I’m constantly learning new lessons when it comes to life and business.
Even on Labor Day when I’m supposed to be relaxing….
So there I was this morning jumping on my Peloton bike (If you don’t know what a Peloton bike is look it up, they are awesome) to get in my cardio workout. I love this machine! You can just enjoy a ride by yourself or get competitive.
I choose the competitive route….those who know me are saying “we figured that Dennis”
When you get on Peloton and start your class you have a feature called the Leaderboard in which you can see all the riders that are currently in the class. It’s called the “here now” button. It’s a way to compete against riders in other parts of the world in real time.
It’s actually really interesting when you start a ride at the exact same time as another rider, like I did today…
In the Peloton system you have a user name, mine is “The80schild”. Yes, I grew up the 80s and yes I unapologetically love 80s music!
Underneath the user name you can see the rider details. Mine says M 50s Colorado. (I said I GREW UP in the 80s, not that I was BORN in the 80s!)
The rider that started at the same time as me was a M 20s Salt Lake City.
So if I want to be all competitive today I get to race against somebody 25 years younger than I and riding at an altitude 1,000 feet lower.
Guess where my mind immediately went? Yep, I’m picturing a 25 year old, 6 foot tall, ripped, athletic, cycling machine of a man that’s in such good shape he doesn’t even sweat for the first 20 minutes of the ride.
The ride started and sure enough, he rockets out to a lead over me. Screw it, maybe I should pick on somebody my own size. Is there somebody in their 40s on this ride?
That’s where my mind ALMOST went…
Have you ever noticed we tend to always have a picture in our mind of our competition? And have you noticed that picture is always some something bigger, badder, and stronger than us?
In my Peloton class today it was a 25 year old cycling behemoth in which I stood ZERO chance of defeating.
In the business world we also picture our competition the same way. We build them up and we don’t really know them.
The competition has more revenue that we do.
They have better employees.
They have a bigger advertising budget
They are more profitable.
Their vehicles are better looking.
Their company name is better.
I can’t hope to compete so I’ll just use that as an excuse to not try.
Let me tell you something straight up, this thinking is complete and utter BULLSHIT! Just like me on my Peloton ride this morning, I built up my competition and I actually had no clue whatsoever who that 20ish year old in the class really was.
I’ve seen small contractors that are a mess and small contractors that have their stuff together.
I’ve seen large contractors that are a mess and large contractors are a well oiled machine.
You might ‘think” you know your competition but I’m telling you right now you don’t. You might think Big Cheese Heating and Cooling is this dominate company in your town and the only hope is to get the crumbs of business they leave behind.
More than likely Big Cheese Heating and Cooling has the same employee problems, profitability concerns, supplier issues and homeowner complaints as you do.
You need to stop looking at your competition and start working on YOUR business. You can control that. You need to mind your own business, not your competitors business.
Now, back to my Peloton ride……
After my mind briefly pictured the 20ish year old as some dominate force of nature I decided to just do my thing. I pushed myself as I normally do and just focused on my ride, not his ride.
After the 30 minute ride I checked the leaderboard. M 20s Salt Lake City finished in 19th place out of 93 riders.
I finished in 8th place, well ahead of my “unbeatable” opponent.
If you’re a contractor that thinks your business can’t compete with the big boys in your town you’re wrong.
Stop thinking your competition is all that, they probably aren’t.