You’ve been told that a little competition is a good thing. You’ve been lied to. It’s true that competition can force you to elevate your game but there’s a dangerous trap you can fall into.

When you’re focused on what the competition is doing, you’re taking your eyes off what you’re doing.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from helping my friend Ben Reed coach a soccer team full of 5 year olds it’s that they don’t care about the competition. I’ve also learned that they care more about post-game snacks than scoring but that’s another issue.

Those kids like doing their own thing. Remember when you were like that?

We compete with others because we’re too afraid of trying new things and doing our own thing. Let me explain why falling into this trap is such a bad thing…

Competition takes the focus off you and puts your life in control by someone else. You get in a reactive state instead of an initiative-based state where you’re focused on you and not worried about what others are doing.

Competition produces copycats. You start copying them, they start copying you and next thing you know the marketplace is bored! Additionally you’re comparing yourself against something unknown. You don’t know what their life is like. It may suck.

I once ran a full page ad in a magazine that cost me a few thousand dollars. The ad didn’t convert at all and was a complete failure. But it did look pretty, and because of that in the next issue not one but TWO of my competitors knocked off my ad. They copied it because I did it. They had no idea the ad didn’t work. πŸ™‚

Don’t play their game. You lose your initiative and innovation when you’re copying others.

Competition is the easy way out of not taking risks. You think that if no one else is doing it then you shouldn’t either. If you ever say those words I hope your momma slaps you.

Competition puts you at the mercy of someone else’s pace. You’re stuck waiting to see what they do next. Never wait on someone else when it comes to trying to achieve your goals.

Competition puts you at the mercy of someone else’s goals. If your only goal is beating someone else into submission, you won’t meet your potential. Let’s say your competition sells 500 units and you only focus on beating them. You sell 501 and stop. Mission accomplished right? Not if you were capable of selling 800.

Competition creates a scarcity mindset. You need to think abundantly about your life and business. Focusing on your competition can create a feeling that you’re fighting for scraps. If there’s healthy competition in your field that’s great! It means there’s enough business out there for all of you.

You can break out of this trap by focusing on yourself and your own initiative. Be so busy you don’t have time to know what the competition is up to.

You don’t want to succeed for the sake of beating someone else. You want to succeed for the sake of of helping others and your family.

The competition trap robs you of your potential. There is no freedom in placing others above you.