In business, hell, in life in general, it is all to easy to start comparing yourself to someone you think is doing it better. In appreciating that someone is doing something well, it is all to easy to start thinking you are somehow failing.
Recently I have read some pieces about what is dubbed “the scarcity mindset or mentality”. In a nutshell it is the belief that there will never be enough for everyone, whether we are talking about money, food, business…. This way of thinking keeps you operating competitively, and being reactive rather than proactive, and sometimes resentful of others success as you believe that it takes opportunity from you.
The opposite of this is the abundance mindset: the ability to look at things optimisticly, be genuinely happy for others successes as the central belief is there is enough for everyone. How can we keep ourselves thinking abundantly in business?
What sparked the idea of this blog was a conversation I heard recently about a business doing some market research on some local competitors. The business that had been unknowingly “researched” was angry, outraged and questioning the other business’ integrity.
The assumption was that the business who was doing the research was being lazy; trying to see how the other business quoted rather than do the hard yards themselves….Perhaps because they didn’t have the skill level to do it themselves….
Many years ago, I had something similar happen to me. A ‘customer’ came in for a wedding quote. We spent time going through her theme, making suggestions as to what would be in season, what would be beautiful and how we could create the aesthetic that she was after.
Needless to say, this quote never became a booking…although we never really knew why. Some time later I then went on to run the company that had ‘researched’ us. I went through a series of files from the research they had conducted. It was not an attempt to ‘steal’ our quoting formula, or our consultation technique, it instead looked at all the things we did well, and the things they felt were lacking in our meetings. It did the same for each of the businesses that had been observed. It felt thorough, and impartial.
Truthfully, I think this is smart business. While many businesses would be up in arms that they had their time wasted on a job that would never come to fruition, perhaps it is those businesses that would most benefit from conducting some research of their own.
You need to know what your competition does well….not so you can emulate it, but so you can better understand your target customer. You can also take a moment to appreciate the things that you are doing well, and congratulate your team on what they are excelling at. Let’s face it, each business has its own strengths and weaknesses, and someone will choose to book with you based on what you offer to them that appeals. By the same token, they will choose not to book with you should someone’s style, business approach and pricing etc appeal to them more. This is where it is hard not to feel criticised, but really, you cannot please everyone. Find your niche, and do you, well.
They say that ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’. Businesses are as different as a Rose is to a tulip. Comparing the two, and expecting the same from both, is pointless.
I know that we appreciate our customers, and the loyalty they show to our family business. We don’t do everything, we can’t….but we try to do what we do, well.
Thanks for your support as always 😉
Featured Image: Colorado ManREACH