An underrated joy of being in business is the daily opportunity it offers to strive for and experience breakthroughs in “that best version of ourselves.”
To some this may sound like pop psychology babble, but when you dig into it just a bit you will find within a HUGE KEY to attaining competitive advantage in any business.
It all starts with just going to work every day, and doing so with enthusiasm, optimism, pride, and a striving toward excellence.
I have been blessed in my business life with very hard-working partners, employees, clients, vendors and suppliers.
And the beautiful sum of all of their hard work has made my life easier, richer, more interesting, and team accomplishment filled.
You see, sometimes in our business bubble it is easy to forget that less than 25% of the total U.S. population works in the private sector.
While of course there is nothing wrong with other forms of work – in the public and non-profit arenas, or in being retired – there is just something fundamentally different, hard, and admirable of those “fellow business travelers” that battle everyday to pay the rent, meet payroll, and grow and prosper for-profit entities for the love of money and accomplishment.
Which fundamentally in modern business involves a tough and bare-knuckled ongoing struggle and fight for competitive advantage and victory.
The great Michael Jordan expressed this best when he talked about the differing intensity and drive needed to win a regular season game, versus a playoff game, versus a “close-out” game, versus a championship.
In all cases, a proper, focused direction of talent and the will to win are needed, but at each “higher” step on the victory pyramid the intense degree of these combined factors goes up and up and up.
Competition in business is similar. Starting a business is a challenge, similar in sports to say “making the team.”
Getting to cash flow break even, a seemingly minimal level of performance but one that a very small percentage of businesses ever reach, could be considered like qualifying for the playoffs.
But just like all of those athletes that get to play in, but eventually lose the bigger and more important games, just breaking even in business is very unsatisfying.
No, those next levels of competitive business striving – toward double digit and beyond revenue growth, real and tangible profit, meaningful asset aggregation, and toward brands, cultures, and reputations that stand the test of time…
… well to attain and achieve any or all of these require us to prevail over and beat the untold multitudes of competitors striving for exactly the same thing, many of whom have over us significant advantages of resources, talent, and cost structures.
Sometimes, the realization of the enormity of this challenge – often set off by a business setback like a lost sale, or a lawsuit, or an online flaming, can rise in us feelings of discouragement, futility, and even anger at how the cards seem stacked against us.
But it is in these darker moments when we discover things about ourselves that perhaps we never knew.
The depth of our courage and perseverance.
And of our burning desire to compete and win.
And what exactly is that best version of ourselves.
As professionals. As businesspeople. As human beings.
Striving for and attaining competitive advantage and victory requires and demands nothing less.
And truly, who would want it any other way?
Does Your Business Have REAL Competitive Advantage?
Are you beating the competition in all aspects of your business?
With your marketing? With your culture? With your strategy? With your profits? With your balance sheet?
Well if so, kudos to you and keep on keeping on!
But if you are just losing in one or several of these areas, then you probably need a jolt of ideas, energy, and inspiration.
And we’ll reach out with our thoughts to help you.