Whether you’re an entrepreneur, small business, large business, or sales rep; competition is a real threat to growing your business. Or is it?

The Myth of Competition

There are two types of competition: the kind of healthy competition and good sportsmanship you see during a game, and then there’s the other kind of competition that produces night sweats, knots in your stomach, and just generalized anxiety.

The first kind of competition is healthy. When both competitors bring their “A” game to the field of play, there’s nothing more thrilling (when you win) or humbling (when you don’t win). Regardless of the outcome, there can be a deep sense of admiration.

In business, your goal should never be to directly compete with anyone, but to admire what they do really well, and strive to do it better. The mantra of the smart Life Entrepreneur is not to compete, but to observe, adapt, and sell. This way, your focus is on your personal inner growth, your customer’s needs, and the growth of your company.

The other kind of competition is unhealthy, unproductive, and produces bad business karma. In this kind of competition, your focus is less on the value you provide to your clients and customers, but more on “winning the game.” Your customer, employees, and channel partners are only a means to an end and therefore lack intrinsic human value. While this view of competition has been in play since the industrial revolution, it is now changing.

Companies like Toms (buy a pair of shoes, and they give a pair away); Tesla, whose focus is to usher in a new era of electric-only cars; and Costco, which demonstrates that you can treat your employees well and make a profit, are only a few demonstrations of conscious and profitable business models.

So let’s reframe what competition could mean for you and your business:

  1. An opportunity to observe what others are doing well and adapt that to your own business model.
  2. Observing and adapting saves you time, money, and effort from having to re-create the wheel yourself.
  3. Gather more information, especially on the shopping habits of your potential clients.

Next week, we’ll talk about why people really buy.

Remember, your success starts from within

By Krista Magidson and Wei Houng

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