Over the bank holidays I watched The Voice, a British TV singing talent show. There was a real lesson in this episode about “How to deal with competition” that I wanted to share with you. The competition involves a knockout round where two singers sing the same song in a “boxing” ring. The judges then pick a winner to proceed to the next round.
In this particular episode there were two very talented singers –
One could sing really well but couldn’t dance and the other could dance as well as sing.
Lets just call these two candidates, “competitors” Danny the Singing Dancer and Cindy the Singer.
Anyway, Danny the Singing Dancer wanted to win rather badly so he decided to outperform the Cindy with his dance moves during the sing off.
Two things happened when Danny started doing his head spins and splits.
He totally confused Cindy the Singer.
Perfect, that was exactly what he wanted.
Cindy forget her lines, got confused and a bit pitchy! Not a good idea for a singing competition.
It was hilarious to watch though.
Seriously, Danny the Dancer was jumping and moon walking etc. Very funny.
It really reminded me of how we deal with competition in business.
The competition may seem to have all the right moves and seem to have more skills than we do, but should we pay attention to what they are doing?
Yes we should but not in real time. The reason being, we’ll lose focus when we pay too much attention to what the competition is doing – especially when we sign up to be notified of all their moves in real time!
That is exactly what happened in the singing off.
Every industry has people who are always putting on a performance. They are doing everything you wished you could do. They seem relentless and untiring.
You got intimidated, so you thought you better keep a constant eye on them. So you signed up for their newsletter, tracked them and followed them on social media only to get overwhelmed and end up feeling more intimated by everything they were doing!
Here are some “Do”s and “Don’t”s on how to deal with competition:
- Don’t ignore them, but don’t monitor them in real time. Let them get on it and you also get on with your plan. Only check up on what they are doing periodically. Obsessively monitoring their every more will affect your performance and focus. You will lose your authenticity and start to mimic their moves, which will cost you your focus and direction. You’ll also start trying to outdo their moves rather than focus your energy on the strategy that will work for you.
- Don’t feel threatened by every Dick, Tom and Harry. As I always say, there are about 7 billion people in the world. Surely someone will like me :)! There is enough business out there for everybody. Even if you don’t consider your business to be global, there are still people out there who would rather buy from you than the competition. Just focus on how you can reach those people.
- Learn to appreciate competition. It’s a sign that the industry is profitable. Competition will definitely keep you on your toes – this can only be good for self development. Right!
Anytime you are tempted to pay too much attention to your competition, just remember Singing Cindy. It will affect your performance and cost you more than you think. You need to be aware of their presence but not get taken in by it.
Ooh Danny the singing dancer didn’t fare any better either! His excessive dancing affected his vocals as well and as it was a singing not dancing competition, his decision to dance cost him that round. Focusing too much on out-doing the competition cost him too!
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What’s been your experience so far with competition? Like it, hate it, indifferent to it – How do you deal with competition? I’d love to hear from you.