On Competition

If there’s one great character flaw that I’ve recognized about myself it’s this: I have a hard time remembering that everyone doesn’t think like me. I’m not implying my way of thinking is best – let’s just get that out in the open. I recognize that I’m just as flawed as anyone else.

But I will say this: In my way of thinking, flat out competition is stupid.

One of the first things I do when I talk to someone is find a common thread with them and then excitedly share with them and talk with them about that common thread. And when it comes to business I can’t begin to fathom not doing the same thing.

We can all accomplish so much if we work together. We can create such amazing things if we get over our fears of failure and start thinking about the future we can create together. There is not a single business out there that is a complete and absolute competitor for any other because every business is different. They are run by different people, they exist in different spaces, they have different clients, they have slightly different products – they all have something that differentiates them from someone else.

And that is where the opportunity for collaboration lies. The ability to differentiate yourselves and leverage each other to create a bigger market, to have a united front, to help your customers find the appropriate product at the appropriate price.

Not everyone agrees – I understand that.

I’m willing to listen to contrasting opinions and arguments. And when I do those things I’m doing them in the spirit of collaboration and cooperation, because we create so much more when we work together than when we tear each other down.

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