By the fireplace, somewhere in Ecuador.
We Westerners are doomed.
From an early age, we learn to compare ourselves. We are told that, in order to get ahead in life, we need to be better than our peers. No one knows why, really.
All we do is graded and assessed based on arbitrary measures.
We begin to withhold important information from the ones around us. Any chance we get, we try to get a leg up on the world. Play and fun give way to competition and stress.
Look at most corporations our culture has bred. From the outside, they seem like soulless money-making machines, only focused on selfish goals and crushing everyone else in their market. It’s not their fault. They don’t know better.
Is there another way?
Yes, and it’s called collaboration.
Why collaboration is better than competition
1. Focus on the Customer
If you can create value and be of service, you got a business.
The more value you can generate, the better your services get, the more value in the form of money will flow back to you. In order to do that, you need to focus on the customers. You need to learn what they need and what makes them happy.
When you focus on competition, you are forced to watch your competitor. If you chose to collaborate, you can focus on the customer and learn what your market really need.
That is a great transition to the next point…
2. Value is not a scarce Resource
Competition only exists due to the outdated belief that money is scarce.
In reality, there is infinite value to be created.
Think about this for a moment. Money is directly correlated to the perceived value of your goods and services. Now, when you are on your own, you don’t know what it is that you don’t know.
By cooperating and openly sharing information, you learn about your businesses blind spots and, in almost no time, can fix them with external expertise.
3. Give it away and more will come back
You have probably heard the old saying: Give it away and more will come back.
Now, in times of the internet, this is truer than ever.
What we hold on to, be it money, information, or great advise, blocks the flow back to us. What we share, is likely to multiply and come back.
Think about online marketing for a second.
The dynamic landscape changes almost weekly. It is impossible to keep up with all the latest trends and information yourself. Why not share what you know with others… and have them share what they know with you?
If you are the guy (or business) who, without fear, shares what he got and lets other people get the better end of the deal, others will start seeing you as a giver and want to be associated with you.
Ultimately, you can always be of better service to your customers when collaborating… and this way you can be sure to never run out of value to create.
Time for a Whiskey now.