What if you had no competitors, only allies?
Some people believe that business is a battle, with intense competition which needs to be feared and fought against every day. It is true that there is hard work. Yet, this mindset is often one of the most sabotaging, and can be a huge roadblock to personal success. What if we could all rise to the top together?
The Truth About Competition
There is a lot of others out there in most industries. Take real estate for example. You’ve got a million plus Realtors, and even more real estate agents, investors, tech startups, and other participants. These players can all choose to see each other as competition. Most do. They bad mouth each other, and have even been caught stealing yard signs from each other. Others are so paranoid that they spend their time being secretive and are afraid to share their ideas with others. Some are just gripped by stress when they see someone else listing or rehabbing a property.
Little healthy competitiveness can be a good thing. It can keep up our excitement about what we do, elevate options for consumers, and challenges us to constantly be better at what we do. It’s all about how you choose to look at it.
A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats
The top 20% will always be responsible for 80% of the business. Yet, everyone benefits when things are good, most do less well when things aren’t as prosperous. When consumers are treated well and businesses is conducted sustainable everyone can win. When some burn the industry because they are operating from fear and a scarcity mindset, that hurts everyone, including themselves.
When everyone in a business or industry or community works together for their mutual benefit everyone can win. They can all be more prosperous, and enjoy their work and life more.
This is especially true in real estate. There are so many deals to be done and consumers to serve that no one, not even the biggest funds can handle them all. There are around 5 million residential properties sold each year. There are some 160 million millennials and boomers needing to buy and sell homes over the next few years. No one professional or company can handle all that. There is enough to go around.
So, do your best, do you, work your unique brand and the tribe that resonates with that, and look for more ways to work with others.
Applying It: Step 1
The first step in applying this mindset, and enjoying more of the surplus out there is to cut out the negative habits and thoughts that lead to self-defeating competition.
One way to do this is to catch yourself thinking or speaking defensively. Instead of worrying about someone else getting a sale or launching some new marketing, be happy for them. Know that there is plenty more out there for you.
Stop bashing the competition. Prospective clients and coworkers don’t want to hear that. It will just make them feel that you are a negative person, or feel threatened by them. That’s not the impression you want to give.
Stop focusing on secrecy and guarding your ideas so much that you can’t grow. One great, ironic example in the last few weeks was a company looking to hire someone to create a press release for them to go in the news, to raise awareness of their business. One of the requirements of the job was to sign a NDA (non-disclosure agreement). So, did this company really want to get the word out or not? Ideas are plentiful. Thousands of entrepreneurs will have the same ideas. The only difference is between those that get out there and share and start, and those that keep them locked away in their closet. Someone else may start a blog, a website, or competition. They are unlikely to do is just the way you would. The best way to gain visibility and to get your ideas to spread is to share them. Yes, if you are working on some proprietary software or algorithm which is the main value of your venture, you want not want to give away 100% of the secret sauce. Yet, if you don’t share the concept of what you are working on how will anyone know or buy it? Most entrepreneurs are wasting their time with NDAs, trademarks, and trying to prevent content theft. They won’t hold up, and they are counterproductive.
Apply It: Step 2
Replace those habits with positive action.
Start seeing everyone as a potential ally. It will completely change the dynamics of your game.
Be proactive. Compliment others on their success. Look for ways to step out and up, and serve others that you used to consider competitors, first. Send them referrals, ask how you can help fed their business. You’ll be surprised at the results.
Then look for ways to create win-wins, share your knowledge, and collaborate with them to elevate your mutual success.