Don’t knock the success of others; learn from it.

Some people astound me! In the last week I have heard four separate stories of business owners knocking the success of others. These owners are jealous of the success of owners doing better than themselves whether that be in turnover, media coverage or business development.

Envy is a destructive emotion. It wastes our time and energy. Instead of being jealous we should look for the lessons we can learn from those who are more successful than we are. What are those owners doing that we are not? Perhaps they are trading different hours, working harder, undertaking marketing campaigns, networking, using the latest technology etc.

One of the stories I heard was of a retailer complaining that the Internet had stolen his business, asked if he was on the Internet his answer was, ‘No, wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole’. How ridiculous! The Internet has opened every business to a global market, it has created multi-millionaires, it has provided our existing customers with a new, more flexible way to do business with us, it has allowed us to communicate more effectively and for less money than traditional marketing. Frankly if a retailer is not going to touch the Internet they don’t deserve to have a business.

Another story was of a PR consultant complaining about the media coverage one business owner is currently enjoying and moaning that this was at the expense of other local business owners. Rubbish! I suspect that other business owners had done nothing to promote their businesses to the media. It isn’t difficult to get our local paper to write about us, there are at least two opportunities in every edition. The journalists look for ‘subjects’ on Twitter most weeks. It wouldn’t take a lot of effort to secure a good few column inches. If I can do it so can anyone else.

Twitter post leads to an article in our local paper

The next time you find yourself listening to the green-eyed monster, or even becoming one,  stop and ask some questions. What can we learn from this other person’s success? Do they have any contacts they would be prepared to share? What are they doing that I could copy or even improve (taking care not to break intellectual property laws)?

Is it time to take a fresh look at your business? Sometimes an outsider can help you see the wood for the trees so if you would like some help click here to send me an email or use the comment button to get in touch. By all accounts 2012 is going to be a challenging year but we have to remember that our customers will still be spending money on things that are important to them, we just have to make sure our offer meets their needs and that we make sure they know about it.

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