Nothing frustrates me more when you tell someone an idea you have, or a business you’re looking to start, and they reply “Oh, well that’s already been done, they have that already!” So what? How many different beers have you consumed in a lifetime, how many different pairs of socks have you worn, how many different cars have you owned? Jeez!
I mean if every entrepreneur feared competition or creating something that’s been done before, we would all be robots. We’d be wearing the same clothes, driving the same car, eating the same foods, and living in the same houses!
That’s the beauty of the human race; we’re all individuals with different opinions, tastes, experiences, and knowledge. This idiosyncratic knowledge we possess helps us constantly innovate and find different ways to deliver value to our economy.
I’m going to give you reasons why you should ignore that “Negative Nancy” at your family Christmas party telling you not to follow your dreams just because your idea has been done before.
Competition drives growth
Competition is good! It’s what drives us to consistently challenge ourselves and push our limits. It’s actually what makes us great. Michael Jordan wouldn’t be Michael Jordan if he didn’t have Charles Barkley, Clyde Drexler, Gary Payton, John Stockton, and Karl Malone all creeping down his neck to steal his MVPs and championships. He knew others were chasing the same thing, playing the same sport. Jordan was proactive and made sure he constantly developed his game to secure his legacy as one of the greatest to ever play the game.
Who remembers those Mac vs PC commercials? Two tech and software giants going at it, those were great, right? You think that forced Bill Gates or Steve Jobs to call it quits, just because someone else was already in the game? Hell no! That spirit of competition is what helped them create the great products we have today. “Oh, Apple released an iPad? OK, let’s make the Surface, and the game continues.” Both companies realize that competition drives innovation, and, most importantly, people love a choice, people love variety.
People love variety
As mentioned earlier, it’s clear that we all love choices, otherwise we would be identical robots. One trend I noticed in myself is that I’ll watch a travel vlog on “Top 10 things to do in Bali”, and as soon as it’s done, I’ll watch another “Top 10 things to do in Bali” from another account. Or maybe, I’ll watch a video explaining Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That The Poor And Middle Class Do Not!” concept from one YouTuber and then maybe I’ll go search Pinterest to see how other Pinners are explaining it.
The point is people love variety. The more content we have the better. Everyone has different skills, different writing abilities, different ways of filming, so although the content we have may be the same, the delivery is different.
“If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves”
– Thomas Edison
There is no limit to how much content we can create and no industry has a quota of how many businesses can enter. Technology is a beautiful thing, so if you have material, if you have a product or service, there are consumers out there waiting for your style, your ideas. So, go out and do it! Always remember, there is a buyer for any product.
We’re all thieves, in a way
Nothing is original. Musicians, artists, athletes, and poets all create their products based off someone else’s work that inspired them. No work is the first to be done of its kind, and everything comes from something.
Imitation is key, here. DeMar DeRozan has said that the majority of his game is built from emulating Kobe Bryant. That didn’t stop him from getting a $139 million contract last year.
I mean, we all do it, right? We emulate and copy from the people that we admire. The way we write, the music we sing, the words we speak, and the sports we play are mirror images of the influences we have and the leaders we study.
“Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.”
– T.S. Eliot
As I mentioned earlier, people love variety, so when we copy off other’s work, it’s different because we’re different. Transform someone else’s work or ideas into your own, alter the delivery, and make it great.
Proof it will work
I mean, this says it all, right? You’re looking to enter an industry where others have succeeded. Isn’t that enough proof for you to do it? Someone else has done it and succeeded, so why can’t you? Everyone admires insurance, so when someone is telling you don’t do this because it has already been done, just simply reply with, “Thanks, now I know it’s possible”.
Insurance, here, is key. People often make decisions and choices by mitigating risk. The less risk, the better. This is simply known as the risk/benefit analysis. I’m sure the first person to skydive shaking in their boots, but after they landed, there was a little less risk involved for the second, the third, and the thousandth person to do it.
Acknowledge the fact that competition exists. Don’t fear competition, but embrace it. Believe in your ability to deliver something different and to tackle competition. Have the confidence to know that this plan is feasible. Ignore the threat of competition and use it as motivation.
Liked this post? We’d really appreciate it if you’d share it with a friend, relative, or fellow colleague and have them join the retreat too!
Share your thoughts on this post below, Cubicle Retreat wants to hear from you!