Very rarely is an idea new, most of what we do in business or in our careers have already been done before us and will still be done again after us.
It is the unique proposition that we bring to an idea that makes it cutting edge or innovation. Take for example the hosiery market; the idea of women wearing tights itself is not new, however innovative manufacturers are now designing tights the colour of their customers' skin tones - which is innovative.
I have been told by well wishing friends and family not to be so vocal about my business ideas and what I am trying to achieve because 'competitors' can still my idea - Ok ladies, lets break this down, your idea belongs in the open market space, its not only you who can do what you do, it is how you do it that makes a real difference.
For start ups, competition actually is a resource, you can study not only where your competitors are succeeding, you can also study where they are failing and potentially fix that issue in your own products or services.
You can also increase your reach by collaborating with businesses offering similar products and services as you, collaboration gives you access to a new range of end users, it allow you to utilise the core strengths of your competitors while they do the same with you and it also improves your overall brand presence in your industry.
Never lose sight of your unique offering, focus more on the problem you are solving than the solution you are offering, in a world of approximately 7billion people, there is definitely room for you and them.
At work, let go of the unhealthy competitive mindset that stops you from truly making a positive mark in your organisation. As a manager, I know how unattractive an over competitive team member can be, its better to focus again more on what your team is trying to achieve /what problem your team needs to solve than how you can take all the credit at the end of the day.
While completion in the work place can be healthy and progressive, the moment your focus goes off your team goal to your personal gratification it often becomes counter productive.
So this week, don't shy away from networking /collaborating opportunities due to your lack of fear of the competitor.
Work with similar businesses, share with colleagues,learn from and most importantly share what you can.
If Pepsi and Coca-cola can co exist, so can you.