In the game of Crokinole players take turns aiming tiny disks towards a central target. Players also must aim for competitor’s disks to knock them out of higher scoring zones. It’s like the sport of curling, but played in homes on table tops rather than icy arenas.
Every move of the game has one of two intentions; score or stop the others scoring. Perhaps you will see already where I am going with this?
How often are your actions and intentions more about what everyone else is up to rather than playing your own game?
Yes, being aware of your niche, industry or market is important. But I would say you will be more happy and successful by aiming for your goals rather than aiming to knock out your competition.
Ideas Are Cheap
How many times have you thought about doing something then stopped in your tracks when you see someone else has had the same idea?
Or perhaps you believe (rightly or wrongly) that other person stole your idea?
Believe me or not, but ideas are plentiful and cheap. If I could patent every idea I had while showering (that inevitably I forget as soon as I am dry) I would be a very, very rich man.
It is very rarely a great idea that makes money, more likely it is the implementation and hard work that causes the success.
Just because someone has an idea or visibility does not mean they will be able to run with it any better than you, or that their implementation makes yours worthless. Most markets are not zero-sum. Just look at how many blogs, books and magazines there are out there competing for seemingly the exact same audience.
The truth is we attract our own unique audience, customer list or fan base for any given subject because we ourselves are unique. The presence of a competitor might be a good thing, for a start they educate the market with you and second they validate your idea.
Competitors Can Be Distracting
Rather than keep one eye on your competitor, keep both eyes on the prize.
In the Crokinole game, if there are more than two players then usually the group splits into teams. Some teams naturally work together well. They make their shots tactically and compliment each other. Usually though you will have one player so intent on winning at all costs that they get consumed with anything but the fun of playing. Have you witnessed this kind of behaviour? They become the judge and jury for every rule transgression, use aggressive strategies, and sulk when they lose.
We forget sometimes that just being in the game can be its own reward. “Winning” is not the only reason to take part. The winner does not have to take all. When you think this way the whole affair transforms. You have peers rather than enemies, and there can be more than one “winner”. I don’t mean this in the “let’s not keep score” kind of way many schools are turning to, but that just thinking about the game differently allows you to see positives in outcomes other than “winners and losers”.
Take my own blog for example. It is not the biggest out there in any metric from traffic to income, but I am happy with it because I have some awesome people who visit and comment and I make just enough income that I don’t have to, as yet, get a real job (though it has come close a couple of times). I don’t have to “beat” anyone else, just do my own thing.
When I first launched my Authority Blogger course, I was saddled with doubt and worry for months. I looked at where it would fit into the market, I tried to appeal to everybody, and I had conflicting stress of wanting to get out early before any competitors, but also wanted to polish, polish, polish in case any customers said negative things.
All that analysis paralysis didn’t matter when people started actually taking the course. I found out that some of my new customers had taken several blogging courses before joining mine. I realized that people didn’t want everything, they wanted to hear about growing an audience of people who know, like and trust them, and earning a living from their knowledge and experience.
My next launch eclipsed the first because I tuned in to what my customers and audience wanted and ignored the rest.
Decide what winning means for you. Serve your audience.
There are often opportunities for collaboration or learning by occasionally checking in with what your competitor is up to, but your day to day energy should be directed towards your intentions, your plan. I say “should” because we are all human and often easily distracted.
It is about turning your focus and therefore your momentum toward creating your outcome rather than thoughts that lead to destroying your enemies. Discover what you want and your audience wants.
Don’t worry what “they” are up to!
You have no competitors when what you do is unique to you.
What do you say? How do you deal with peers/competitors/nemesis? Please share your thoughts in the comments …