The world is built, to some extent, on the concept of competition. Everything living competes for specific resources that are needed to grow, thrive and outperform ecological rivals.
Sunlight, space, water and nutrients are utilized to the fullest extent by the smallest to largest creatures wherever they are found and in whatever quantities.
As human beings, we are hardwired to engage in this competition too. It’s a part of our genetic heritage and one every business owner needs to embrace.
The problem is that some people perceive competition as a somewhat undesirable trait. This is because these people look at competition as a black and white issue.
It is seen as either a win at all cost, take no prisoners proposition or as a watered down and barely discernable version of itself, where consensus and agreement are the order of the day.
The Power Of Competition
This imposed polarity masks the true nature and power of competition. In reality, competitiveness is neither a black or white extreme. Instead, genuine competition is a potent force for positive change.
The successful business person knows that healthy and honest competition is the motive force behind innovation.
The business world, like the natural world, is driven forward by this continuing innovation that occurs in response to changes in the existing environment. In the natural world, these changes are primarily climactic.
The life form that best adapts to these changes survives and thrives. In the business world, these changes are socio-economic. The business that best predicts market trends and meets demand most efficiently also survives and thrives.
Competition Is The Lifeblood Of The Marketplace
As a business owner, you need to remember that competition is the lifeblood of the marketplace. It not only drives innovation, but it also inspires creativity and helps build new paradigms.
Don’t shy away from your naturally competitive nature. You are in the game to win the game, so are your fellow business owners.
Challenge yourself and challenge them in the process. Through competition, you each drive the others to better products, services and performance.
Each winner shows the way to the next level, the next round and the next race. Remember, competition is the real heart of business success.
Network and Connect
In business, as in life, you can’t go it alone. It’s said that none of us are islands, but if we were each of us form a vast and interconnected archipelago.
Bridges and boats stream traffic between all these islands and that traffic is mostly information.
If you cut yourself off from this flow of information, either purposely or by mistake, you do so at your peril. Why? Because the island next to you is going to take those connections and the information they provide and use it to his or her advantage.
Networking is an essential element of every successful business.
It provides you with contacts, leads, clients, partners, suppliers and much more. It carries your name and your business reputation farther and more efficiently than most advertising.
Most importantly, it is an endless source of profit, ideas, collaboration and support. If you are networking, you should do more. Or if you’re not networking, you need to start.
If you don’t network, your business will stagnate and die.
Network And Meet The Competition
When you’re networking, you need to keep a couple of essential points in mind. First, every social or professional engagement can provide you with an opportunity to network.
There’s often nothing more formal about it than an exchange of information and follow-up connection. Remember, as a business owner, you’re always “on the clock”, so to speak.
Be ready to take advantage of a potentially lucrative networking situation should the opportunity arise.
Second, when you are networking, treat people naturally, the way you’d want to be treated. Offer no strings advice. Often solving a problem for free generates more long-term profit than the cost of the advice or service.
Also, listen more than you talk. Silence really can be golden when you take the time to hear what another person is saying.
Finally, always remember that honesty is the best policy. Don’t promise something that you cannot produce. Don’t be someone you’re not to close a deal. Be yourself and watch those connections grow!
Professional Success Requires Personal Confidence
Nothing succeeds like success, right? Sure. However, real success comes from confidence and confidence, in turn, comes from success.
They each revolve around the other in the ultimate symbiotic relationship. However, this is not a “what came first, the chicken or the egg?” kind of proposition.
Confidence precedes success in the order of appearance. That’s because the quiet assurance of real confidence, as opposed to mere cockiness, serves to lay the foundation for reaching a goal.
In this way, confidence is more of an outward manifestation of an inward persona than it is a pose or an affectation. Cockiness, on the other hand, is simply on an outward shield that masks inward insecurity.
As a business owner, you need to be confident of yourself and your product or service. People react positively to a confident person, especially if that confidence is real and a part of that person’s soul.
To develop this type of real confidence, there are several things that you can do.
Real Confidence In The Face Of Competition
First, always remember that confident people can take a stand on an issue or a decision not because they think they are right, but because they are not afraid to be wrong.
They see a difficult situation as an opportunity for growth. Finding the right solution to a problem is more important than being right. Therefore, if they are wrong, they will be the first people to admit it and move on.
Confident people often listen far more often then they talk. They are more interested in hearing different information and opinions than they are in broadcasting their own.
And they are never afraid to admit fallibility and ask for help. They know that other people’s knowledge is their greatest strength.
Finally, they understand that success is a team sport. They know that any goal is achieved through the efforts of many, not the will of the few.
Therefore, they share the spotlight of success and shine it on others far more than they shine it on themselves.
Be Accepting Of Yourself While Striving For Greatness
There is absolutely no way for you to be successful and reach your goals until you accept who you are. You have to like yourself and what you do before anyone else will.
The world detects how you feel about yourself and often shares the opinion you have about who you are. Be yourself and free yourself in the process.
You are a unique individual. Your talents and abilities, your intelligence and interests, your opinions and tastes, make you who you are.
There is no need to hide a part of yourself or alter a part of yourself for the sake of conformity.
Real success is about freedom, and all truly successful people are individualists who have, more or less, accepted and glorified who they are. You should do the same.
The Very Best Version Of Yourself
At the same time, being yourself does not mean glorying in mediocrity. You need to be the very best version of yourself possible.
This means that you have to work at being you. You have to put the time into self-improvement.
Acceptance is not an excuse for laziness, cowardice or fear. Life is a privilege. It is a gift. The gift and the privilege of life is that you get to be yourself, the best self you can possibly be.
Use the gift, take advantage of the privilege that you’ve been given. Don’t squander the chance.
Let your own unique light shine forth.
This is the light that will illuminate the path to real success in life. It will also be the light that attracts other people to you.