"In business, the competition will bite you if you keep running,
if you stand still, they will swallow you."
-- Victor Kiam
"Like getting into a bleeding competition with a blood bank."
-- Richard Branson
"I've never felt any sense of competition with anybody,
and we're all friends; we're all good friends."
-- Jim Henson
In the last number of years, I find myself consulting with and doing business services with a lot of businesses. Many are so concerned about competition, whether it is the newest Walmart coming into town or the guy in the same business across town. I've dealt with a lot of car dealers as well and it's funny that they think their biggest competition is not the other brand, but their fellow dealers near them selling the same brand. And, there is more of that in the other businesses.
My best advice to them is always this: I don't believe in competition. If you're leading, there is no competition. If you're not leading, you get what is left, and that is not their fault, but your own. My best and simplest advice is for a business is two words: to lead. Ignore the so-called competition, and be the best that you can be, practice constant and never-ending improvement and you will have no worries.
I also hear many self-fulfilling prophecies. Here's a few lately: "Our business is off in January and February since the holidays are over." "We're not making any money doing that." (this was without any record keeping or analysis, and I knew it to be completely incorrect). "Business is crappy." "It should get better next year, so this year we're just going to have to be careful and hopefully get through."
All of these quotes speak to competition. If it isn't the competitor down the street or across town, it is the economy, the cyclical nature of the past, or whatever. And, my question is always the same: where is the leadership? Why don't you try something different? Better? I have a good list of those kind of questions, but it is rare enough that they are given any thought.
I don't swim upstream very far, and I am clear about my ideas not necessarily being right, though I know I make valid points. I see it as my job to have them question their philosophy a little and to encourage them to try stepping outside of the box a little because my whole objective is to help them grow their business, all the time realizing and knowing that it is indeed, their business.
So, if you were to change something that is so habitual that it has become a belief, do you think the philosophy change could change the prophecy? I say, absolutely! How about that instead of business being traditionally off in January and February, that it goes up instead? I know this: It never will with the philosophy that business is off in that period. It is impossible. There's no hope.
It Always Comes Down To Our Own Thinking. That Is What Becomes Our Reality, Even When It Is Not Desired. Change The Thinking, Change The Reality.
Spread Some Joy Today--There is such joy in the realization that we all have this power fully at our disposal. We have the power to change our thinking. How joyful is that?