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Anything worth copying will be copied  

Hiten Shah makes the point that anything worth doing is worth copying, and anything worth copying will be copied. So what to do then? Hiten leaves us with this conclusion:

So what is this magic element? Thankfully it's the one thing that's almost impossible to copy—your ability to give your customers what they want.

This is your secret weapon, your ace in the hole. As long as you still deeply understand and care about your audience, you will have the edge over any newcomers who copy your ideas. So make sure you don't get so wrapped up in the "real work" you're doing that you forget about what sets you apart in a more fundamental way. Make sure you don't focus so hard on staying ahead that you forget about doing the one thing that can keep you from falling behind: knowing and caring about your customers more than anyone else.

I take a slightly different view, or I would phrase it differently. Your ace in the hole is your ability to continue executing. This applies to other fields too: your value as a writer is in what you are able to continue writing, not in what you've written; your value as a musician is in the music you will continue to create; your value as a cook is in the food you will cook in the future.

Similarly, your value as an entrepreneur is in your ability to continue to relentlessly execute and move things forward. For that to really make sense, though, you should remember that you are not your business. If your path is as an entrepreneur, you will create more than one business in your life.

So, whilst focusing on and caring about your customers is certainly a valid objective, a larger objective is, I believe, to focus and care about your own development. Make sure you keep moving forward, getting better, learning more, making better connections, and so on.

More from the library:
How to: deal with your Corporation Tax (UK)
Developing a good culture takes constant vigilance
Where to find a business partner