How many times have you heard someone say that competition is bad for business? Perhaps those people don’t understand what competition is. If they did, they’d understand why competition can make your business thrive, and why without it, we’d never see any of the great products and services available today. Everything great that ever happened—every great product you’ve ever have used and every great company you know—resulted from competition.
So if you want to become the best at something—to build the best business, product, or service—this post is for you. Read on to learn seven reasons why competition makes your business, and perhaps life in general, better:
1. Competition brings out the best in you
When you see that someone has a product or service that’s much better than what you offer, it’s easy to give up. Improving your product to that level feels daunting. Instead, see it as a challenge to improve. Start competing by creating a product or service that matches, or better yet, exceeds the quality of your competitors. View competition as a game, not a threat.
2. The pain of losing motivates
Most people who see competition as bad for business fear the pain of losing in a competition. Some may have lost a battle and simply chose to give up rather than preparing for the next battle. Sometimes you need to lose a small battle to win a much bigger one. Sports provide the best example here. When a top athlete loses a race, game or other sporting competition, that person experiences pain—sometimes tremendous pain. It’s the athletes who continue competing in spite of their losses who often emerge as the biggest winners.
3. Competition keeps you young
Competition makes you work hard. Harder than usual. When you have strong convictions that you’re working on something that matters and work hard to achieve your goals, it keeps you feeling young. That feeling of purpose helps you live longer, too. Stay in the game, compete and win. After all, isn’t it better to burn out than rust out?
4. Competition shows how to improve
Relationships with your competitors provide an excellent resource for improving your business. Consider this scenario: You’re a wedding photographer. To stay on top of your game, you attend all the key wedding photography conventions, where you meet hundreds or thousands of other wedding photographers. You exchange contact information with these competitors and stay in touch, each sharing what you do and how you do it. From these discussions, you learn new ways to shoot wedding photos, effective pricing strategies, the latest photography technologies, and other valuable information. Even though you may compete with those individuals, those relationships can help you to become much better at what you do.
5. The need to win helps with focus
How many times have you had more than enough time to complete a task or project, only to let distractions fritter away your time until you miss your deadline? When you compete, you feel like you’re racing the clock to beat out your competitor. Something about being under time pressure makes us more productive and able to keep distractions at bay.
6. Improvement becomes your habit
Winning against the competition requires continuous improvement. While focusing on improvement for months or even years can be difficult, eventually that approach and all its associated positive behaviors become a habit. Once you reach the point where continuous improvement becomes something you naturally do, you’ll find it easier to face and win any competition.
7. Winning delivers satisfaction
Most of us have won something at some point in our lives—either in a game, business, or both. It’s almost intoxicating, and you want to experience that feeling again and again. I see it on my kids’ faces whenever I play a game with them and they win. When you win, you often receive recognition—maybe someone mentions you in a publication, or you’re on the cover of a popular magazine. It feels great. All the hard work that it took to get there fades away and you just feel incredible satisfaction. That’s one of the biggest benefits of competition.
Do any of these reasons to welcome competition resonate with you? How do you think competition helps you in business? Share your thoughts in the comments below.