Your Only Real Competition Is Yourself

By @TheMarkDalton

Everyone talks about competition in the market place at some point. Who are we up against, who are we trying to beat, who are we comparing ourselves to and so on. I like to look at things a different way, there is no competition – the only competition I have is myself.

Too Focused On What Others Do

When I was writing articles for a large technology website it was always clear who was identified as the competition. What are they doing? How are they doing it? How many followers do they have? Are we higher than them in the Alexa rankings? Are we better than them? There is nothing wrong with identifying the competition, in fact it is standard practice in pretty much every industry now, but I like to look at it a different way.

I never really cared all that much about the competition and  about how “big” they were or not. I read their articles while I was writing my own and followed them on social media because I liked what they were doing as well as what we were doing, I never felt animosity, I was indifferent in my stance towards them.

I wanted to focus on my thing and work hard on that. At one point when the Alexa rankings swung in our favour there was a lot of excitement as we briefly overtook the competition. Whoop, we did it, we are #1. Really? I didn’t really understand the Alexa rankings all that much at the time and had no idea how they worked. I thought it was something important at the time but turns out not to be the case.

I have gone on to realise and understand that the Alexa rankings don’t mean anything. An outdated metric just like klout scores and anyone worth their salt can tell you it is what you do that matters. Where you “rank” really means nothing, what are you doing and what impact does that have on people? That is what really matters.

My Only Competition Is Me

I have just one competitor and that is myself. When I look at what others are doing in their own space online I really care and I really don’t care. I have helped out marketers and photographers who have reached out to me on social media or email.

I have given lengthy responses and explanations on how I deploy my content strategies and what I have found works and doesn’t work. I don’t withhold secrets in case you might get them and execute and be better at it than me, I don’t care for that kind of an attitude in my approach.

I am open and share any information I have with people who ask me for it because you are not my competition even though you may be doing the exact same thing as me. You can be a social media marketer but you are still not my competition and so I care because I want you to do well and to win too and I really don’t care because if you don’t win then it makes zero difference to me.

What I gauge my success on is not by using metrics but by what I do. If one person opens my email newsletter? Success. If one person takes something from a blog post I write? Success. If one person likes the content I am sharing on Instagram? Success…as it turns out I am doing really well on Instagram recently and lots of people are loving the content there. Thanks for all the Insta love over recent weeks guys.

There Is Enough For All Of Us

Why do I take this approach? Because I firmly believe there is enough for all of us. I don’t believe in building a business or building a website presence by looking to tear down others.

I’m not looking to build the biggest building in town by tearing down others, I am just looking to build my own building an look after it right. I don’t see photographers or marketers as competition because there is enough for all of us.

I also believe that if we really focus on ourselves and focus on what we are doing instead of what others are doing then we can scale even bigger heights than what we could ever really hope to achieve. Looking too heavily at what others are doing in our space I feel limits true productivity because we are looking over our shoulder to see what is happening elsewhere.

There are countless companies in a huge number of industries looking to tear down other buildings. That is the way it is and it won’t change any time soon or possibly ever but it is not something I personally believe in. I never had an interest in showing what an independent website could do in comparison to the site with great backing. I only ever wanted to show what I could do and it worked out pretty well.

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