You aren’t successful until someone thinks what you do is a commodity.

A commodity is something considered easy to get and safe to procure. It’s something that people feel just happens without a lot of complicated efforts. Everyone wants to avoid being a commodity because it’s considered entering “the race to the bottom.” But anything too complicated is too difficult to sell.

I strongly believe in working yourself out of a job. There is no task too complicated to automate or eliminate. If it’s something that adds value it should be automated (or at least greatly simplified). If it doesn’t add value it should be eliminated. Over time you should not be doing any of the activities you started out with if you are doing a good job. You’ve been even more successful if you’ve made the process look easy.

If someone looks at the work you do and thinks it is a commodity, that is often the sign that you’ve successfully simplified it to the point that you can move on to the next job. If you are the only one capable of producing a commodity item, you have the market cornered by definition. When people can sell themselves on what you do and none of your competitors can replicate it, that’s the very definition of winning.

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