How to Shed a Good Light on Yourself Without Undermining Competitors.
Power of Positivity
We live in a world of competition. It is everywhere from team sports events in our childhood, to current and constant political climates. We live in a state of competition, but this does not necessarily have to be a bad thing.
Competition first of all, keeps us honest and consistently striving to be better. Whether that means we are pushing to be better than our competitors or striving to improve against our own personal bests, there is value in it. Unfortunately in both business and personal life competition also opens the door to a very ugly and dishonest side of ourselves. Admittedly it can be difficult, especially as a new business, to make a name for one’s self and launch into an already established market with strong, well based competitors.
It is imperative, and oh so important to keep one’s self from diving so deep into the competitive spirit, that you become destructive. Mean spirited competitiveness is not a good colour on anyone, least of all your business.
Undermining, smear campaigning, and straight up sabotage are just some of the ways this can manifest and it never looks good on any business, however tempting it might be. Before you think of saying something negative about your competitors, it is always important to think about the full impact. Your behaviour, and how well you get along in the commercial sandbox definitely plays a role in your business’ image, and when it comes to marketing that impression could mean the world, and make or break a client’s choice or willingness to engage with you.
Not to get political, but politics can sometimes be a great example as to why taking the underhanded route can be unsavoury, and leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. At the end of the day, all this serves to do is insult your marketplace opponents as opposed to focusing on your own image which, by going this route will be quickly tarnished anyway.
That’s enough about what not to do. Here are some suggestions on what you should do:
Focus on yourself
Your success should be the most important thing to you. This should be your center focus. If you can keep your doors open and your business running, if you are meeting your quota, then the impact of your competitors slowly becomes obsolete. It takes energy to be mean spirited and that energy is better spent on yourself than your competitors. Give yourself the satisfaction, not them.
Do not engage
It is all well and fine to look after your own response and where you are allotting you energy and best interests with your business. But what happens when someone is targeting you with their poor sportsmanship? It can be easy to want to get riled up, but if what they are doing isn’t truly damaging then it is your response that could hurt you. Sometimes it is necessary to take the high road and professional route, and be the bigger business. The satisfaction of a response often times will justify this mean spirited competitiveness and neither you, nor your competitor are further ahead for it.
Evaluate if this is your competition
Some businesses that are similar in nature can feel threatened by one another so it is important to step aside and ask yourself: is this other entity really your rival? Is there perhaps something to be gained for both of you if you were to form a collective and work together. Is there a niche one of you fills that the other does not? Can you play off your strengths and weaknesses? If there is any semblance of a will to cooperate it can save everyone involved a lot of time and grief, and make both businesses stronger in the long run.
Now a lot of this can apply to one’s own personal life, that’s true. But your business, in large, is an extension of you and your own reputation and character. If you want your business to be successful it has to start with you. Run your business like you run your life, and it’s easy to see that in order to be successful in both, a little positivity and self focus goes a long way.