I’m all for a healthy competition. A race of sorts to get the adrenaline pumping.
I love feeling my heart beating in my chest and my lungs gasping for air.
I love that feeling of accomplishment.
The overall exhaustion of doing my best.
This is why I run on the treadmill.
When it comes to business, I’m in competition with no one.
Not even my fellow jewellery maker friends.
They aren’t my competition – not even if we have similar design styles, and some of us do.
These people are my peers.
I don’t need to be better than them. I don’t need to beat them at a race. There isn’t a race to begin with.
I run my own race. I set my own goals and my business goals have absolutely nothing to do with those around me. The goals I set for myself and for my business are for me, and me alone. They are set so that I can challenge myself, and to see if I can beat last months’ numbers, or hell, even last years’ numbers.
My goals aren’t there so that I may compete with my peers. After all, what I may set for myself, may be too lofty or not big enough for another. And you know what? That’s quite alright.
I have been in this industry for long enough to know what works and what doesn’t. And treating everyone around me like my competition, certainly doesn’t. Comparing myself to another artisan doesn’t. 1) they could have more experience than I. 2) they could have less experience than I. 3) they could be marketing to a completely different market than I.
There are so many other reasons as well.
In my many years in this industry, I have learned one key thing. One thing that keeps my business going.
There is MORE THAN ENOUGH to go around.
Always. Always. Always.
That’s why I can go to a small show (30 vendors) and about half are jewellery artisans, and do very well.
That’s why I can have so many amazing relationships with other jewellery artisans and we don’t go home and plot the others’ demise. (Or at least I don’t! HAHA!)
The reason so many artisans fail, is because they see everyone around them as competition instead of incredible allies. And that’s EXACTLY what another artisan is, and should be to you; an ally. Someone who “gets” what you’re doing and why. Someone who may have a bit more experience than you do, who can offer a quick tip here and there.
The problem is, no one is really sharing their information. They guard it and themselves as they would their prey from other predators. It’s really quite sad.
If we spent more time building each other up, instead of blocking ourselves off, we’d all have extremely successful businesses and lives, and in the end, we’d all be much happier people.