Stop Focusing On Your Competitors
Is business really a competition? If so, what do you get from participating and how exactly do you win. You need to ask yourself if you are putting too much energy into your competitors. This takes time away from getting real work done. Pondering on the what-ifs that hound you after you embark on the slippery slope of campaign yourself to others.
Don’t be fooled. Measuring yourself against your competitors will allow you to see where you are in your industry, but this can hold you back from your own progression. The first thing you do is compare your current situation to theirs and begin to start counting the achievements. You have no direct knowledge of what work went into these accomplishments, but an unconfident mind will find a way to delegitimize the success of others. More importantly, it will set the precedent that everyone has successes because they have something you do not possess or cannot possess.
It also allows you to superficially judge the progress they have made. Social media is our main tool for communicating right now. Even passive participation, like scrolling through an Instagram feed, can affect our view of ourselves. Social media is a marketing tool for businesses and people to show the best of themselves, not the worst. If you are using this as the basis of your comparison, then you are using partial information. You won’t have access to everything you need to make a fair comparison.
This also distracts from your own path. Any business can learn from the success of others, but this should not be the whole basis of observation. Positive behaviour results from recurring action. Recurring actions result from recurring thoughts. Recurring thoughts result from recurring observation. Observation is crucial to the learning process, but it also limited. We can only see what others let us. Every business has different goals.
If you have a goalpost that moves based on what you think others are doing, then your actions and behaviors will seem erratic and illogical. Ideally, progressive behaviour for your business should be based on what you intend to achieve. Do you need to hit a quota of income per quarter or do you need to spend more on an upscale office? Do you feel a business is more productive than yours because their social media is more polished or that an artist is objectively better because their art style is well-liked? There is a space for everyone in business.
While business is inherently competitive because each organisation is competing for attention and sales from its target, the Internet had allowed us to level the playing field. It gives more businesses the power to do more. It gives everyone access to more niche targets. Your business may not appeal to the masses, but it will have appeal. You can’t scale what you don’t have. Putting your energies into understanding your goals and your place in your ecosystem will help you to stay grounded. The effort wasted thinking about what others are doing could be better invested in your own projects.
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