My husband reads Entrepreneur.com like most people check Instagram. He often comes across helpful reads and sends them my way, and the majority of them have given me great tips and insight on running my business. One article in particular has changed the way I approach a common obstacle in the day-to-day operations of business and blogging: handling competition.
I highly recommend reading it for yourself, but here's the article in a nutshell: competition is for sissies. Grant Cordone argues that as a business owner, you should be striving to dominate your industry instead of merely keeping up with your competitors. Interesting, isn't it?
For the past 2 months I've been putting this mindset into practice and I've had a few paradigm shifts that I thought would be worth sharing. Comparison and competition run rampant in all industries, but I see it firsthand among creative entrepreneurs. My hope is that these takeaways change your perspective on these topics, push you to focus solely on your business, and cause you to ask yourself how you can break the mold.
Doing what everyone else is doing doesn't make you competition; it makes you a copycat.
If you're feeding off of or chasing after someone else's idea, you'll always be one step behind. Copying stunts your creativity and never positions you as a frontrunner in your industry. So instead of looking at what others are doing on Instagram and Pinterest, begin brainstorming your own ideas and come up with original concepts that are distinctly you. Play to your own strengths instead of attempting to imitate the strengths of others.
Industry leaders are not industry followers.
No one ever gets ahead by following. Leaders in the industry are at the top because they ventured out and did something different; they don't have to measure up to the standard because they dared to set it.
Consider the ways that you're acting as a follower in your industry and reevaluate. Question why others in your field are doing what they're doing and brainstorm ways to do things better, whether it's by enhancing your customer experience, embracing your unique design aesthetic, or providing a new offering or service.
There's no such thing as competition and comparison if you're one-of-a-kind.
If you're coming up with creative ideas, you won't have any competition because no one will be doing quite what you do. Set yourself apart through your aesthetic, tone, business practices, client relationships, turnaround times - the options and opportunities are endless.
It's also worth asking yourself, what are some things that people in my industry aren't doing and why? There could be legitimate reasons why these ideas aren't being explored, but there could also be an opportunity to break the mold and do something different.
You're more likely to encourage and support others when you eliminate the comparison and competition mentality.
Jealousy stems from comparison and competition. When we're each doing something completely unique and different, we're able to stop comparing and sincerely support others in their business ventures. Not only does this new mentality open doors for networking and partnerships, but it's freeing to stop playing the competition and comparison game.
Do you have any productive insights on competition and comparison? I would love to hear your take on this!