Competition v. Creation
Living an Abundance Mindset
by Carolyn McGinn
In our fast-paced “I win, you lose,” “winner take all,” competitive world, it’s easy to get nervous when someone else from your industry opens shop just down the street. You’ve put your heart and soul into your business, dedicated yourself to building your clientele, reputation, and brand. Now, someone else will profit from your hard work, maybe even at your expense. You have a choice in how you respond: slash prices and pray for the best, OR change your mentality and live in a world of creation.
Competition is the world of lack—not enough customers, not enough clients, not enough money, not enough success for everyone. You must fight for the little there is to go around. A new client for me is a lost client for you. If your business numbers go up, mine go down. From a young age, we’ve been taught that if you aren’t number one, you’re one of the losers.
In the world of creation, there is no competition. YOU build your own dreams, your own life, your own business. With 7.5 billion people in the world, your thoughts, experiences, beliefs, and perspective allow you to build something that is uniquely yours.
This concept is presented in the age-old classic, The Science of Getting Rich, by Wallace D. Wattles. While his language is quite dated, the concept is timeless,
“You must get rid of the thought of competition. You are to create, not to compete for what is already created. . . You are going to get what you want, but in such a way that when you get it every other man will have more than he has now. . . You must never think for a moment that the supply is limited.”
So, how can you change your perspective?
Create your uniqueness. Adopt the motto, “energy flows where attention goes.” If your attention is fully on your business and serving your customers (rather than what the person down the street is doing), energy (success) will flow.
Ask yourself, “What is ONE thing I can do to make my customers lives better?” Concentrate on creating and building up that one thing. For Jimmy Johns it’s “delivered fast.” Volvo’s is “safety.” TED’s is “spread ideas.” Nordstrom’s is “excellent customer shopping experience.” What is yours?
Collaborate instead of competing. Ignore the urge to “beat the competition.” As humans, we innately yearn to work and spend time with those who do what we do. We form associations to learn from each other. We market with messages of “Shop Local” and “Small Business Saturday.”
What if you took it a step further? Invite a competitor to have a cup of tea (or better yet, a glass of wine). Discuss how to bring more awareness to your industry by working together. If you double the pool of customers, you both win. Learn ways you can help each other expand. The airlines have learned this: they create strategic alliances with each other to reach places that would be too expensive or complicated to reach on their own.
Care for your customer. I was very fortunate in the beginning of my career to have a mentor who taught me this concept. She taught me that we don’t “have” clients. We are providing services for human beings. Sometimes what another business offers is a better match for a particular person. If you always have your customer’s needs and wants as a top priority, referring them creates space for others who need what you uniquely offer.
Question your beliefs. What beliefs do have about competition? Do they come from lack or abundance? Which beliefs will you choose to release? Which beliefs continue to serve you?
It really is as simple as changing your beliefs and changing your actions. Start by paying attention as you make decisions throughout the day. Are your decisions based in lack (competition) or in abundance (creation)? If they are based on lack, take a chance. Make a different choice. Make that call. Congratulate the new business owner. Invite her into your business. See what happens.