Today is part two in this five part conversation around the idea of handling competition like a pro. In part one I talked about the basics of what competition is, and how some creatives feel in competitive industries. It's important to understand and realize that you are needed and that there is room for you at the table. You can read part one HERE. Today, part two is:
COMPETITION WILL ONLY MAKE YOU BETTER.
In the early few months of my career there was someone that decided to do exactly what I was doing in the same network that I was involved in. This talented individual was older with years and years of experience in the same field as me in a different network. So naturally when they 'crossed over' I thought I was done for. When I was processing some of what was going on with a friend of mine she responded by saying, "Competition will ONLY make you better." I rolled my eyes at her response and thanked her for trying to make me feel better. Her comment seemed like one of those fakey positive sayings you find on Pinterest to make you feel good in the moment.
But as time went on I realized how true it actually was. Competition will ONLY make you better, if you act on it and improve! Having a bit of competition put some fire under my butt. In that season, it put the pressure on me to work harder, smarter, faster, try new things and become more innovative.
Before my competitor entered the picture, I was just coasting along. I had no urgency for anything, and no drive to complete a new idea. Why did I need to? I was just fine doing what I was doing and at the pace I wanted to do it. I had no measurement for how my brand was doing in the grand scheme of things or even how good my design skills were.
But with a new competitor in town, I was analyzing how my designs could be better, stronger, and more dynamic. I was hustling. That year I surprised myself and I did things that I would have never thought to do. I produced an extra design collection and I also released my first limited edition design that sold out in one day. We shot a video campaign to market the limited edition design and it all turned out really cool.
That year yielded some of my favorite work and concepts to date, and it was all because I wanted to improve and get better because I now had a competitor. In general, I got a lot better at my craft, became savvier with my business, and really surprised myself. Competition really does make you better. Truly better. My suggestion is to take the fact that you have competition and spin it in a positive way that will push your brand and business forward. Instead of letting competition and comparison get you down, let it take you to the next level.
Here are a few things to think about: What area in your craft/business can you improve on? And what would it take to improve that? Is there a new and more innovative way to get the word out about what you do? Get creative and the competition will only make you better!
READ: PART 3