Love your competitors

Have you ever had the experience of having a panic attack as your response to discovering a new competitor? You feel like "oh shit, I'm doomed, I'm sure they're much better than us, we can't compete, we're going to be fucked".

I certainly know that feeling, and I've seen it in others. Sometimes it feels like it would be so much better if the competitors didn't exist, and we could have the market to ourselves.

Of course, that's not how the world works, and it turns out that's a good thing.

Did you know that the word "competitor" comes from the latin root "competere" which means "to strive together". It's a friendly thing, where we come together to strive to each be better together. We support each other, we challenge each other to be as great as we can be. Competition is healthy.

I learned this from Dov Seidman, author of the book How, who spoke at the Conscious Capitalism conference a few weeks ago.

Conscious Capitalism as a movement was started by John Mackey, the founder and CEO (now Co-CEO) of Whole Foods, a $18 billion company. Whole Foods' fiercest competitor through the years was always Trader Joe's. And guess who's now the CEO of the Conscious Capitalism? That's right. It's 17-year Trader Joe's President Doug Rauch. Just because they've been fierce competitors doesn't mean they can't be good friends.

Next time you feel upset or frightened of a competitor, realize that they're there to support your growth, to challenge you to be better tomorrow than you are today. It's not about beating them. It's about unleashing even more of your potential.

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