5 Reasons Why Stressing Your Competition is a Waste of Time
We have a running joke in my house, taken from a cute viral kid video. It is a saying that either my husband or I tell to each other, which basically means, get out of my business. We say:
“Worry ‘bout yourself.”
The video is a toddler trying to unbuckle her car seat. When Dad tries to offer his assistance, she replies, “Worry ‘bout yourself!” Adorable and also so topical!
It struck me this week, that this is expert advice for entrepreneurs. I see plenty of business owners getting wrapped up in what other people are doing. The only thing this does is hold them back from realizing their own full potential. Whether you become frustrated because you think its all been done before, you underestimate your own unique value to the people you serve, or you simply cannot shake your innate sense of competitiveness. These feelings are not fueling you anywhere but in circles.
When you spend a lot of time worrying about what everyone else is doing, you are doing a disservice to yourself and your community.
Some of the most successful entrepreneurs that I know do not ever consider their competition when they make business decisions and these are people in industries like restaurants, fashion, fitness, and others. They focus on their own strengths and perspective and trust that customers will respond and appreciate their own unique approach to solving and serving.
Here they are! 5 Reasons Why Stressing Your Competition is a Waste of Time
1. When you are constantly comparing, you are letting the ideas of others influence you.
I know a photographer who says that she avoids following other photographers on social media because she doesn’t want to accidentally be influenced by someone else’s work. When she is hired for a shoot, her vision and perspective is what people are paying for, so she does her best to protect that authenticity.
2. Spending time worrying about what everyone else is doing is not a productive use of your time.
Let’s be real. You only have so many hours in your day and spending any of it concerned with people who are not contributing to your success is a completely unproductive distraction. That time would be much better spent working on yourself and how you can improve what it is that you do best.
3. You have no idea what is really going on behind the scenes of someone else’s business.
One of the best pieces of advice that I received when I started my business was to not take what I see on social media as proof of success. I know plenty of Instagram “celebrities” who seem super “successful” who are working part time hourly jobs struggling to pay their bills. You don’t know that a business is successful just by observing it from the outside.
4. What makes your business special is….You.
For most of us, complete innovation is not our business model. Instead, we are approaching an existing problem with our unique version of a solution. The unique part comes directly from you. No one else has your perspective, your background, your approach, and your ability to connect in your own special way. As a leader in your business, you are the most influential factor to your success, so you have to own it!
5. You don’t have to TRY to be different to be exactly what your customers want.
Let me leave you with a little story about a sandwich. In Philadelphia (where I went to college) there is one of the most famous food rivalries in all the land. There are two walk-up cheesesteak restaurants positioned across the street from one another. One is called Pat’s King of Steaks and the other is called Geno’s Steaks. They are two almost identical restaurants, owned by different people, serving almost identical sandwiches, in an almost identical way. You walk up, people are rude to you, you order, and they throw together a sandwich with steak and cheese and serve it to you.
In South Philly, there are two types of people, Pat’s people and a Geno’s people and both groups are passionately loyal to their cheesesteak for life. Even though the location, product, and service experience are almost exactly the same, customers pick a favorite.
People will choose to work with you or buy from you, because of plenty of reasons completely outside of your control, some of which make absolutely no sense at all.
Just be you, do what you do. Worry ‘bout yourself!!