For the past several years, the word “competition” has gotten a bad reputation in creative businesses. I believe it more has to do with our perspective of competition and how it challenges us as individuals than it has to do with actually competing.
I thrive on competition. I enjoy competing because it challenges me to be the best version of myself. I can surround myself with community all day, but if I am not actively doing my own work then my business will not grow.
This is why I love competition.
- Work Ethic – Competition forces me to be the best version of myself. Am I doing my best work? Work that is reflective of my strengths, experiences, and values. Or am I looking for solutions and doing what works for someone else?
- Challenges – Competition will not allow me to be complacent. It will constantly challenge me with new obstacles. I can either rise to the occasion or do the minimum necessary to be comfortable.
- Innovation – Competition encourages me to be innovative. What problems are overlooked or not being addressed in the market? Can I do more with less in my business?
- Change – Competition keeps me on my toes. The market is constantly changing. Will I adapt to new technology and consumer behavior? Or will I be stubborn and hold onto what worked in the past?
- Education – Competition forces me to always be learning. What new technique or technology is in the market that can be used to improve my offerings or allow me to scale my operations?
- Collaboration – Competition encourages me to work with complementary businesses.Who can I work with and create a win-win situation for both of our businesses that gives us an edge to better serve our customer base?
- Market – Competition means there is a market for your offering. If you are the only one then it makes it harder to create demand for your offering.
- Self Awareness – It forces me to be critical of my own work and ask for feedback. How can I better serve my customers? What processes can I improve? A lack of self-awareness and listening to your customers is a quick way to stunt the growth of your business.
- Winning – Competition means there is only one winner at a time. Contrary to popular belief we do not get participation trophies for starting a business. The market votes with their wallet. If they are not spending with you they are spending with someone else. The winners are those making money and generating profit.
- Excellence – Competition proves that cream always rises to the top. Bubbles burst and markets correct themselves. The ones left standing are those with a solid foundation. These businesses are in it for the long haul and understand it is a chess game.
With that being said having a community is still important. The key is the type of community and your role in it.
A strong community should provide positive and constructive feedback. It has members who are invested not only for their own personal gain but also to help others. Healthy competition includes teamwork. This is why we address process improvements and professional development opportunities within our Masterminds.
A healthy and confident community encourages competition. It recognizes competition provides an opportunity for members to raise their level of performance in business. Our Masterminds require members to track their goals and accomplishments. I want our members to see results in their business so they grow and move to the next level.