Healthy vs Unhealthy Competitive Drive
If you are a business owner then you probably have competition. Some of your competition may have been in the game long before you launched your company .... some of your competition may be other businesses who started the same year as you .. they may even be your friends! And some of your competition you don't even know yet ... they could be formulating their business now and launch in days, weeks, months, or even years from today. Competition is always going to be there ... what matters is: how you handle it. There are two ways that competition can drive us:
healthy and unhealthy
I don't think I have to point out that being driven by your competition in a HEALTHY way is the way to go ... haha ... but some of us may not know that our behavior is actually hurting us and so I want to point out some examples:
BEING DRIVEN BY THEIR SUCCESS vs BEING DRIVEN BY YOUR PASSION AND LOVE FOR YOUR CRAFT
I'm not saying that we shouldn't be driven a little bit by making sure we are the best at what we do - and making sure we shine beyond our competition - but pay attention to the percentage! If you are mainly driven to be awesome because you want to beat out your competition and do better than they are then that is a NEGATIVE drive and it's super unhealthy! IMO 85% of your competition should be YOU - YOURSELF and what you were like last week, last month, or the year before ... you should constantly be trying to DO BETTER than you used to and keep on growing ... if your focus is to be better than somebody else then that's going to eat you alive and eventually you will become depressed and your passion will dry up.
TIP: If you find yourself being driven by someone else's success I suggest blocking them out completely! Don't go to their social media feeds, don't go to their website, don't go to their blog ... give yourself time to find YOURSELF and what you do best without the shadow of their work muddying it up. (and to be clear: I don't mean actually BLOCKING them ... haha ... just commit to not going to see what they're up to for a few weeks or longer if you need)
GOING TO THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS TO CHECK THEM OUT HOPING IT'S NOT GOOD vs GOING TO THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS TO COMMENT AND CELEBRATE THEIR SUCCESSES
I am ALL ABOUT celebrating the successes of other business owners ... even if it means I am celebrating another website designer and their awesomeness ... it's a good characteristic to be able to notice the skills and talents of other people and comment or 'like' their posts and really mean it! But if you find yourself going to the Instagram feed of your competition and before you click in you're hoping to see that their work or their following or their interaction is going poorly because if it is you will feel better - then that's a bad sign.
I believe in energy ... I've talked about that before on this blog (talked?? what do I call it .... written about it? anyway ...) ... energy is powerful! It can be good powerful or bad powerful ... if you have negative hopes or negative energy about another business owner and you correlate their success or failure to your successes and failures then it's going to catch up to you.
HOPING YOUR COMPETITION STARTS DOING POORLY vs FOCUSING ON WHAT YOU CAN DO BETTER
We have ALL had days where we find ourselves having negative thoughts about another business ... I will admit it! I find it's usually when my business is down and I start allowing myself to go down the blackhole of 'everything I do sucks and I should quit' ... and what ends up happening when I allow myself to follow those thoughts??? I start sucking even more!!! If you are driving yourself to "feel better" by hoping your competition starts to lose traction: STOP IT! Turn that around and focus on what YOU CAN DO BETTER ... make a list of things that you have control over and focus on that. Putting energy into things you can control is super healthy and it creates positive energy.
CONFIDENCE IS EVERYTHING AS A BUSINESS OWNER
If you are noticing that your confidence in what you do is slipping ... that you are feeling sad or unimportant in your industry ... that you just don't have it like you used to then you need to boost your confidence again! It may mean:
- rebranding your company
- having new head shots taken
- redesigning your website
- creating a styled shoots that shows off your talents
- challenging yourself creatively to learn something new
- taking a workshop
- getting a business coach
- even taking a week off to reboot!
... and if all else fails, force yourself to put the sweats away, put your business in good ass jeans, and head out the door looking and feeling like a million bucks << that'll surely help lift your spirits!