MYTH: SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE FOCUS ON WHAT THE COMPETITION IS DOING
TRUTH: Very successful people focus on what they can do better
This spoke to me on a number of fronts – most notably, what I call “the efficiency factor” (or as the author of the article refers to “ the non-essentialist”). Allow me to explain: in the article this is defined as someone who is “willing to take it all on…someone who fits it all in”. It is someone who is about ‘busy-ness’ for the sake of ‘being busy’, and the amount of activities they have going on at a given time. I have long had my own theory about workplaces, that if you take two people with the same job to do, and one person is stressed and disorganised and panicking about the task at hand, and the other person is cool, calm and collected, the person who will often get props and kudos is the person making the most noise, not necessarily the person who is handling the job properly and effectively. For some reason we equate visible stress with hard work. The sweaty, stressed out person is not in fact the successful one, even though it may be perceived that way.
I feel this point speaks to the aforementioned myth. It is much more important to concentrate your efforts on what YOU are doing, and less important to understand what your competitors are doing. While in business it may be useful from time to time to scope out the competition, the focus should be on finding and building upon your niche, your strengths, and of course, always improving efficiency. If you perceive others to be ‘busy’, have a lot going on, always on the move, there could be a lot more to the story than what you’re actually seeing. It is therefore, a useless thing to focus on. You can only truly know what is going on with what you are accomplishing. Outward perceptions can be very misleading.
In our business, we made a point from the get-go to seek out and surround ourselves with carefully selected business partners, vendors, and clients who compliment and support what we want to do. Of course there are MANY moments of stress that we encounter in our daily operations, but the point is that skillfulness and becoming a trusted expert has had nothing, nada, nil, zilch, zero to do with the so-called ‘competition’. We’re so into doing our own thing that we’re not even that aware of what similar companies are up to. Has this made us more successful? When I actually stop to think about that, I do think so. I think it’s easy to get caught up in the weeds and that hasn’t happened to us at all. We’re too busy (efficiently of course!).