Competition is inevitable in the business world. It can be frustrating to see others in your field advancing faster than you, becoming more successful. But whenever we compare ourselves to others, we become unhappy and this can have harmful effects on other aspects in our life and business.
It’s important to be aware of the people out there who are catering to a similar market. But comparing yourself to them can be a harmful habit. When you’re running a marathon, if you take those few seconds to look around you and see how far ahead or behind you are, it can ultimately hurt your place in the race by slowing you down. In the same way, if you spend your time and energy worrying about the competition, it will cost you emotionally and mentally, which will affect your work.
Focus on your own priorities. Maybe you’re starting your own business from the ground up and you see others around you who have more privileges. Maybe their parents are funding their ambitions, or they come from more prestigious academia than you. Their privileges will give them the leg up, but you will come out from your successes with so much more self- satisfaction from being the underdog and having to work a hundred times harder.
The CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, grew up in the Brooklyn projects, a low income housing complex. Paying his college loans off working odd jobs, he took a job at Hammarplast where he encountered Starbucks, which at the time was a quaint small coffee shop with only a few stores in Seattle. Intrigued by the passion behind the small business, he managed to persuade the founders to hire him, and to cut the story short, his innovations led to one of the largest coffee chains in the world.
Schultz came from humble beginnings but it’s by his durability, hard work, and innovation that he was able to overcome poverty and become a multi millionaire. His success story serves as inspiration for all the underdogs and a reminder to keep your eye on the prize, work hard, and be innovative. Believe in yourself, and you will succeed.