Living in New York City, I meet exceptionally talented, accomplished people all of the time.

Around every street corner is another guy building a business like yours, except that he appears to have more education, more experience or more contacts than you. Multiple million (and billion!) dollar businesses, IVY league doctorate degrees, prominent speaking profiles, fancy apartments and second homes ... the list goes on.

But does it matter?

If you're an entrepreneur in the mindset of "competition" or chasing after the latest sales funnel and opt-in strategy, then chances are it does matter.

You may respond by hiding out in the corner of perfection and comparison, fearful of acting on your vision until you feel "ready" or "good enough" or at least on par with the next guy. Or you may respond by firing up the engines to make 50 sales calls in the next 24 hours.

Either way, you're at the mercy of the next guy.

Not too long ago I met this amazing holistic doctor with multiple degrees and unique specializations behind his work. He spoke passionately about the work he does and his deep dedication to his clients. I was 110% certain that he had a full schedule.

"You must have a waiting list a month long!," I said. I know lots of doctors here in NYC that you have to wait months and months just to get in (unless you have the right connections).

"Ha, thanks, but no. I'm actually not even booked fully this week. It's because I'm terrible at promoting myself," he said with a hint of sadness.

(music stops) "Wait...what?" Such talent, such passion and yet completely stuck behind some old patterns of thinking. I was crushed.

You see, promotion is something that happens when we're in a mindset of competing with the next guy. It's something that happens when we're focused on producing and keeping up, instead of serving and sharing our gift. It's something that happens when we think we need to prove ourselves in order to be successful.

And I'm here to tell you that it's not about promoting or producing or keeping up. It's about serving and seeing your business as an expression of your gifts for others to benefit.

It's about acknowledging that you have a responsibility.

This simple shift alone can be a total game changer game for your business and how you sell.

At the end of the day, your gift is unique to you. Whether you build roads or race motorcycles, teach music to kids or coach business owners on leadership, your gift is important. Your gift is true; it doesn't lie to you, or anyone else.

You know it, deep down.

Your gift is selfish and unselfish at the same time. That's what makes it so unique. The world needs and wants your gift, as you need and want to give it.

And you have a responsibility to share it.

At the end of the day, no one cares as much as you do.
No one will work as hard as you do.
No one will show up as powerfully as you're able to with the unique angle and detail that you do.

And that's why you just "promoting" yourself is a dead end. Because promoting is about you compared to another person for the purpose of standing out.

Instead, focus on your responsibility to answer that call. That call to live out your gift, to be in service to others, to carving your unique path up the mountain of building a successful business.

There's room for everyone.

And that doesn't mean that it won't be a lot of work or require that you define your unique position and listen to your customer's needs for the purpose of better serving them.

But it does mean that you don't have to worry about what the next guy is doing.

Stop promoting. Start serving.

Published on: Jul 3, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.