When I was a young girl, my father taught me a valuable life lesson about competition. He said: “When you compete with others, you become bitter. But when you compete with yourself, you become better.” The lesson has served me well, especially in a world where social media can play havoc and magnify the “keeping up with the Joneses” syndrome for both businesses and individuals alike. By Alesia Visconti
When I was a young girl, my father taught me a valuable life lesson about competition. He said: “When you compete with others, you become bitter. But when you compete with yourself, you become better.” The lesson has served me well, especially in a world where social media can play havoc and magnify the “keeping up with the Joneses” syndrome for both businesses and individuals alike.
I believe that a rising tide lifts all boats, meaning that success is good for everyone, and someone else’s success does not detract from mine. While I am mindful of what others do, I don’t focus on my competition, as doing so puts my focus on someone else’s business rather than my own. Instead, I keep my eye on the prize, the goals that are important to my companies (FranServe and Franchise Dictionary Magazine), and the success of our franchise consultants, franchise brands, and staff.
In a world obsessed with being “the best,” I actually find that term limiting. It implies there isn’t enough for others, and that success is in limited supply. It keeps people in a fearful state that makes them believe whatever they have may be taken from them as the pie dwindles. This sets us up for making decisions based on fear, which pulls us back into the shadows, unwilling to risk doing something new, resisting to take on a new project, and holding back from acting on an innovative thought. It also pits people against one another, which, again, makes people shut down instead of sharing ideas that will propel a business to new levels.
If you’ve ever jumped on a trampoline, you know there’s a limit to how high you can bounce. But if you ask your friends to jump along with you, you can achieve what is called a “super bounce.” The collective weight of the group allows everyone to bounce much higher than they would on their own. In addition, their high level of bounce doesn’t take away from the thrill of yours.
Reframing your thoughts about competition takes practice. For example, I use the phrase “friendly rivals” instead of “competitors” when it comes to others in the same business space. This attitude adjustment puts me in the right mindset and keeps my focus on my own companies’ activities while mentally allowing others to focus on theirs. It serves as a win-win stance while making me accountable for my own business decisions and actions.
Rather than seeing others as competition, see others as inspiration. The success of others doesn’t have to twist your gut; instead, let it motivate you to reach beyond your comfort zone –and take things up a notch. Once you reframe your mind, your business will greatly benefit, and your stress level will greatly lessen. These are both good outcomes in today’s hectic world.
– Alesia Visconti
Alesia Visconti, CFC, is the CEO/Publisher of Franchise Dictionary Magazine and the CEO of FranServe Inc., the world’s largest franchise consulting and expansion organization. She has 20 years of experience as a C-level executive, driving organizational development and taking companies to the next level. An author, professional speaker, and entrepreneur, her motto in life is “Work hard, play hard, help others, repeat.” A self-proclaimed nerd, Alesia loves all things “superhero.”