Thursday, May 30, 2013

Competition

Let's talk about competition.

via

Twice this week I have discussed this subject with people in my field and both times I have come out of the conversation more sure than before; I am not a competitive person, unless its with myself.

I have never played sports, I don't have a desire to "win", I once forfeited a paddle tennis game (in which we were finalists in a tournament) because I was cold. Its just not me to compete against other people. But competing against myself? That's an entirely different story. If I set a goal for myself and don't meet it, I will be so disappointed. If I make a silly mistake, I will think about it for weeks. But I just don't ever feel like I'm up against anyone other than myself. Sometimes I wish I was just a litttttttttle bit competitive.

This conversation of competition came up in regards to interior design. Do I feel competitive with other people in the same industry? The answer is a definitive NO. I have carved out a comfortable niche for myself within the interior design field, one that suits my taste and my personality. I don't feel like someone else would change that. However, I notice that other people feel quite a bit of competition, they feel protective of their business. And you know what? They should. In the world of interior design, there is very little barrier to entry. You can start a business with little to no cost, and hope that you get clients. And you don't necessarily have to have any schooling either. So what is stopping anyone who reads this blog or talks to me about design? Nothing I guess. Does that worry me? No, it really doesn't. 

There have been some amazing people who have gone out on a limb for me and offered life saving (and business saving) advice. And to them, I will be forever grateful. They could have viewed me as competition, but they knew better. There is nothing I love more than shooting the shit with people in my industry. I learn so much from them, and hope they can take something away from me as well.

So...

Blogging creates a lot of competition. Who has more readers? More followers? More traffic? More comments? Its really silly. But also, in a lot of ways, totally natural.

So, I want to ask you. Are you competitive in your job? Your blog? Your life in general? Do you think it helps drive you or do you wish there was less of it?

34 comments:

  1. I agree with you! i hate hate hate competition! it's the worst. I avoid any game that will be too competitive.

    aboutprettythings.com

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  2. Hmm... all good questions. I'm not rally competitive, but I think maybe I should be a bit more when it comes to work. That said, I think a healthy attitude always puts you on top. X

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  3. I totally agree with you! I feel like I am almost non competitive to a fault. Unless it has to do with myself -- I can beat myself up about the silliest things

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  4. Am I competitive - too much so! But mostly with myself. I want to be the best, so i push myself at work and at play. I don't feel competitive in the blog world, perhaps sometimes envious would describe it better (like dang she got the shoes i wanted! or man, I wish i looked that good in that dress!)

    I don't like the word no. If something is broke I can and will fix it. Just bc I am a girl doesn't mean i can't and wont do it, or die trying! like hauling home a 8 foot x-mas tree by myself 2 yrs ago, having 3 men stare as i hoisted it atop the car! If I am trying out for something, you can sure bet I am putting 300% into it! But that's all in my own head.

    I want friends, internet friends etc to succeed. To be happy! I want them to find love like i have etc!

    XOXO-T

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  5. oh man I fight a daily battle with myself. Feel ya there. So fabulous you've found some great mentors. Wish I had a few more!

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  6. I'm constantly having to tell myself not to be so competitive. I always want to be the best and have the best, and that is completely unrealistic and just plain silly. I need to be happy with my 7 blog followers, my 1150 sq ft house, my small PR & Social Media job, and my little closet. I long to be more care free like you!

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  7. love this post.. i definitely think about it a lot. i think people's businesses and personal lives might be a little happier, more robust if we could share ideas and experiences more than we fight to be the "best."

    if you truly have a unique voice/style/offering than you really DON'T have competition out there because people come to you because they like what YOU do.
    anyway, i definitely struggle with competing against myself, but i try really hard to be open and collaborative in my professional and blogging worlds.

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  8. I'm in law school- everything is supposed to be a competition. But the 'competition,' ends up playing to your strengths, I think. If you're involved in certain organizations, for certain types of law, then you are competitive maybe only within your group. If you're in the top of the class, then you're competitive with the other 10-20 people up there with you. The legal field is an actual competition: who prepared better, who knows better, who got the better piece of evidence, the better research, the better information? But I think that only really comes out of people's personalities if they let it, or if they want it ot.

    I also don't find the blogging world competitive as much as I find it intertwined. There's different levels of bloggers, different types of blogs, different niches in the blog world too.

    I think people do things for enjoyment (mostly) and if they don't then, competitive streaks are probably more prone to those people.

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  9. you also forfeited an intense rock paper scissors competition when you were the finalist... still mad at you for that.

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  10. I find this post really refreshing, so thank you!

    As someone who is just going back to school for interior design after leaving a career as a trader on wall street (and an all-american athlete before that)... I am battling my natural tendencies to be incredibly competitive towards my peers. I am actively working on embracing and supporting those around me and not viewing them as "the competition" - but let me tell you, it's not easy!

    I love hearing your views on fellow designers - hopefully my past will slowly shed as I grow in my new career!

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  11. I am an asshole to myself, all the time. Like, I shit talk myself. It's not good.

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  12. I'm the same way, not a competitive bone in my body when it comes to others, but when it comes to myself - watch out. Glad you've found people you can commiserate with, I've found local designers here to be super competitive.

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  13. I always loved the quote "a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle"
    I am not a competitive person at ALL, i totally feel you. I get jealous from time to time, but would much rather cheer people on than compete with them.

    Raiana

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  14. I have been thinking about this so much since we chatted! Your attitude is so refreshing and really does inspire me to maintain a non-competitive attitude as I get started on my own!

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  15. I am a very competitive person. I wasn't always that way though. I had a childhood friend that was always making things a competition. It rubbed off but thankfully not too much.

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  16. I completely agree with you. I'm not competitive against others (often), but I am very critical of my success or things that I've done. I guess that can either be a good motivator or something that I should work into being more positive.

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  17. kikis comment above is awesome. lets compete on who can get tanner this summer. deal? k, thanks.

    http://itsthelittlethingsblog.blogspot.com

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  18. The world is becoming increasingly competitive as we no longer have to rely on each other for basic necessities and live in communities that are cooperative. But I think as humans it is in our best interest to be more cooperative than competitive and so I may feel the pull of competition I always try to express cooperation.

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  19. Interesting post for the end of the week, Alex! I can really only speak to blogging - and I don't find it all that competitive. I think that bloggers want to help bloggers (when they can and have the time). Every single blog is so unique and personal and different, that they shouldn't be competitive. One blogger's success should be viewed as a all blogger's success b/c ultimately it opens more doors for everyone. Don't you think?

    And you my dear keep rocking on in the interior field!! xoxo

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  21. I definitely agree, I am at competition with myself all of the time. Great post!

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  22. I work in Investment Banking and sometimes I think the competition brings out the really nasty aspects of people. I tend to just try and be the best that I can be in my job and sometimes it's other peoples meanness that truly brings out the worst in me. It's really hard to not feel screwed over when people sabotage and do everything in their power to make you look bad. I try not to be that person, but I can't say that I've always succeeded. Sometimes it gets the best of even the best people. I think it's really inspiring to be someone who doesn't feel threatened by their peers etc. So good job!

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  23. I completely love you for posting this!! When I first started blogging I was really concerned with my stats, how many followers I had, etc. But after awhile I realized how silly that was and that what really kept me blogging was simply my love for design. So it became more of a creative outlet and a place to share my thoughts/get opinions, etc. I worked for a designer as her assistant for a few months before going out on my own and she was crazzzzy competitive and protective. It was exhausting. I knew I never wanted to be like that. I am sure the Chicago market is good, and the Houston one is, too! There is more than enough work to go around. But I am like you- I can be hard on myself when I don't meet my own expectations.


    XOXO- you are fabulous and I love seeing your latest work!

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  24. great topic, and always on the brain. I am only competitive with myself as well - but I love to win. it's an aspect that is necessary for my job (sales). but i have found that you can put your own unique style in 'approach'. for instance, mine is relationship building, soft selling, consultative, strategic, and visionary. others are aggressive, shove it down your throat, disengenous etc.
    the reality, people can be tough to deal with, and underneath they know it, in a services business it is important to have a process that is low friction, map out everything, every possibility, every snag in the plan that could come up - so that someone doesn't say down the line - you didn't tell me that. it will set people apart, and competition becomes a non-issue, because your style, process, and inspiration become the focus. i could talk for days about this. i have no don't that it can feel like you 'should' be more competitive, but i feel that you are exactly where you 'should' be, because it's your comfort level and makes you you...

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Thank you so much for your comment, and I'm VERY sorry for the word verification, I had to do it, too much spam!

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