In life and in business, we can spend an awful lot of time worrying about the competition. What they’re doing. Not doing. What they’re doing better than us. Smarter. Flashier. Faster. And it all adds up to feeling like you don’t add up. And while you know it to be an exercise akin to sniffing spoiled milk (you know it will smell awful and likely make you sick to your stomach) you spend far too much time stalking researching your competition on Twitter.

Here’s the tonic (gin optional). Your competition doesn’t care about you. Period. You are crushing on that cutie who doesn’t even know you exist. They’re in love with someone else: your customer.

Crush on your business instead.

Love your business into its greatness. Spending your days defining your unique offering? I guarantee you’ll not find the answers in your competitors’ sales pages.

Here’s a more soulful way: ask a friend to interview you. Video tape it and notice the energy hits and dips. What are you offering that makes you very useful? Why were you put on this earth to start this business? What is so easy for you that you barely realize it’s your gift? When do you feel strongest? What are you proudest of in your business? What’s the biggest version of what you’re creating? What are your peers saying about you at an awards ceremony five years from now?

Pretty quickly, you’ll get to the heart of your brilliance. Settle into your throne and bask in it.

Then do the work you love to do.

Keep your compass trained on where you want to go. Surround yourself with accountability support to keep you in action and away from the teat of spoiled milk.

Crush on your customers.

Love THEM into their greatness. What problems do you help them solve? How can you deliver your very best to them? What do your existing clients thank you for (and how can you give them more of that)? What else can you be giving them?

Thank them. A lot.

About that competition

Yes, it’s possible that your competition will beat you from time to time. You may lose that client, gig, or deal to someone else. Or to the market, the weather and a nasty bout of the flu.  Worrying about any of that won’t do a single thing to stop it. The real enemy here is inertia, not your competition.

I am not suggesting that you turn a blind eye to what they’re up to in your shared space. Knowing who they are and what they are up to is indeed important. In fact, they even made a cameo in the SWOT analysis of your business plan. TWICE. Under threat (as in “HOLY %@&, someone else wants a piece of my pie”) and ALSO under opportunity. Remember why? Two good reasons:

  1. If you’ve got competition, it means you are actually in a category and have a market. Bravo…you don’t have to educate your customers all by your lonesome. There are more of you out there banging the drums for hiring copywriters.
  2. There’s nothing like it to breed innovation. What new channels can YOU come up with? What’s never been done before?

And once you’ve established that goodness, celebrate the yayness of competition and reach out to them. Connect. Commune. Maybe even collaborate. You each have something very different. Complementary, perhaps.

If that’s not available, lovingly let them do their thing. You do your thing. In your own voice. In your own way. With over 6 billion people in this world, the pie’s big enough for everyone’s unique brand of gorgeousness.