Like birds that flock to a single pile of seeds, bypassing any other food they may pass along the way, we sometimes ignore the important things in business. We are so focused on what the competition is doing and chasing the same customer that we miss new opportunities that may be right in front of us.
Human nature is such that most of us model our behaviour on others. The way we learn as children is to model our behaviour on our parents, and as we grow older we look for role models and adopt their behaviour.
Business Mindset Type 1: The scarcity mindset
So it’s natural that in business we look at what others are doing and copy them. We see someone else, perhaps a competitor doing something that appears to be successful, and instantly we think, “I need to do that too. I must chase the same market, the same customer, offer the same product, match or better the price or adopt the same gimmicks.”
Psychologically, what’s behind this is that we tend to adopt a scarcity mindset. We believe there is only so much to go around and we must fight to get our share. So we fight over the same things.
Business Mindset Type 2 :The abundance mindset
American educator and coach Bob Proctor once said, “Amateurs compete – professionals create.” Instead of being concerned with what the competition is doing, either trying to match them or scare them off, it is far better to try something the competition isn’t doing.
While the scarcity mindset says there is only so much to go around, the abundance mindset says that there is more than enough to go around, but we have to look for it in places we are not currently searching.
We only consciously recognise a small percentage of stimuli we are presented with on a daily basis. Unfortunately, what we notice is typically the same thing every day. That’s because we consciously recognise whatever supports our values and beliefs – what we see becomes evidence of our beliefs.
Business Mindset Type 3 :Directing your focus away from the competition
If your belief is that there is only so much to go around and your focus is on the competition, everything you see is evidence of that and chances are you will miss opportunities to do something the competition is not.
Forget the competition. Let them do what they will do. If there really was only so much to go around, the world would never have progressed past the dark ages. Everything we enjoy today is a result of someone creating something others weren’t doing.
This article represents the views of the author only and not those of American Express.
Hans Wrang is a coach, consultant, presenter and author at The Positive Lane. He has more than 15 years experience in performance coaching, the last five of which have been teaching people how to improve their results and experience of life by applying the principles of Positive Psychology. Hans runs regular seminars and workshops, contributes to blogs and other publications and appears regularly on TV and radio programs in Australia and overseas.