I recently spoke with one of my readers about his small business, when she all of a sudden declared she felt like a business failure. I was somewhat surprised by her statement as I thought she had established a nice little business, was making enough money and had a good work/life balance. She explained that someone had started in her line of business and his business had grown faster and she felt she could not compete with this business, she still worked form home while this competitor had already opened the third shop in the the state. She almost declared herself a failure. I asked her what her intention had been for her business when she started.
She began to explain, that she wanted to work from home since she wanted to be home for her child and still have an income and not lose touch with the work she loved. It was always clear to her that she could only spend about 10 – 20 hours of work per week, but that would give her the income and the professional life she needed, while getting her work/life balance right.
As she was telling me about her business, she began to lighten up – as she realized she had done exactly what she set out to do – far from a failure she was a success. She had made the same mistake we all make from time to time, she had compared herself to a business that clearly had different goals. Sometimes our ego gets the better of us or in cases like this the worst of us, which is why I believe it important to write your goals down on a piece of paper and look at it each week, to help you to focus and realign your actions with your goals.
Any business is only a failure when it is literately failing, like running out of money failing, if that is not the case you are a successful business. Looking at the competition is all about seeing what is happening in the market and learning from the comparison how to achieve your vision and goals, not to limit yourself to what your competition is doing.
The vision for your business should go beyond comparing yourself to your competition, comparing yourself will often limit your vision. — ST.