Are you an entrepreneur who constantly worries about what your competitors are up to?
Do you lose sleep over what their next product or service might be? Are you constantly scrambling to duplicate or follow whatever new initiative or trend that some other company in your industry is embracing?
If any of these describe you, then you may be guilty of placing too much emphasis on what your competition is doing. So what's the best way to break this habit?
Ignore the competition. That's right.
Simon Senek is the author of a book called Start With Why. In it, the consultant details the methods by which great business leaders inspire their respective organizations. One of the book's main points is the idea that solid leaders really don't pay attention to what their competitors think or do. In fact, most of these individuals are so obsessed with improving their own companies that they don't have time to worry about the activities of their industry rivals.
In other words: it's all about you. Don't let the competition dictate your actions.
Consider taking some time to revisit your business vision. Try to identify exactly what it is you stand for. Read over your mission statement again and make an effort to determine if how you are spending your working hours is really the most effective way to accomplish your stated goals.
For instance, concentrate less on trying to outdo your rival's latest product feature and more on how to improve the overall effectiveness and appeal of your own product. Don't concern yourself with besting your competitors in a price war; but instead put your energies into maximizing the value of your own offerings.
Transferring the emphasis from your competition onto your own company will accomplish three things. First, it will help you clarify your own brand in the marketplace. Second, your customers will respect your attention to quality and service (as opposed to market whims and trends), which will increase their loyalty. And finally, you will earn the trust and respect of your employees, because they will find it easy to admire someone who takes control of their company's destiny instead of allowing rivals to dictate actions.
If you're still having trouble shifting your focus, try to recall why you became an entrepreneur in the first place. After all, if you were ever satisfied with following someone else's lead and reacting to whatever the market threw at you, then you probably would never have struck out on your own.
Reminding yourself about your original motivation for pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors may help you recalibrate your goals and objectives. Then you should examine whether what you accomplish during your "daily grind" is consistent with where you envision yourself in the future. You may discover that you were stressing about something that has nothing to do with your primary reasons for choosing your entrepreneurial path.
This entire process may very well rekindle your passion that you had back when you launched your company. So be sure to "ride the wave" of this rediscovered passion to make whatever changes are necessary to refocus your business and regain control of how you want to run it. Then you'll see just how inconsequential and irrelevant the actions of your industry rivals really are.