Are you succumbing to the pressure of competition?

I have met with many business owners who have lost their way in the face of “competition” with other companies. They have taken on negative attitudes toward these businesses and their owners, especially when those businesses outperform them or have come to town and “taken” market share they once dominated.

This negative mindset is not necessary or helpful. If this is you, it’s wise to let it go. Focusing your valuable time on what another company might or might not be doing — and being negative about their success — will ultimately limit yours. This mindset will also decrease the amount of happiness you experience in operating your own business.

In reality, all businesses in a given market sector compete for the loyalty and patronage of a limited number of customers. You won’t increase your reach with customers, though, by allowing yourself to become consumed by the negative thoughts associated with a victim mentality.

Rather than becoming embittered by others doing business in the same sector, choose to become empowered. Control what you can – how you, your team and your company operate on a daily basis — and let the rest go.

Focus on your own business and study how it operates. Evaluate the effectiveness of your leadership, consider the performance of your managers and the entire team, look at the quality of the products or services you offer and discover where you can improve. By taking this action-oriented approach, you will fuel your progress to the next level because your attention will be solidly focused on how you can stand out in the marketplace through becoming the very best company possible.

It might be in your best interest to work with a qualified professional to help you discover where you can make significant improvements and to implement the action steps necessary to become an exceptional company. The organizations I work with have found this to be a powerful approach. Greater clarity can be achieved through a third party who will work alongside you to explore your business from top to bottom with a neutral and objective point of view.

Once you have discovered where you can improve, it’s vital that you and your team work together to swiftly implement the corrective solutions that have been agreed upon. If you want to lead the way in customer satisfaction and loyalty — if you want to stand out in your sector and grow — necessary changes must be made and followed through to completion. Here again, an effective third party can serve as a strong resource in getting the job done and done well.

Every business owner I’ve worked work with across the country has found this self-focused and self-accountable approach not only effective, but also liberating. They have discovered the freedom, empowerment and success made possible by focusing undistracted attention on their operations and undertaking the task of creating a great company.

As you shift your focus away from the “competition” and back to your business, you will quickly notice how much more you’re able to accomplish with the extra mental energy you were previously giving away. And once you have implemented the changes that will take your company to new heights, you will enjoy the increased happiness and success that come with these improvements.

There are only two approaches to viewing marketplace “competition:” You can become negatively focused on others and take your company away from the success you desire to experience, or you can turn your attention toward your own company and potential success. The second option offers a self-disciplined approach that will position you to face the reality of how you can improve your business operations, make effective changes and enjoy the fruits of your powerful efforts. Be wise in your choice here, seek out any professional help you might need and get to work building the best company you can.