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4 Pillars To Help You Create Your “Category Of One” 🏛️

October 15, 20238 min read

“First principles, even if they appear certain, should be carefully considered.” – Socrates


In the last lesson, we discussed the importance of creating a “Category of One” around the 3 Pillars of Business Value:

  • What problem do you solve?

  • Who do you solve it for?

  • How do you solve it?

In this lesson, I’m going to help you answer those questions so that you can avoid months of struggle and indecision.

By the end of this piece, you’ll have all the tools you need to create your “Category of One” and use it to guide your business growth efforts throughout your journey.

When you’re creating your Category of One, it’s important to build around the “4 Pillars of Profit Potential”:

  • Passion: What do you most enjoy doing?

  • Prowess: What are you best at?

  • Perception: What are your potential clients most likely to pay for?

  • Persistence: What can you do a lot of, for a long time, without burning out?

Meditating on these questions helped me to create my “Category of One” and turn it into a simple mission statement that guides my entire business: 

I help small business owners grow their revenue by integrating communication theory and modern psychology with traditional marketing and sales strategies.

This includes:

  1. Building out a 5-star service + customer experience

  2. Offer creation + conversion rate optimization

  3. Multichannel lead generation

  4. Buyer journey development

  5. Sales cycle development

  6. Referral incentivization + word-of-mouth generation

I do this in a hybrid model that combines coaching and hands-on implementation in a standardized process that moves predictably through discovery, deal negotiation, and phases of service.

Read on to learn how to use these for yourself. 👇

How To Use The 4 Pillars

So, you have the 4 Pillars. Now you need to spend some time pondering them.

Don’t worry – I can help you work through them, one by one.

Passion

Let’s start by breaking down #1: Passion.

It’s popular these days to hate on “passion,” but here’s my argument:

People tend to do things well when they enjoy them. And who wouldn’t want to live in a world where everything was done well?

For that reason, I believe that you absolutely should chase your passions. However, I think most people misidentify what they’re passionate about.

Some people think that their passion is the thing that allows them to escape from the stress of life – video games, food, travel, etc. – but I disagree.

Your passions are the challenges that you get excited to put yourself through.

  • For David Goggins, it’s running and extreme physical performance

  • For MrBeast, it’s making viral YouTube videos

  • For Joe Rogan, it’s his massive podcast

  • For Ryan Holiday, it’s writing books

You might think, “these guys are different – they’re pros!”

But here’s the thing: they’re “pros” because they put in the hard, painful work to become excellent at something they loved.

And the result?

They’re rich and famous because they have become masters of their passions.

Prowess

That leads us to the next Pillar: Prowess.

There’s one main reason why most people who “pursue their passions” fail: they just aren’t that good.

Now, of course there are exceptions, but those are often explained by a deficiency of soft skills (Caravaggio), low productivity (Vermeer) or mental illness (Van Gogh).

For most people, the problem is that they simply have not put in the 10,000 hours required to become a true master.

As a result, the demand for their work is low, and so is the price they can charge.

There’s only one solution to this.

Get good.

Become a master.

If no one will pay you to work for them, do it for free so you can get the practice. If no one will let you do it for free, do it for yourself until people start to ask you for your help.

When you are building out your Category of One, you MUST choose a skill – or a collection of skills – that you are either (1) already a demonstrable master of, or (2) willing and able to practice until you master them.

Then, once you have proven a high degree of Prowess in one or more Passions, you need to decide who you want to sell to.

This is where Perception comes into play.

Perception

At this stage, you should now have a list of things that you are good at and that you enjoy doing. 

Here’s your next question:

Who is likely to need your services enough to give you money for them?

I’ll break down this section with an example from the Empire Launch community.

Harter, one of our community members, is a visual artist specializing in hyperrealistic pencil drawings. At first glance, this might not sound like a valuable service.

However, I want you to imagine a scenario.

Picture a 24 year old man – let’s call him Derek – working in sales who just netted a big promotion at a growing software company and moved into a fancy apartment downtown.

Derek’s swiping on Tinder every day to meet some single ladies in the area. He wants to optimize his apartment to signal class, maturity, and masculinity.

He’s got red wine in the cabinet, a vinyl record player, slate coasters, an HBO subscription, and…

BARE WALLS!

He doesn’t want to look like every other bachelor – he’s a sophisticate now. However, the cat calendar his mom sent him on New Year’s just isn’t going to do the trick.

He needs something that makes a statement. He needs something with a story. He needs something that he can leverage in conversation to show the most sophisticated and ambitious side of himself.

Lucky for him, Harter recently published a large-size, high-definition, hyperrealistic drawing of Muhammad Ali giving a protest speech.

Now that’s a statement piece that channels elegance, depth, and masculinity. And it’s less than $50 – cheaper than a first date in downtown New York!

So, let’s imagine that Harter decides to niche down on young men working high-paying white collar jobs and living in urban metropolises.

He can now tailor how he leverages his Passion and Prowess based on his new Perception of a market he can serve. 

Instead of choosing subjects to draw completely at random, now, he can choose subjects with this target audience in mind:

  • Sports stars famous among young men

  • Musicians with large audiences of young men

  • Historical figures that inspire large numbers of young men

  • Objects that signal status, class, and masculinity

He can then advertise these pieces through a combination of content, targeted outreach, and targeted paid ads.

  • He can post daily about the stories behind the drawings using language that will resonate with young men

  • He can run ads that only display to men in their 20s and 30s who live in large cities

  • He can use LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Apollo to find young men who recently got hired or promoted at tech companies and start conversations with them through cold DMs and emails.

Now, hyperrealistic pencil art sounds like a pretty great opportunity, doesn’t it? 

Of course, there’s one final thing that Harter will need to do to make a lot of money from his Passion, Prowess, and Perception…

He’s going to need to do excellent work, consistently, for a long time, at the highest quality and quantity he’s capable of.

That’s where Persistence comes in.

Persistence

So, you’ve found something that you love doing, that you’re good at, and that a decent chunk of people (who have money!) want to buy. Great work! Now, you need to prepare yourself for the hardest part: Persistence.

Building a business is hard.

  • You fail

  • You get ignored

  • You get insulted

  • You get rejected

  • You make mistakes

  • You stay up all night with anxiety

  • Your family tells you to get a real job

  • You have to work harder than most people you know

  • Your friends stop hanging out with you because you’re “not fun anymore”

This is why, when you’re building a business, it’s absolutely critical that you choose something you’re passionate about.

I mean, honestly, do you really expect you’ll be willing to suffer – sometimes for years – for the sake of something you don’t love?

Persistence requires you to look far into the future.

Out of everything you could spend your time on, and everything you could become a master of, what is the craft that you want to dedicate your life to?

What is the craft that you could practice, pursue, and master for decades so that, when death comes, you will know you lived on purpose, and you can die without regrets?

What is the craft that will make you excited to be alive just because of the fact that you get to do it – even if you suffer, stumble, and fail 100s of times along the way?

Your answer is the final Pillar to help you create your Category of One.

Recap for Memory

As you build your business, you need to create your Category of One around the 4 Pillars of Profit Potential:

  • Passion: What do you most enjoy doing?

  • Prowess: What are you best at?

  • Perception: What are your potential clients most likely to pay for?

  • Persistence: What can you do a lot of, for a long time, without burning out?

Most people don’t spend any time reflecting on their 4 Pillars. Instead, they get excited about an idea, spend a bunch of time and money building out a product, and then pitch their product to anyone who will listen.

Then, after 18 months or less, they burn out, fail, and quit the business.

But, not you.

You know better.

Artists who strategize don’t starve.


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Christopher J. Fritz

Christopher J. Fritz is an entrepreneur, writer, podcaster and musician. He is the CEO of Empire Launch, the host of The Fritzcast, and he publishes music under the moniker Roses From Bones.

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