We all want to succeed, but sometimes we sabotage ourselves by the way we choose to do it. This is exactly what happens when — in the name of getting ahead — we are antagonistic in business.

Make the Pie Bigger

It might seem counter intuitive, but competition isn’t always about grabbing the biggest share of the pie. More often than not, there are ways to make the pie bigger for everyone.

My co-founder, Burke, told me a great story that applies well here. As a former HOA portfolio manager, he maintained a friendly relationship with another company that frequently competed with him for the same business. As they got to understand the other’s business, they realized that they specialize in different areas. To this day they refer business to each other.

Long-term Benefits

This is an amazing story! Not only have these two competitors gained more business because of their relationship, but they have opened many other doors.

Word quickly gets out to clients, future clients, future employees, vendors, etc. about how you run your business. And since so much of business is about relationships, you can only benefit yourself by collaborating when others might go for the throat.

A Universal Principle

From dealing with competitors, to climbing ladder, and even to marriage — we’re more likely to succeed in the long-run if we find ways to help each other out. Sure, hyper-competitiveness might win us some battles in the short run, but it will always come back to bite us in the end. Even when we do benefit somewhat, we’re not likely to be very happy people.

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