Why is it that we love so much competitive sports, reality TV competition shows, or just about any other competitive event, yet most people and business owners hate competitors in their business environment?  Can you imagine Apple without Microsoft?  Or Ford without GM?  Or Pepsi without Coke?  I can’t, nor do I want to.

I want businesses to compete with each other so that us, consumers, can benefit with better products and services.  I want other businesses in my field to compete with my business too.  That’s the only way I will be motivated to come up with better products and business growth ideas for my clients.  After all, is there a better satisfaction personally and professionally than beating your competition out right?  Entrepreneurs are visionaries;  they visualize success and then they create their own path that will lead them to that success.  More than any other people, entrepreneurs understand that it takes the same effort to think “big” than to think “small” and thinking small is not quite the way entrepreneurs succeed.  It’s all about mindset, attitude, confidence and yes, in the process, you’re also putting your efforts to work and being first to market.  That’s your competitive advantage.

But competition is as much about winning as it is about losing.  A person’s success in life is directly related to their ability to overcome challenging situations.  Not every idea is going to be a winner; not every book is going to be a best seller;  not every marketing campaign is going to work as planned.  But it is through failure that you learn, grow, and come back stronger.  At MGR Consulting Group, I have the best marketing team supporting me every day.  Yet, we are not perfect either.  We set our bar so high, that sometimes we fall short.  But we keep competing and trying harder and harder every day.  I always remind my team about Michael Jordan’s career stats.  For a large number of basketball fans, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player in the history of the NBA, or let’s just say one of the best if you have other favorite players.  Yet, during his 15 year career, his field goal percentage was just under .500.  Yes, he was missing half of his field goals!  Can you imagine if you were missing half of your budgets, or making mistakes 50% of the time, or missing half of your deadlines or manufacturing a product with a 50% failure rate?  However, what made Michael Jordan so great is that he loved competition and he was the fiercest competitor on the court.  He absolutely refused to lose when it really mattered.  That’s why he won six out of six NBA Finals and six Finals MVP awards.  You don’t have to win every time to be a winner.  You don’t have to be “perfect” all the time.  But you have to be a great competitor to put yourself in a position to win when it really counts.

Embrace your competition.  Use your competitors to feed your motivation to do better every day.  Share your business triumphs with your own clients by constantly creating better value for them;  work hard so that so that you’re always giving them what they want and you’re solving problems for them.  In other words, help them succeed by being part of your own success.

I’d like to finish by pointing you to the karting video posted along this article.  You may be wondering what karting has to do with anything?  But the truth is that it was this video that inspired me to write this article.  The video shows a short practice session at my local kart track.  I go there every weekend with my friends to practice and race.  In this session, I’m having a tight and friendly fight with my best friend who’s a fiercest competitor too.   Lap after lap, I tried to find a way to get past him, yet, I just couldn’t make it happen until he finally conceded and let me by.  The point is, that without him being there to give me some hard competition, my entire session would have been boring and I surely wouldn’t have tried that hard.  I have plenty of other videos where I’m driving alone and probably not at 100%.  Competition is key to bring the best out of us.  Love your competition and you will love it even more when you are better than them.

Until next time, this is Manuel Gil del Real (MGR)