6 Ways to Deal With Competition

by Jennifer Good | October 31st, 2012 5:14 AM | No Comments

Business Competition

In an ideal world, competition with others wouldn’t exist. People would realize that everyone benefits when more people are interested in a subject. It would be common knowledge that focusing on creating a new way of approaching a subject is much more rewarding than spending your days trying to sabotage another’s efforts. Unfortunately, this is not an ideal world.

Competition is something we all face. In business, it can be something we have to confront on a frequent basis. Not much can dampen your spirits like finding out your competitor is engaging in actions that could potentially cause you a loss in business. When you’re giving your everything to pursue your dreams, it can be incredibly easy to lose focus and fall into the trap of trying squelch the competition at all costs.

This is probably one of the most detrimental actions you can take. In any endeavor you pursue, any time you put your attention on negative behaviors you end up hurting yourself. There is a common belief that I have found to be true in all aspects of life from business to personal.

“Whatever we put our attention on will grow stronger in our life.”
–Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

If you allow yourself to get caught up in other people’s affairs, you are taking time, energy and momentum away from your actual business. Instead of doing actions that will move your business forward, when you fall into the “competition zone,” you end up leaving your business at a stand still. How? If you’re focused on someone else’s affairs, you certainly aren’t giving 100% to your own.

As a business owner, I realize this outlook can be tremendously difficult to have at times. It’s not hard to fall into the trap when someone is price cutting you or knowingly trying to sabotage your efforts. You may not have experienced it yet, but as you succeed you’re going to run into it at some point. Someone is going to do something that will make you want to fall victim to the competition trap. When it does, keep these tips in mind for staying focused on your own affairs:

Confirm the facts
Often, rumors are started from someone who didn’t get all the facts straight or someone who enjoys the attention spreading gossip gets. Before reacting, always take a step back and verify what’s going on. Most times, I’ve found things to be a giant misunderstanding and saved myself a lot of aggravation by just confronting the source directly.

Acknowledge your feelings
While you certainly don’t want to obsess on an issue, you do need to acknowledge what you’re feeling. When faced with an upset like this, give yourself some cool down space so you can come back to the problem later and look at it objectively.

Keep it private
In most cases, you’re going to want to talk about whats going on. When you do, make sure you are venting to people who know you’re just venting. Do it privately, and never in front of potential customers or media. Gossip has a nasty habit of getting back to the person it’s about, and you never want to intentionally give your competitors a reason to feel justified for doing something unethical.

Everyone has a right to pursue their dream
Let’s face it, you’re not the only person in the world that can do what you do. In fact you’re probably not even the best. You do what you do because you believe in it and feel passionate about it. Everyone deserves this right, even if it happens to be in your industry. If they’ve done something more clever or interesting, treat the situation as a challenge instead of a threat. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, someone will always be up and coming. Don’t let yourself get complacent or feel entitled.

Focus on the positive
You excel at something your competition does not. Remember that and keep perfecting that differentiator. Sometimes competition can be a good thing. It gets you up and moving and doing things you probably should have been doing from the beginning. Use this as a sign that it’s time to refocus and apply what you know works or even branch out into some new areas you’ve been reluctant to venture into.

Keep your own house in order
The competition can’t knowingly affect you if you’re not actively looking for it. It’s good to know what’s going on around you, but after that it makes sense to forget about them and focus on your own affairs. Remember – whatever you give attention to will grow. Value what you spend your time thinking about. Picture your thoughts as your mental real estate. What thoughts will yield you the best return on investment?

Do you have a specific way of dealing with competition? Share your story or solutions!

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