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In business, and life, there’s no escaping competition. 

When used as a tool, competition can be productive and even fun. 

Positive competition brings out the best in both sides. When people or teams work to push each other to do their best and hold each other accountable, that is when everyone thrives. 

Negative competition is often at the expense of another person. When someone has the mindset of “in order for me to win, you must fail,” competition can become detrimental. 

During a Q&A session with the Massachusetts Army National Guard, I was asked, “How do you deal with negative competition?”

While you can’t change the way other people act towards you, you can make some mindset shifts that can change the way you deal with negative competition. 

Know that Not Everyone will Like You

No matter what you do or how you act, there will be people who simply do not like you. 

It’s time to get over that. 

No matter where you go, 10-20% of the people in the room won’t like what you do or say. 

There may even be people who dislike you so much that they tell everyone they know. What happens then? 

People will go online, look you up, watch your content, and decide for themselves how they feel about you. If nothing else, haters help to spread your name, introducing more people to your work.

Knowing that people will not like you is freeing. It allows you to be who you are rather than trying to please all. Instead of trying to convert the people who don’t like you, focus on those you can help. 

Flip your Mindset

As someone who thrives off of competition, I don’t care if it is negative or friendly.

But I understand that not everyone feels this way.

The next time you face negative competition, flip your mindset. Can you use the competitor’s remarks as fuel for growth? Or take it as a compliment that others are noticing your work? 

Bottom line is, the only time competition is negative is when you allow it to be. 

Focus on YOU

Finally, if competition or negative remarks are getting to you, bring your attention back to what you can control: you and your business. 

There is no need to follow suit with your competitors if what they are doing isn’t bringing in results. For example, my office does not hang listings in the windows. All the other real estate offices in the area hang up listings so that as people walk by, they see what is for sale. I’m not willing to print out and hang up listings every day, because I know it pulls time away from results-driven tasks. So I don’t. 

If you want to stand out, then you have to do things differently. And if you are doing things differently, there is no need to pay attention to the competitors. Look at your numbers, analyze what is working, watch your growth, and implement strategies that will continue to push you forward year after year. 

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