I’ve got this friend and he’s always crying about the competition. He spends a lot of time sooking about them and coming up with plans to take them down.
I’ve put up with it for a while, but now it’s driving me nuts. I started to think: how can we learn to love our competition in business?
Here are some thoughts I had about your competition:
Thought #1 – You say they’re lying. Good!
My friend says his competition is lying. Many businesses lie and that’s fantastic news for you. When a business lies, they are playing the short game.
“The long game in business is about being so vulnerable, authentic and real that it punches your ideal customer in the face every time they hear about your brand”
Trust in business, leads to incredible progress. All those marketing campaigns your competitor’s use are mostly to make them sound like something they are not. When your business is trustworthy, you don’t need to market as much.
Being honest cuts through the hype and because it’s so rare, your ideal customer runs towards you at 110km, with their arms wide open. Right behind them are all of their network who are begging to hear from a business that is a real – a business that is like you and me.
Don’t hate your dishonest competition: learn to love them from the bottom of your heart. See the love in your competition.
Thought #2 – There’s enough room for everyone
This scarcity mindset that you have to own 100% of the market in your first three years of operations is bulldust. There’s room for you and your competitors. It’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon to reach the unicorn status that is success/world domination.
Feeling like you’re drowning in competition is exactly that. Focusing on your competition 24/7 makes you feel like absolute garbage after a while. It stops you from having a good night sleep full of dreams that contain growth, prosperity, optimism and triumph towards your businesses mission.
I used to be that guy that couldn’t sleep because of competition. Every time someone brought out the same product that was cheaper than mine, I cracked it. I thought that business was so hard because there were so many people that wanted to cut my lunch.
What I forgot is that despite all the competition, people were still buying. Even if we weren’t the cheapest, it didn’t matter. Some people would find us and buy, and others wouldn’t.
The competition can only cut your lunch for so long. If you stick at it and not let the thoughts of their horrible shadows upset you, you’ll be soon making the lunches and cutting theirs.
Thought #3 – It’s ugly
Sooking like a pissed off brown bear with a crown on its head is ugly. You’re showing everyone you work with that you are a sore loser. Winners worry about their own business first.
“Winners know that their business isn’t an immaculate diamond on day one”
Every time my friend complained about his competitors; it made his business seem ugly. I stopped becoming drawn to it as I did at the start. The conversations became more about his competitors than his own business. The focus was lost on competitors which he couldn’t control.
Thought #4 – You can’t win every deal
No business wins 100% of the opportunities that are presented. There’s this lie that you have to be always winning to be successful. There’s this belief that some people have that says their business is unique and therefore it’s only normal that when they pitch, they will always win.
Again, this is total BS. Your business might have some unique strengths, but there’s always competition. Some deals you’ll win and some deals you won’t. You don’t need to win all the time to put food on the table and be successful.
I’m also competitive by nature and I’ve had to settle sometimes for the simple fact that I won’t win all the time. Sometimes losing a deal is only the beginning. The opportunities you lose are where all the lessons are.
“Your lost opportunities are what strengthen your entire value proposition to the market”
Thought #5 – Seeing your competitors suck is inspiring
When a competitor of yours has a major failure, you should be inspired. What I mean is that you should never want your own client base to suffer the same gunshot to the head. Instead of trash talking your competitors for their mistakes, use them as inspiration to not be like them.
Your competitors should form part of the reason why you exist. You should exist not to make the same dumb mistakes they do. You should exist so your customers have a better alternative. Having horrendous companies within the same industry has inspired many businesses like Uber and Airbnb.
Being a business full of inspiring people is easier when everyone else sucks.
Thought #6 – Complaining shows insecurity
By my friend complaining about his competition, what he revealed to me was his insecurity. He was showing me that he lacked the confidence in his own product and so it made sense for him to talk down everyone else’s.
The thing is when you love your product and genuinely believe it’s the best in its field, you forget about everyone else’s. Believing in your product offering comes from the confidence that as a business you believe in yourselves.
If you believe, your ideal customer will believe. Bagging your competition may make you feel better in the short term, but it will never make your business grow.
Thought #7 – You only have so much thinking space
Don’t waste it thinking about your competitors. Use your thinking space to come up with new ideas, to innovate and to WOW your customers. These habits will stop you from living in the scarcity that comes with being obsessed by your competition.
Thinking about your competitors is not going to make them go away. Complaining about them will not improve your product or service. To have a good business, you have to operate from a place of creativity. Being creative is hard work and so you don’t want throw away your thinking space.
Dreaming about your competitors puts you in a spiral of negative thoughts. These thoughts start to overtake the positive ones and pretty soon you can’t be relentlessly optimistic anymore. It’s this optimism that helps you come up with ideas that will change the world.
Much like we compare ourselves to the lives we live through looking at other people’s social media, focusing on your competitor’s forces you to always believe you don’t have enough.
I’m here to say you are good enough. Your business is good enough. Your business can be one of the great’s.
Thought #8 – You can actually do business with your competitors
Here’s the really stupid thing: You can actually do business with your competitors. See, your business can’t fulfill every customer need. Instead of saying “We don’t do that,” use your competitors as referral partners.
I can remember in a business that I was a part of, where we used our competitors over the road to supply us with stock when we ran out and had items on back order. We would do the same thing for them when they ran out of stock. As a result, we always had stock.
“Our competitors over the road taught us lots of things we would have never known if we tried to play the solo game. Business is a team sport”
Your competition is not the problem. They’re not the reason why you are losing sales. The real reason you are focused on your competition is because something is wrong with the way you are thinking. Your competitors can force you to sabotage your own success if you don’t stop focusing on them.
Complaining about your competitors never get’s you anywhere. The way to fast-track your success is to get intimate with your competitors and find a way to be uniquely you. Find a way to be bold, authentic, real, sexy and unwavering in your businesses values. Be the honest, cool company that is friends with everybody. That’s how you go from being a sook to being the best in your field.
I want you to use your competition to be world-class. You deserve it.
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