Comparison Is The Thief of Profit

You have competitors. Doing a super fancy competitive analysis can reveal some pretty surprising stuff about how those other guys and gals are attracting the people you want all to yourself.

And even if you’re the only one doing what you do, you have competitors. There are businesses your ideal customers are choosing instead of you. Even if they don’t do what you do. 

But, as with everything, there’s a balance to be struck. Otherwise, you learn that old tough lesson -- what’s good in moderation becomes terrible in excess.

 {Photo by  Jennifer Chen  on  Unsplash

{Photo by Jennifer Chen on Unsplash

You can’t get to who you are if you’re preoccupied with who you aren’t.

Let’s imagine for a minute that you’re a person. If this is a stretch, just bear with me. You’re a person. And you’ve got a lot to do with this life on this Earth. And all you do is sit around all day thinking about what other people are doing. Famous people. People you know. 

You think you’re competing with all of them. That their success somehow means less success is left for you. 

You sit around scrolling through Facebook and Instagram all day. You binge watch projects other people make on Netflix. You compare your outfits to theirs and your vacations to theirs and your ideas to theirs.

But. You’re not actually doing...anything. You’re not making your own...anything.

You know you’re not any of those other people. But you have no idea who you actually are. You have no idea what only you can offer this world. And no one else knows, either.

Meanwhile, there’s this other person. She’s different. She took Facebook and Instagram and a bunch of other time sucks off her phone. She spends time thinking about who she is and what she wants her life to be. She makes time in her day for doing big things. It’s not that she doesn’t care what her neighbors and friends and family and favorite celebrities are doing. It’s that she does not have room in her brain to obsess over that stuff. She’s too busy building herself and making her thing. 

I know which person I’d rather be.

Don’t compare yourself to your competitors. 

@@When you compare yourself to your competitors, you can easily lose sight of who you are and what makes you matter.@@ 

You start to see yourself only in stark relief against those other guys. What do they do that you don’t, what do you have that they don’t.

People don’t want to see a whole bunch of words on your website about what you don’t do. They don’t want to see you take your competitors’ words and, word-for-word, point-by-point, flip them to serve you. {No one wants to hear a bunch of chatter like that in your sales process, either.}

That’s not unique. It’s not memorable. It’s not compelling. 

Obsess about yourself. Not the competition.

People want to hear you talk about you do. That’s what helps them understand who you are. Why your business matters. What problems you can solve for them.

Keep your words focused on this kind of stuff, and you’ll keep your mind focused on it, too. You’ll uncover what’s already there...you.

And anyway, while you’re obsessing about what your competitors are doing and saying, they’re {most likely} not obsessing about you. They’re thinking about themselves. What they do. How they can do what they do better. 

Know your competitors. Don’t let them own you. 

This whole competition conundrum is all about balance. No need to go through your days with blinders on. 

Remember that other person in our story, the one actually living her own life? It’s not that she has no idea what any other humans are doing. She engages in her larger world. She reads and listens to and sees art by makers and doers. She doesn’t obsess about herself in comparison to any of those things or people.

Similarly, there’s no harm in knowing who your competitors are, and even taking a look at what they’re doing.  

Knowing what your competitors are doing can be good for you. 

Understanding how they define themselves can help you understand whether you’re saying the same old stuff as everyone else, or highlighting what makes you unique and memorable. 

If everyone in your industry says they’re the fastest and simplest, don’t say that. And you’ll know not to say that if you’ve taken a look at what others are doing.

If everyone in your industry is doing a ton on Facebook and Instagram every day, think about whether that’s where you need to be, too. Does it seem like they’re getting anything out of that investment? Or is there somewhere else that’s even more valuable, that they haven’t figured out yet?

Just don’t obsess. Don’t go head-to-head, point-by-point.

Know what’s out there, and do your own thing. By starting with who you are. Regardless of who they are. By stating who you’re for. Regardless of who they say they’re for. By building products and services you know you’re best at. Regardless of what they do or how they do it. 

And do not, for the love of all things awesome, go word-for-word through your competitor's’ website copy to rewrite your own versions of their copy for your marketing and sales stuff {yes, I’ve seen this happen}. 

Focus yourself on being the best you. Not a better version of them.

If you do the latter, you’re really just handing them your profits. Because you can’t be a better them. @@You can only be the best you. That's why, in business, comparison is the thief of more than just joy. It’s the thief of profit.@@

 


Hey. This stuff is tricky. If you'd like some help figuring out how to stand out from your competition, we can do that.

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