An Innovative Look at Business Growth
I just spent two amazing days with my business growth Mastermind in Stamford, CT. Yes, that is right, I offer masterminds in my own business, I run masterminds, and I myself am a student in a business growth mastermind. Why? I believe in them, and I believe in investing heavily in my business and in myself. I know that in order to really deliver for my clients, I need to be one step ahead in terms of business trends and strategies, and I need to invest in myself to be at the top of my game. So every few months, I travel to Connecticut and I spend two intense days stretching my thinking, pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and focusing on business growth.
I love my mastermind for so many reasons, the biggest of which is they hold me accountable to do all of the above. They prod, poke and force me to think and act beyond my limits, and challenge me to shift my paradigm. Let me give you an example: this past week, we were not an hour into our business growth mastermind, when one of our members, Jere Harris Metcalf, a luxury realtor from Atlanta, said something that immediately caught my attention.
While discussing some new, really innovative ideas she uses to serve her clients and grow her business she said the phrase, “Your competitor is your ally, and if you forget that you will die.” The moment the words rolled out of her mouth, my head popped up, and I took notice. I immediately thought, what a mind-stretching and paradigm-shifting statement. We spend our entire careers, no matter our industry, focusing on trying to beat our competition. Yet here is this successful realtor telling me that we should not compete but collaborate, and if we don’t it will mean struggle or the death of our business. I loved her challenge of the status quo, loved her phrasing of it, and while I immediately understood what she was saying, I was a little unsettled and a little unsure of what to do with it.
So, I immediately wrote the phrase down, thought about it throughout the day, and set it as my focus for my evening walk (my form of business growth meditation). I hear a great idea, I am not sure how to act on it, so I tuck it away until I have time to hike, ride my bike or take a long walk and just sit with it.
While I knew that Jere was right and I was excited about the idea, I needed to think about how to integrate this into my business, and help my clients navigate this shift and take action on it. Again, I knew she was right, but it was one thing to tell clients or myself to start collaborating with the competition, it was another to actually make the shift and be able to understand how and why to do it.
For years, I have written and talked about this new economy, how more than this economy has changed, our customers, our employees, and even how we succeed in business has changed. So, think about this: if so much has changed, wouldn’t it make sense that we need to change? That we need to change our business models, our success strategies, and the way we think about our customers, our employees and our competition? The answer is yes, business growth today is different, and the sooner we understand and embrace that the faster and easier success is going to come.
So how do we navigate the shift? How do we go from competition to collaboration, and begin thinking of our competitors as our allies?
4 Innovative Business Growth Strategies To Embrace The Competition
- Shift Your Paradigm – well you knew we were going to start here. You need to simply begin by thinking about your competition differently, and embrace the idea that the road to success will be smoother if you find ways to work with each other rather than against each other. While this may be a stretch for some of us, even the simple act of just thinking it before we believe will help move the needle in the right direction.
- Study & Learn – believe it or not, your competition is doing some amazing stuff, and if you step back and open your mind you just might learn something. The reason they are your competitor is because they are good, smart and as driven as you are. Wow, sounds like a good ally to me. The moment we shift our energy from finding ways to beat our competition, we create the energy to learn from them. We learn new ideas and strategies that can work in our business, move it forward, and that can help our clients as well.
- Find Common Ground – the simple act of taking the time to study and learn, creates the opportunity to find and discover things you and your competition actually have in common. An industry niche you both want to work in, a series of projects you are both developing, a sales or service process you use with clients. Whatever it is, the moment you stop resisting your competition, you will naturally identify things you have in common and increase the number of ways you can work together.
- Take Action – last but not least is the most important, take action. Remember, this idea of embracing your competition is a concept that is radical to most people, so don’t wait for your competition to come to you, embrace your competition and take the first step. Approach them with an idea, or even just to introduce yourself and grab a cup of coffee. Invest the time and take the action to build relationships, continue to discover more common ground, and solidify your belief that your competition is your ally. If you invest in your competition, they will invest in you.
So while there were many things I learned this go round in these two days of business growth masterminding, this one really stuck out. It was the first real mind-stretching concept that challenged my thinking, and how I serve my clients. What I love about this concept of competitive collaboration, masterminding, and just business growth overall is that it does not matter the industry, or the teacher, we learn everywhere and from everyone.
We all need to open our minds, have our thoughts challenged, and shift our thinking every now and then. And thanks to a mastermind that encourages open thinking, and a chance interaction with Atlanta’s most business growth minded realtor, Jere Harris Metcalf, I am focused on embracing my competition, and working with my clients to ensure they take that step too. As this economy continues to shift, as the rules continue to change, we all need to remember that our competitor is our ally, and if we forget that we will die!
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Motivational Keynote Speaker & Business Growth Expert, Meridith Elliott Powell works with clients to help them instill ownership at every level to ensure profits at every turn. Meridith is the author of several books, including her latest, Winning In The Trust & Value Economy: a professional’s guide to business and sales success. When not keynoting and leading workshops, she looks for inspiration cycling, golfing or hiking her favorite trail. http://meridithelliottpowell.com