I thought I knew what I was doing when I started my business.
After all, I had been part of a sales team that was responsible for 1.2 million in sales. I thought I knew what it took to build an empire on my own, to become a blossoming entrepreneur and I thought I knew what it took to eliminate competition. Applying the experience I had earned to become a leader in my industry would be easy to apply to this new playing field, a piece of cake, right?
What I didn't know was that those rules I had learned to squash, dominate, annihilate and beat the competition, were going to destroy my business as an entrepreneur.
My first mistake was stalking everyone online and doing exactly what they were doing, and in the process pouring all of my resources: mental, physical and financial into what everyone else was doing and trying to be the expert of it all.
I would make mine bigger, shinier and louder and that would lead me to the success that I dreamed of, right?
This was the game that I was coached to play in corporate, but it did not fly in the online entrepreneurial business world.
The energy of competition that I was so used to didn't work in this new landscape and I had to adjust quickly. I was bleeding time, money and energy. Working 16 hour days, 7 days a week to keep up with everyone else had brought me down to rock bottom.
30 years old, savings drained, over $100K in debt and absolutely nothing to show for it. Here I was actually calling my mother to help me with the rent, so I wouldn't end up homeless. The reality was harsh.
And then I had my come to Jesus moment. I was never going to get anywhere close to my dreams if I kept trying to out-do others. That meant not buying into every new program, package and DIY training. What I needed was to focus on myself and trust that I could make my own success, forge my own path.
That changed my entire perspective. I got a mentor and instead of watching what everyone else was doing, I focused on being the best version of ME, better with every day that passed. And guess what? The energy of competition melted away. I didn't have to compare myself any longer, I didn't have to buy every course under the sun to keep up with the latest business fads. I just got very specific and clear on my goals and how I was going to get there. As a result, clients and money started rolling in.
A funny thing happened while I was on my way to success, I realized that no one would ever be able to do EXACTLY what I do and vice-versa. That idea was a game-changer. I no longer had to be afraid of anyone in my industry and in-fact, making them allies was going to grow my network a thousand fold now that I was clear on WHO I was in business.
So that's exactly what I did, I started connecting and networking with ALL of the women I had once been scared to consider myself on the same level with. Now I have a virtual rolodex of names and faces who can ADD to my business and my clients' experiences. And none of that would have been possible had I not stopped competing with myself and started collaborating with the incredible entrepreneurs around me.
4 Simple Ways to To Turn Competition Wrongs into Collaboration Rights
1 - Be your own biggest fan. I know it may sound a little cliche but if you aren't SURE that what you offer adds value, then take the steps to get there. Hire the right coach, take the right course, make sure you can feel like the go-to-expert in your niche. Once you can rah-rah zisboombah yourself, everyone else will follow suit.
2 - Be their biggest fan. Let your fellow lady bosses know, authentically when you really like what they are doing, or congratulate them on a campaign well played. Compliments go a long way in earning respect.
3 - Offer the olive branch first. If you feel the tension amongst fellow lady bosses, show your integrity and be the first to extend a hand. Offer something special, sharing one of their wins with your community, including them in your weekly round-up or sharing them in your social feed. Nothing says I am successful and I thrive in collaboration like promoting another woman in business.
4 - Remember the more the merrier. If you are ever stuck in a rut and need to expand your network look to your network of lady bosses. There is no faster way to grow your inner circle than collaborating on periscope, hosting a co-branded webinar or podcast, and finding ways to help one another leverage your greatest strengths. Trusting your own abilities to shine through and believing that sharing more gives more will change the way your industry feels.
Stephanie Nickolich AKA "The Millionista Mentor" and founder of Success Society is a doubt crushing, confidence creating, cash catapulting success strategist, that teaches female coaches how to shift their money mindsets, capitalize on their greatest strengths and create solid strategies for success. www.collaborichconference.com + www.styleyoursuccess.com