In 1964, I was 15 years old. That year a movie came out that expanded my consciousness and made me rethink what was possible. That movie was Fistful of Dollars with Clint Eastwood. I ended up seeing Fistful of Dollars 12 times before it left Jacksonville.
In the regular western, it was always one against one. The hero standing in the middle of the street waiting for the bad guy to draw first. Now comes along Clint Eastwood and it’s one man standing in the middle of the street waiting for four bad guys to draw. I loved it. One against many.
I’ve always loved that theme – one against many – and in business, it has served me well. Because, whenever we try to sell anything, we are going up against everyone else selling the same thing. We are one against many.
The difference in the people who succeed is their attitude. They love being the one against the many, they don’t fear it.
I don’t know if you can change the way you feel about competition. Since, I never had to make that transition, I can’t just say to someone, “Change your attitude – be happy about the competition.” But, at the same time if you can welcome the competition, instead of fearing it, you will find your business experience less stressful and eventually more successful.
I really believe that this is a fundamental reason some people succeed while others fail. Same opportunity, same support, same instruction, but some succeed and others fail. I believe that those who succeed find joy in the competition.
There is a line in the Bhagavad Gita – the Hindu New Testament. Its Khrishna speaking to Arjuna. I won’t go into the whole story, but Arjuana is facing a large battle and is having doubts – he doesn’t want to fight. Khrishna says to him – and I get goosebumps whenever I read this line – “Happy the warrior to whom comes the joy of battle - comes, as now, Glorious and fair, unsought; opening for him a gateway unto Heaven.”
So, I say to all of you, “Happy the business person to whom comes the joy of competition, comes, as now, Glorious and fair, unsought; opening for him a gateway to happiness and prosperity.”
So, I really don’t know if you can change and start to enjoy the competition. But, I do know that if you can you will succeed. Because you will no longer use every little setback as an excuse to quit. You will grow and thrive on those challenges that being in business for yourself bring. I also believe that just fighting the battle is enough to improve your life, make it more meaningful and bring you happiness and success. You don’t have to win every time – just keep trying and never give up.