Thankful for My Competition

I come from a spiritual tradition that teaches you to love your enemies.  The problem I always had with understanding this concept was the explanations I got as a boy.  The reason I was given was that loving your enemies will turn them toward liking you and being less enemies and more friends.  That may be right, but I would like to suggest another reason to love your enemies.  You are what you are because your “enemies”, or competitors keep you on your toes.

Reason #1: Our enemies make us better at what we do.

Our enemies force improvements in what we do constantly. Our enemies keep us focused on where they are moving and keep us vigilant.

Would Home Depot be as strong if Lowe’s wasn’t competing with them? Not at all. They both sell to people who want to do their own home improvements and the competition not only keeps prices lower, it enhances their respective service.

Reason #2: Your competition is a blessing in disguise.

A competitor once lambasted me years ago and when it was over, I thought he had actually done me a huge favor.  He had forced me to make changes in the way I did business.  I didn’t realize how relaxed I had become and had made critical errors in judgment.  They were errors that could have been damaging to me for years to come.  But he caught them and revealed them.

Sure, at the time I was really angry and hurt.  I thought this was the worst crisis I had ever faced.  It wasn’t.  It was a blessing or favor in disguise.

Reason #3: Your Enemies Won’t Let up.

Your enemies aren’t going away.  They smell blood in the water and they are circling around in the hope there will be a “fresh kill.”  They are waiting for you to make a slip or mistake.  They are watching your every move all the time.

Good.  Good for you and good for your customers.  And good for the sake of competition.

CNN has to stay on target because Fox News has become the Number 1 cable news network.   As a result, CNN is constantly changing their programming and lineup.  They can’t let up because Fox News won’t let up.  Now both are kept on target because the internet has become the most popular source for news today.

Where would you be without your closest competitors?  They are the stones that sharpen your knife blade.  They rub you and hone your skills to be razor sharp.

Love them.  But beware of showing them your weaknesses.  Remember, they are watching…


1 Response to “Thankful for My Competition”

  1. 1 Christine Walters June 9, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Yesterday, I was pondering this same issue. My thought had been that they, “our enemies” our blessings in disguise. “They” are our teachers, here to teach us a valuable lesson of persistence, tenacity, determination.

    There is this thougth, I’ve heard it many times, in many different circles, that we even choose this lesson and choose them as our teachers. This begs the questions WHY! WHY WOULD WE DO SUCH A FOOL THING!

    My thought yesterday was that, perhaps, just perhaps we are in fact their teacher, and we are setting the example. That our life, well lived and complete is lesson for our student “enemy mine”.

    It was just a thought.

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