FLASHBACK ARTICLE FROM SEPTEMBER 2007
I am curious, how much time do you spend thinking about what others in your industry do? How interested are you in what others have? Do you regularly check up on what the competition is doing? Have you really looked to see who the leaders in your industry are? Well consider for a moment that, “that” is exactly what the leaders in your industry are not doing. They are not comparing because comparing creates comparables. Comparing creates things of like kind. Leaders are not like anyone else hence the name LEADER.
I look around at the industries I know fairly well and the leaders are the ones looking forward, innovating and turning their competitors into road kill. Take Quicken Loans for example. Quicken Loans is the major mortgage anchor on the big web portals, they are successfully doing direct response television marketing and they are touted as one of the best places to work. Did I mention that they aren’t the cheapest place to get a mortgage?
Look to your industry. What company is in the lead? I’d be willing to bet he or she isn’t consumed by what you’re doing. I find that many entrepreneurs in the launch stage and beyond get really wrapped up in what their competitors are doing and this retards growth potential because they are working with the bar someone else set.
I look back to grade school and figure it all begins there. Somewhere many of us begin to do what the others are doing as if to camouflage our “self” and keep from getting pecked off from the predators. We choose to subscribe to the bar set by someone else and eventually it becomes another behavior too ingrained in us to even recognize.
We get unknowingly trapped in this “comparative syndrome” and fail to reach our personal potential. When a client of mine was asked what his financial goals were by a rather wealthy young man he replied, “to get my kids through college without any debt.” The young man replied, “let me tell you one of mine. I want 2 helicopters, one for me and one for my brother.” The young man’s point was that people set low limits on their potential.
Here is my question to you. Would you be willing to stop comparing yourself to the average uninspired American and carve out your own path – TODAY? If you answer yes, great. If you answer NO, recognize that your “NO” comes from the fear to remove your camouflage and stand out from the pack, possibly even leaving yourself open for public failure. Conversely, you could break the 4 minute mile and lead the pack with a shift in your thinking and the action that comes out of that. I challenge you to set your own standards, develop your own ideas, do something different. Develop your strengths, hammer home your message and create a business that stands out from the pack. Do YOU… don’t do someone else.