When I was in college, studying business and marketing, the importance of looking at what your competition was doing was emphasized. In all my years working in advertising and PR agencies and marketing jobs, competition was always part of the marketing plan. And even when I created my 10stepmarketing System back in 2004, Step 5 was “Who else is selling to your clients?” aka: Competition. Well, there’s a reason I no longer sell The 10stepmarketing System.
I believe the idea of Competition is outdated.
I also believe that focusing on your competition can actually hurt your business. I for one know that in my early years of marketing on the Internet, I focused on all of my “competitors.” I was on their ezine lists. I followed all of their promotions. And if I am being totally honest, as a newbie just starting out online, all it did was make me feel “less than.” How could I compete? I didn’t have the big list they touted, or all the products and services, or the robust website.
A few years later, I made a conscious choice to remove myself from all of these ezine lists.
Not because I didn’t like the people writing them (on the contrary, they were brilliant, successful, nice people). I removed them from my daily world because looking at what they were doing everyday took my focus off what I was doing. And, because I often felt small in comparison (I wasn’t looking at it realistically comparing myself as a newbie to folks who’d been in business online for years, but of course my ego didn’t see it that way in the moment – I’ve grown a lot since then, thankfully!)
It’s more important to be the best YOU you can be.
I believe that each and every one of us has unique gifts and talents to share with the world. And when we focus on totally owning those gifts and sharing them, it doesn’t matter what our competition is doing, because in reality there is no competition. There is no one else quite like you (well except if you’re a twin – wait I AM a twin and my sister is VERY different from me!). If you focus on standing for what you stand for in total confidence, you will attract exactly the right people who resonate with that and with you.
Focus on growing YOUR business not on beating your competition.
There’s enough to worry about when you’re running your own business. If you commit to dedicating your time and energy to growing your business, your email list, your client list, and your exposure in the marketplace, your business and you will be better served. I’m not saying you should live under a rock and be totally naive about what’s going on around you, just be cautious of where you place your attention. Focus on what will serve you, and you’ll reap the rewards.