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Networking 101: Knowing The Competition

by CL Reed

Haters! How often have you heard this term? I believe people that use this term spend more time worrying about what people think and who’s following and watching them then they are investing that time in moving their ball up field.

You Can’t Go Forward Looking In The Rear View Mirror

Runners never look back over their shoulder when running. Why? Because it will cost them precious seconds and may very well cost them the race if they do. Take a page out of their book. Don’t take a second thought to consider what your competition is doing; that is unless of course you are keeping your finger on the pulse of your industry and trying to stay two steps ahead. In which case, then yes, keep an eye on the competition. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Take what they do and do it better. Make an alliance with your competition. In the immortal words from the movie the Godfather, “Keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer.”

Turn a Hater Into A Collaborator

Imagine being the number one florist in town on Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day. Business is so great on those holidays that you run out of inventory. Now imagine that there is a smaller, boutique florist in your community that is not doing so well because everyone is coming down the street to you and his delivery truck broke down. Had you previously nurtured a collaboration with the lesser known florist, you both would be sitting pretty right about now. Your delivery driver could be delivering flowers for both of you and the competition’s flowers could be making mothers and lovers smile and both stores lots of money.

The next time you want to waste your time and energy focusing on the paranoid notion of Haters; refocus that energy into creating alliances, allegiances…collaborations.

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