed by radical economic factors.

When you understand the market, its demands, and its players well, you will fair much better than those strolling blind into the minefield.

2. Invest Heavily in Upskilling

Knowing the market doesn’t work if you lack the necessary skills to find and fill its gaps in a creative yet profitable way.

Here’s what you need to know.

It’s not about how many hours you put in. It’s more about how big of an impact you leave behind.

Just think for a moment.

When your entire livelihood relies upon you doing something that can be done by pretty much anyone else with little to no difficulty, do you think you are putting yourself in a good spot?

On the contrary, what happens if you are good at multiple complex tasks and know how to use those skills to deliver more value to your market or your employee?

You become a rare commodity. You become much harder to replace.

3. Be the Most Reliable Guy in the Room

I know. Having a character and being reliable might not sound as sexy as playing the other guy for a fool.

But when you are about to play the same game with the same set of people over a long time, then:

I do think you wanna leave something on the table. A good rule of thumb in negotiation is, you know, negotiate hard, get what you are fairly due, and in the end, give something back. 
Naval Ravikant

Why so?

In a perfect world, the odds of your success shouldn’t rely upon whom you know. However, since that’s not the world we live in, the length and strength of your relationships do play a crucial role.

And how to strike a relationship with the people you would like to switch places with? That would be by providing a sense of authenticity and reliability.

That’s why there is a real virtue in being a valuable team player than trying to be an out-of-the-box solo hero.

4. Level Up Your Communication (Especially Writing)

As human beings, we communicate. We talk, we write, and we do it all the time. We do it with everyone we come across with.

But how many of us manage to do it well? According to studies, not many.

It’s such a shame, especially considering how your ability to write well can be the most crucial skill in your career.

Jason Fried, the CEO of the software company Basecamp, mentions in his book Rework

If you are trying to decide among a few people to fill a position hire the best writer. it doesn’t matter if the person is marketer, salesperson, designer, programmer, or whatever, their writing skills will pay off.

But why so?

Clear writing is a sign of clear thinking. great writers know how to communicate. they make things easy to understand. They can put themselves in someone else’s shoes.

The fact that not many people are crazy about improving their writing or communication skills in general, mastering it can help you cut ahead in the line — significantly.

5. Learn To Use Your Leverage

It might sound like the toughest one yet, but if you ticked your boxes for the previous ones, it is actually the easiest. It’s because by now, you have already earned your credibility.

When you

☑ understand your market more than most people

✔ have a unique set of skills

☑ provide consistent value to others (be it your customers, employers, business partners, or investors)

✔ and learn to use words to your advantage

you occupy a strong spot on the table. It gets harder and harder to fill your shoes. And the more people rely on your presence, the more leverage you hold over them.

And the more leverage you hold, the less replaceable you get.

Make no mistake. You have little to no control over most things that will ever happen to you. But there are things you can control, and you have no excuse to mess them up.

In a race where most participants are blind to the rulebook, you can’t go much wrong by following it.