Are you weird about competition?

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Think about it – there are plenty of opportunities to be competitive in our day to day lives. There’s competition for a mate, a job, a good deal, the last chocolate biscuit. We’re encouraged by popular media to be forthright, get in there and have a go, don’t wait or it will be all gone, HAVE IT NOW and hurry up about it (blah blah)…

It’s certainly a stark contrast to the way I was brought up where you had to ‘wait your turn’, ‘wait until you were offered a piece of cake’, ‘let your little sister go first’. Maybe I’m lucky that there was abundance in my upbringing – OR, MAYBE we as a race are just getting more competitive.

Think about it – there is more stuff than EVER before available to us. A long time ago now I saw I could buy a cyber-glass of wine in a simulated art gallery where the artists had been awarded real life government grants to create electronic artworks that were viewed by cyber-people (I was hot let me tell you – but that’s another story).

I don’t know about you but for me all of these messages constantly banging at me is making me feel exhausted. I simply don’t have time to sift through EVERYTHING that comes my way. I receive a multitude of offers to buy stuff – all kinds of stuff from marketing programs to coaching that will change my life to Viagra EVERY DAY and quite frankly I’m just getting sick and tired of it. I’ve been unsubscribing left, right and centre and still it comes – in social media, even my school newsletter has marketing messages thrown in.

All in the name of competitive advantage – LOOK AT ME ! We’re the best ! We are the worthiest ! Get this discount, get this offer. Phah !

I bet your customers are feeling the same kind of exhausted.

If you want to see it that way.

you could try something else.

Stop telling your would be customers that you love them and SHOW THEM. Nothing is stronger marketing than word of mouth.

Stop focusing your energy on the sale and put it towards the maintenance of a happy client.

Stop wasting all of that cash on flashy campaigns and support something worthwhile that’s aligned to what you believe – or what your customers believe in.

Stop banging on about your competitors and become friends with them. Build a partnership, form a strategic alliance, start doing a dance together.

I know things are getting scary in the not for profit sector and a lot of people are holding their breath. But just think how much stronger you’ll be with alliances in your pocket, rather than competitors on your back.

Consider seeing your competition in a new light – could you shift slightly to the left, or could they swing a little to the right and enable room for both of you? Do you know what your unique offering is? That thing that you bring to the table? The icing on the cake that you could bring to a partnership?

Remember, it’s all about what you focus on. If you’re anticipating big, hairy competitive forces at your doorstep then you’ll probably be granted that – but what if instead you focused on an abundance of fruitful partnering opportunities… Sound too crazy for words? let me know…

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