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Is being competitive a bad thing? In this post, I break down the differences between healthy and unhealthy competition and when it can benefit you versus destroy you. Healthy competition will lead you to push towards your goals and chase down your dreams. The unhealthy kind can lead you to feeling bad about yourself or others.
If you want to be a successful business person or happier in general, then you definitely will want to absorb more of the healthy competition.
Have you ever heard that saying “community over competition?” Well, it has become pretty popular amongst entrepreneurs and for good reason. The meaning behind the phrase is to create a space where we can come together as business owners instead of working against each other.
Being Competitive In Everyday Life
Even if you do not consider yourself a competitive person, you are probably more competitive than you think! There are little things in our daily lives that we are always trying to win at. Things like choosing the shortest line to wait in, or picking a parking spot the closest to the building we need to go in. Or even buying something that is on sale at the cheapest price possible.
Being Competitive In Business
As a business person, typically are typically competitive with things that help you get closer to your goals. That could be reaching a level of income or providing a great experience or creating a top tier product. You use your natural competitive urges to motivate you to reach these goals as quickly as possible.
In both everyday life and business, there is a fine line between how to implement competition in good and bad ways.
When you have a solid healthy sense of competition in your life, you are motivated to become a better person and work on yourself in any or all aspects. You will grow, learn and thrive in different environments and are always open to new ideas or constructive criticism.
This type of competition is mostly centered around your own goals and aspirations. You will be able to put your blinders on and not worry about what everyone else is doing around you. Naturally, this is going to give you a much more positive mindset and outlook on life because you are the only thing standing in your way to the future you want.
Unhealthy competition on the other hand, is what can cause you to become a not so pleasant person to be around. This is what can affect the relationships we have with ourselves and other people around us.
Unhealthy competition is usually driven by the need for some kind of validation or credibility, or even just attention.
Comparison is a huge factor in having unhealthy competition. We look around at other people in our industries and compare our work and lifestyle to theirs. It impacts the way you see yourself, your self worth and can make you feel the need to bring others down in order to bring yourself up.
When I first became a photographer, I felt a need to advertise myself as a traveling/destination photographer. That is what all of the photographers I looked up to were doing. But after pushing hard for it, I very quickly realized that the travel bug isn’t for me.
Does that mean I could not be successful in my own way? Absolutely not!
Once I was able to realize that branding myself as something that was not “me” and I was able to make changes into something that fits my lifestyle much more AKA ranch weddings, my business took off.
How To Maintain Healthy Competition In Business
You need to put those blinders on and stop paying attention to what your direct competition is doing. Friendly competition is okay, unless it becomes toxic.
Along with that, you also need to be humble enough to realize that maybe there is something you are not doing causing you to not progress at the same speed as someone else.
Having humility to realize that you have not posted your work in over a week, and someone who is progressing ahead of you has, should tell you that maybe you need to change something.
Stop complaining that another person who has been in business for the same amount of time as you is getting more attention if you aren’t doing anything to increase your own.
Feeling Competitive? Ask Yourself These Questions:
1. Am I actively making an effort to serve my audience with value & bring in new leads?
2. Have I posted something of value today?
3. Have I posted anything today?
4. Am I doing anything in my business to stay front of mind?
5. What am I doing differently than other people in my industry?
Chances are, if you are not where you want to be one of these things is the issue. Your biz is not going to grow itself, you need to put on Your CEO pants, put those blinders on, and get to work.
I believe in the power of providing content that is value driven. If you sell shoes, don’t just make posts with a pic of your shoes and say “these are the shoes, and these are the colors you can buy them in”.
Instead, give them 5 reasons why your shoes are the shoes they need on their next vacation, or why they are the best workout shoes out there.
At the end of the day, remember that there is enough room for all of us even when it feels like the market is totally saturated. We can all have a spot at the top of the mountain.
If you are going to be competitive, be competitive with your own self and your own progression. Stop comparing yourself to how fast or slow someone else is going. And also, I want to leave you with this…
Social media is often a big fat lie. Just because someone looks like they are busy and booking a lot or making a bunch of money, doesn’t always mean they actually are.
You got this my friend, I am cheering you on!
I'm Sarah Elrod
I'm a Cowgirl turned serial entrepreneur.
I'm a horse trainer, western wedding photographer, business coach and ranch wife.
I help women in the western industry grow thriving businesses from rural America.
When I am not strategizing new marketing tactics, you will find me riding my horses, cuddling my cattle dog, or kissing my hot husband.
There is also a good chance I am buying way too many outfits from western boutiques.
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