Have a Competitive Edge Without Competing

Getting caught up in the rat race is a sure way to waste time. The rat race is an unhealthy competition based on the incorrect belief that there is a limited supply of resources in the universe. The rat racer believes that success must come at the expense of the competition. I am reminded of the famous story of two store owners named Joe and John that were in a daily battle for sales and customers. Their businesses were across the street from each other, and if Joe got a sale, then John would try to get two. 

One night, Joe had an encounter with a Magic Genie. The Genie informed him that he would be teaching him a lesson by granting any request he had with the condition being that John would get double of whatever he asked. If Joe asked for wealth, John would get double the wealth. If he asked for a new customer, John would get two new customers. After much thought, Joe made the request to be struck blind in ONE eye! This humorous illustration teaches us that an unhealthy competition can cause you to lose your VISION and waste valuable time. How can you have a competitive edge without competing? 

The best way to gain a competitive edge without competing is to find someone who has the results that you desire and duplicate their processes. In professional football, the team that wins the Super Bowl is usually the most copied team in the league. The other teams observe their practices, playbooks, and processes because they realize that the fastest route to success is to duplicate a proven system. I recommend the following two areas as great avenues for duplication:

1. Coaches
Having regular conversations with a coach who is an expert in your field will save you valuable time. There are two important keys to consider when looking for a coach. The first key is to find one that has the results that you desire. Think about it, if you aspired to start a business, hiring a coach that has successfully started twenty businesses would save you valuable time and keep you from making expensive mistakes. Secondly, make sure the coach demonstrates a pattern of continuous learning. Many successful coaches are also clients of a coach that they seek emulate. You would gain the benefit of their mentor’s knowledge and experience as a bonus. 

2. Colleagues
Whenever we see a colleague succeeding in an area that we aspire to, the normal reaction is to try to compete with them. Instead, we must apply my WHO/WHY/WHAT formula by asking the following questions: Who is consistently the top performer in your company or market? Why do they always produce the best results? What do they do that you could duplicate, to get a similar result? The best way to find out what the top performer does is to ASK them. I apply this formula whenever I go into a new business situation. It has saved me valuable time and kept me from “re-inventing the wheel.”

Seeking out a coach and learning from a successful colleague will save you valuable time and give you a competitive edge without having to compete. If you found this week’s tip to be helpful, please share it using the social media buttons at the bottom of the page. 

Eric M. Twiggs
Your Procrastination Prevention Partner