Monitoring The Competition

Have I ever mentioned I’m a trained marketer by profession?

One of the main marketing-principles, that became ingrained, was to continuously monitor the competition.

Now competition can be a strong word. Maybe monitoring the other players in the market is more appropriate?

The idea for this post came to me on a journey back from Warwick Castle.

Warwick Castle

We’d had a wonderfully sunny day filled with interesting historical facts and medieval fun. In my head, during that 45 minutes as a passenger, I sketched out a new business idea.

Now, my old, professional, marketing-trained self would instinctively first check out the competition.

My new, freewheeling, possibly naive self – believes there isn’t any competition.

Not that I am superior to the other players in the market. Rather, I now feel, there is a place for everyone.

I don’t want to dominate, I just want my place. Therefore I need not concern myself with what everyone else is doing.

Monitoring the competition is all rather time-consuming. As well as overwhelming, daunting and ultimately intimidating.

For what I have discovered is, one of the most effective ways to stop me proceeding with something is to feel totally inferior. As though my efforts will be so insignificant in comparison to others that it isΒ futile to continue. That I have nothing to offer.

What relevance does this have to everyday life?

This principle, I believe, also relates to life in general.

Above I’ve stated that competition is rather a strong description. Although in today’s society I do wonder if competition may be, in some circumstances, the right word.

I recently finished the book – Death By Suburb by Dave.L.Goetz. On page 42 he writes:

“Parenting is hard these days; perhaps it truly is, as the saying goes, today’s most competitive adult sport.”

We all have our place.

It may not be the same place as our neighbours, our family, or even our closest friends. There is no need for us to all lead our lives in the same way. There is no need for us all to agree.

“It is the difference of opinion that makes horse races” – Mark Twain.

By watching what everyone else is doing, do we avoid what we truly want to do ourselves?

Jewuish Proverb

Sit back grab a coffee and check out thisΒ Zen Habits post that is business related, but the principles are applied to general life. Β I loved the ‘key lessons’ summarised at the end…

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Live and Learn-Toss and Turn May 27, 2013, 1:58 pm

    A good idea that we need to remind ourselves of. I find that women spend a lot more time comparing themselves to others that men. Have you seen the same thing?

    • simplybeingmum May 27, 2013, 6:54 pm

      I’ve not particularly noticed it being prevalent in women as such, but can imagine in certain circles this may be the case. Of course as women we probably spend more time with women generally, so maybe we are privy to more of their thoughts. Possibly women are more overtly competitive/comparing themselves as they tend to share their thoughts easily with others. Individuals differ, and some are more competitive than others and this tends to cross the genders. In my experience comparisons are taking place all the time. Men, women, children, companies, writers etc…
      Whoever it is, there’s a Baz Luhrmann lyric that sums it up for me;
      “The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself”*
      *Mary Schmich – original quote*

  • Live and Learn-Toss and Turn May 27, 2013, 1:58 pm

    A good idea that we need to remind ourselves of. I find that women spend a lot more time comparing themselves to others that men. Have you seen the same thing?

    • simplybeingmum May 27, 2013, 6:54 pm

      I’ve not particularly noticed it being prevalent in women as such, but can imagine in certain circles this may be the case. Of course as women we probably spend more time with women generally, so maybe we are privy to more of their thoughts. Possibly women are more overtly competitive/comparing themselves as they tend to share their thoughts easily with others. Individuals differ, and some are more competitive than others and this tends to cross the genders. In my experience comparisons are taking place all the time. Men, women, children, companies, writers etc…
      Whoever it is, there’s a Baz Luhrmann lyric that sums it up for me;
      “The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself”*
      *Mary Schmich – original quote*

  • Rachel May 27, 2013, 2:36 pm

    Great Zen Habits post. Timely for me: need to reboot my blog and my blogging habit. Took an unexpected two week computer break while in Vancouver.

    I have to ask, what’s your business idea??

    • simplybeingmum May 27, 2013, 6:57 pm

      Hi Rachel glad to have you back in the UK – even if it isn’t the mainland πŸ˜‰ Hope you had a great time back home?
      As for the business idea, maybe I’ll get to tell you in person very soon? Expect a ping.

  • Rachel May 27, 2013, 2:36 pm

    Great Zen Habits post. Timely for me: need to reboot my blog and my blogging habit. Took an unexpected two week computer break while in Vancouver.

    I have to ask, what’s your business idea??

    • simplybeingmum May 27, 2013, 6:57 pm

      Hi Rachel glad to have you back in the UK – even if it isn’t the mainland πŸ˜‰ Hope you had a great time back home?
      As for the business idea, maybe I’ll get to tell you in person very soon? Expect a ping.

  • Jo H. May 29, 2013, 4:07 am

    I think in the business world, one MUST keep an eye on the competition – but it is still possible to believe in ourselves while we keep that eye open.

    I could be wrong; the crystal ball is murky today πŸ™‚

    • simplybeingmum June 3, 2013, 10:45 am

      Hi Jo… I know you are right really πŸ˜‰ It’s a little naive to not keep an eye out on the competition in the business world. My plans to start something up will be scuppered if I do this though. Maybe once in the swing I’ll pay more attention, when I don’t feel so intimidated!

  • Jo H. May 29, 2013, 4:07 am

    I think in the business world, one MUST keep an eye on the competition – but it is still possible to believe in ourselves while we keep that eye open.

    I could be wrong; the crystal ball is murky today πŸ™‚

    • simplybeingmum June 3, 2013, 10:45 am

      Hi Jo… I know you are right really πŸ˜‰ It’s a little naive to not keep an eye out on the competition in the business world. My plans to start something up will be scuppered if I do this though. Maybe once in the swing I’ll pay more attention, when I don’t feel so intimidated!

  • Apple May 30, 2013, 12:52 pm

    To me, comparing ourselves to others resonates with the dangers of perfectionism. We can never be exactly like our peers, exactly the same way we can never be perfect. Once we understand that and are contented with who we are and what we achieve, that, I suppose, is when we can say we are happy. I’m certainly not there yet, but at times have glimpses of that kind of happiness. πŸ™‚

    • simplybeingmum June 3, 2013, 10:49 am

      I too have glimpses Laura, and they are becoming more and more frequent. Often I say ‘I don’t care what they think’ not in an aggressive, arrogant or negative way but as a comment to communicate that I believe in ‘live and let live’. My aim is that others do not care what I think either – it’s their life and truly I hope they lead it as they wish. Very deep eh? Now I’m typing it I know I think this of small businesses also. As above, we all have our place. Hope it’s as sunny over there today!

  • Apple May 30, 2013, 12:52 pm

    To me, comparing ourselves to others resonates with the dangers of perfectionism. We can never be exactly like our peers, exactly the same way we can never be perfect. Once we understand that and are contented with who we are and what we achieve, that, I suppose, is when we can say we are happy. I’m certainly not there yet, but at times have glimpses of that kind of happiness. πŸ™‚

    • simplybeingmum June 3, 2013, 10:49 am

      I too have glimpses Laura, and they are becoming more and more frequent. Often I say ‘I don’t care what they think’ not in an aggressive, arrogant or negative way but as a comment to communicate that I believe in ‘live and let live’. My aim is that others do not care what I think either – it’s their life and truly I hope they lead it as they wish. Very deep eh? Now I’m typing it I know I think this of small businesses also. As above, we all have our place. Hope it’s as sunny over there today!

  • Apple June 6, 2013, 12:24 pm

    “My aim is that others do not care what I think either…” I would love that too! πŸ™‚ but to be ‘deep’ again: we cannot change anyone but ourselves. πŸ™‚

  • Apple June 6, 2013, 12:24 pm

    “My aim is that others do not care what I think either…” I would love that too! πŸ™‚ but to be ‘deep’ again: we cannot change anyone but ourselves. πŸ™‚

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