I’m going to talk about your competition so grab your favorite beverage, buckle down, stick in your earbuds, start up the car, whatever or wherever let’s get started.
I’m going to be experimenting with some writing over on Medium. I just haven’t really nailed down the strategy that I want to use.
I love quotes. Do you fine people out there enjoy quotes? I don’t spend a ton of time on quotes gathering them or tweeting them.
I used to have a quotes website at one point called They Said It Better, but it wasn’t doing much. That one ends up in the failure list.
I actually wrote an article on Medium a couple of years back where I shared the 5 quotes I had hanging around my desk. I’ll put a link to that in the show notes if you’d like to check it out.
I did some regularly writing on Medium a couple of years back. It was just kind of a place where I went to dump things. I’d just go and kind of dump my brain. The content didn’t have much success, so I quit putting my time in there, but I’ve been reading on Medium recently and there’s a lot of good articles there.
You can get paid for writing there now, so I’m kind of developing a strategy for what I want to do with that.
Anyway, back to the quotes.
I want to share a quote from John F. Kennedy. I believe he was the 35th President of the United States. The quote is:
“A rising tide lifts all boats.”
Some versions say ships, but the one I found that actually referenced President Kennedy said boats, so we’ll just go with that.
I hope you don’t mind if I share my interpretation. My takes on it relates this quote to my competition.
How much time do you spend researching your competition, monitor what they’re doing online, trying to align what you’re doing so that it outdoes whatever they’re doing?
I don’t do a lot of reading and following of my competitors because what I found, in the long run, is that it messes with my creativity.
The more that I focus and spend time on whatever my competition is doing regardless of the platform, that is time I’m not putting in my business and time that I’m using my brain to focus on their stuff instead of my own.
There’s no return on investment when you put time into your competition.
So, I stopped doing it.
I’m able to come up with more original ideas. I’m able to put more Ava into my business and less rehashed crap just to be frank.
If your mind is flooded with other people’s ideas, you have less room for your own ideas.
Unless you’re in like a fashion niche or something like that, there’s really no reason to cover the latest trends non-stop.
You can’t know if someone else’s idea is even legit until you try it…except for my ideas. All of my ideas are legit…I’m kidding…but they are!
Know your surroundings.
Know what’s out there.
Who’s creating in your lane?
Don’t spend a tone of time or focus there. As I said, the more time you spend in that area, the less time you’re spending on your stuff.
So, I have a bit of a story for you and I hope you won’t lose respect for me based on my television viewing choices.
A few weeks ago, I was watching this show called Moonshiners. I think it comes on the History channel and it follows these dudes in Appalachia who make moonshine.
You know, it’s not your top of the line TV show, but at least it’s not Honey Book or the Jersey Shore.
So, the show follows these guys that run mostly illegal but some legal moonshine operations spread throughout the Appalachian mountains.
One of these moonshiners had gone out and bought a few jars from their competition to kind of size up what they were doing.
Their own personal operation had the corner on the market in the area and the most longevity.
This was a multi-generational moonshine making family so they also had the reputation to back up their product regardless of what other people in the area were doing.
So, dude goes out and buys some product and brings it back to the people that help him make his moonshine and they’re standing around tasting the stuff going on about how good it is.
They’re growing concerned because they think it’s better than their stuff.
What a waste of time!
Shouldn’t y’all be making some mash or something!?!
You’ve got the corner on the market, longevity, and you’re worried about a newcomer because their product tastes a little bit better than yours!?!
A couple of people show up and undersell you a little bit. I don’t think the bootleg booze market is going to crash any time soon.
If every business cowered every time someone new showed up to the game, that would be chaos.
These other people are going to have a limited supply. It doesn’t matter how good their product is. People don’t buy moonshine because it tastes good, they buy it because they want to get trashed.
These people have a limited supply, they don’t have the reputation to back up their product like these other guys have. It’s like a drug dealer with a phone full of contacts. People are going to call you first.
Make a better product. Always work on making a better product. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. If your product is selling, who cares?
Let’s revisit our quote for a second…
“A rising tide lifts all boats.”
The market = the rising tide
You and your competition = all boats
If the market is going up…if there’s a demand and you have the supply, you’re going to be lifted right along with whoever else has supply. It’s a supply and demand situation.
You don’t need to focus too much on your competition.
Every minute that you spend on them and their stuff are minutes you’re not putting into your own business.
Sure, you can hone your strategy to an extent by doing that, but the return on investment is non-existent.
Not to mention that comparing yourself with other people will rob you of joy. That’s another quote from Mark Twain:
“Comparison is the death of joy.”
If you’re constantly in a state of comparison, you’re never going to be happy. Compare yourself to yourself and do better today than you did yesterday. Do better tomorrow than you’re doing today.
Don’t try to outdo everyone else.
While we’re out here talking about the rising tide and your boat, don’t forget your boat in the realm of online business. Your boat is absolutely your website, so make sure that your website is on point.
That’s a Wrap
Take any time you were putting into researching your competition and refocus that into your own business and see if you don’t see some improvement.
That time you’re messing around with your competition, you could be creating more content. More content brings in more eyeballs.
Focus on areas where you’re going to see a return on investment. If you put the time in, you should be getting something back out. If you’re putting time into your competition, what are you getting back? A little bit of knowledge about what they’re doing online that doesn’t help you.
A rising tide lifts ALL boats. It doesn’t just raise your competition, it raises you as well.
Focus on your market. Focus on your audience and delivering the best content you can to your audience.
What are they searching for? Create that. You can’t go wrong.