Gain the Competitive Edge

  • How do you respond to competition? Sometimes it helps you, sometimes it doesn’t. When I first saw the women in front of me it was helpful. They gave me something to aim for, a goal. But then the healthy competition turned into a negative. I wondered what was wrong with me that I couldn’t catch up. In our businesses we look to experts. We watch what they do and try to emulate them. We do our best to match their steps with the intention of getting ahead. We also look to colleagues and others that are on the same level as us. Sometimes that competition helps us, other times we are left feeling frustrated or less than when others succeed and we don’t have the same experience as them. How do you respond to competition? How does looking up to them help you? What about the other people that are on the same path as you? Do your colleagues or other business owners on the same level as you help you keep going or do you look at them and then judge yourself. Do you ever find yourself saying, “How do they manage to do that? What is wrong with me?”
  • If you both continue doing the same thing nothing will change.In order for you to get ahead something needs to change. Either you need to change what you’re doing or the person that you are trying to catch up to needs to stop, slow down, change courses or make a mistake. The only reason I was able to catch up and eventually pass those two women was because I sped up a lot and they walked around the little nook with the chairs. I changed what I was doing and they changed courses, which slowed them down.
  • You have no control over them. I think this goes without saying, but if you really want to get ahead of someone you can’t rely on them slowing down and you can’t wait around until they finally make a mistake. You must rely on yourself and make decisions that move you ahead.
  • Just because you caught up, and even passed the competition doesn’t mean that you’ll stay ahead. You have to keep playing an improved game OR they have to slow down. It’s easy to fall back on your successes and think that now that you’re the front-runner that you’ll hold the spot. There is always someone who’s going to be coming up behind you.

Competition can definitely be a positive driver as long as you use it to help you and not as a vehicle to bring you down.

Being a business owner is about running your own race and doing it your way. Have a plan and execute it the way you want and at the pace you want to execute it. I could have easily caught up with those women if I started running, but that wasn’t part of the plan I created for myself, and it wouldn’t have made me happy. That was a decision I made. If they hadn’t walked around that cut out I doubt that I would have caught up with them and I am okay with that.