Marie Forleo introduction


I'm Marie

You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.

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Before we dive into today’s topic, I’ve got some BIG news to share.

In a few days, I’m moving to Los Angeles! Now before my east coasters say “that sh*t cray”, it is a temporary move.

Like, I-can’t-stand-the-cold-weather-so-I’m-spending-the-next-three-months-in-Cali kind of move. I’m sooo down for palm trees, beach cruisers and getting real at the Whole Foods parking lot.

But for now, it’s time for today’s vid. Do you obsess about your competition?

Ever find that you can’t stop thinking about someone you feel is “so much further ahead” than you? Knowing how to deal with competition in your industry is vital for success.

Get this wrong and you’ll alienate yourself from strategic partnerships, look like a jack ass and waste a ton of time and energy nursing your comparison hangover. (watch the vid to learn what that means :))

Get this right, and you’ll not only become the preeminent force in your market, but you’ll also have industry colleagues who rally to support you.

Click play to make sure you know how to deal with competition the right way.

In the comments below, tell me if you’ve ever had a “comparison hangover” and your strategy for dealing with competition in your market.

Bonus points if you share how you can implement the idea of zooming out and innovating the whole industry to instantly step above the competition.

After over 4,000 survey responses to last week’s Business Planning Tool post, one of the most suggested ideas to help MarieTV reach a bigger audience was to ask YOU to share it with friends.

So if you found this business advice useful, please share it with 2 or more people!

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  1. Ooh, I have definitely had the comparison hangover. I love the idea of looking at your colleagues and industry, making a list of everything that you think could be better, and doing that. That’s a great way to channel that hater/side-eye energy into something useful! When I feel myself wanting to compare myself to someone else, I remind myself that I probably have some hw or task I am actually putting off doing while I peruse my colleagues’ websites. If you head back to working on your own business every time the jealousy monster starts whispering to you, you’ll probably save yourself a good 2-3 hours a week of what would otherwise be wasted, frustration-inducing time. Great video as always, Marie! And great call on the winter move to LA! I’m considering a summer move to LA to escape the Austin heat!

    • Couldn’t agree more with you Kaneisha!! Focusing on your business whenever you start to feel green with envy is the BEST way to get where you want to be! Love it!

    • marie

      I agree on that 2-3 hrs per week Kaneisha! Keep up the great work.

      • oh yah, that’s the perfect way to re-direct that energy!

  2. This was a really great video…and something that I could’ve asked myself! I’m in the midst of launching a new business in a highly competitive and saturated industry – and even before I started, I knew that there was going to be a lot of competition, but beyond that, there were a lot of “rules” in my industry that I wanted to break.

    What you said really reiterated the idea that understanding the entire scope of your industry (and I would suggest, other industries as well) is so crucial to breaking beyond the confines of just looking at one person as your competitor. Because what works for them might not necessarily work for you. (And besides – who knows where they’ll be 5 years down the road, right?)

    Even though I’m not “successful” (yet), I believe in my approach in looking broader to expand my perceptions of what my business can be and what I want to do with it. My business is a fashion line, which technically has been done in a very traditional way across the board when it comes to my particular market segment. But I’ve been studying not just fashion, but design, business, marketing, media, sustainability, health, personal development, etc. – and they all play some sort of role in defining my business and separating it from the rest of the pack. Not because I’m forcing it, but because I’m naturally curious and it’s a part of me, and thus my business should reflect that.

    I want my business to be relevant to the world beyond than just pretty clothes, the same way your business is relevant not just to marketing but to female entrepreneurship. Thanks again – always look forward to your videos every Tuesday!

    • marie

      Right on Annching. Keep us posted on your fashion line!

    • Yeah, seriously keep us posted. It looks great! I love the blog.

  3. In the fitness industry there too many competitors to worry about. I prefer keeping my sanity instead.:-) After all most “competitors” I’ve talked to so far are super friendly. As you said, they are colleagues!

  4. Once again you nailed it Marie!

    Yes, if you look hard enough you will ALWAYS find someone who is doing the same thing as you, someone who is doing it better and then you get dizzy … it’s like “ooh shiny, ooh pretty, sparkly, bunnies …aww etc”

    In order to create you need to STOP looking at what everyone else is doing. Look at YOU. Make what you are doing YOURS – that is something no one can replicate.

    I’m in marketing, that’s seriously competitive – everyone seems to be doing it these days BUT rather than look at competition I look at opportunity – because what I do is uniquely mine I have a lot of “colleagues” in the same industry – yes, we all do marketing but their clients AREN’T mine and vice versa.

  5. Have definitely felt like that, and still sometimes feel the competitor hangover.
    With your competition I think its important to not only to focus on how your business stands out from your competitors, but also/instead how you can cooperate with your competitors to create more value for your customers. You will probably find that two heads (and sources of finance) are better than one! For example, in the video you mentioned that the competitor hosted a potluck – why not contact them and suggest a new kind of get together that are hosted and promoted by you both? You’ll have more financial power to create something bigger and more promotional power to attract more customers and visitors than you could have done alone.

  6. In my industry, I find everyone is offering their products and services in pretty much the same way as everyone else. That bores me and i’m doing my best to step away from that although some services will remain the same.

    No doubt as I help more and more people, my understanding of what they need will increase and I will be able to offer an even better more unique service!


    ps. Luuurve your top/dress Marie!

    • Denise, that’s something that I see, as well. It’s a big reason why I LOVE everything Marie does…because she steps outside the industry and sees what’s missing, what her current/potential customers need but aren’t getting, etc. It’s simple and brilliant.

  7. I have no problems with the competition. There really is no one doing exactly what I do in this country, but there are similar businesses abroad, but we all do things a little bit differently.

    One thing I’m going to do with this tip, is ask my followers what they believe is wrong with the industry as a whole. That might give me some ideas for what to change.

  8. This was always a BIG one for me until my mentor told me – they are your TEACHERS, not TAKERS… if you believe that the universe is ABUNDANT, there is enough for everyone.
    And be grateful to them for being a power of example – like you are Marie!

    Nina Vucetic

    • That advice is so good and very true! There really is enough work/clients for everyone.

  9. i have a “day job” and I’m also a travel blogger, who is a mom. There is some pettiness among mom bloggers and travel bloggers, but ultimately most people are very supportive of each other. and we get to be besties on press trips.

  10. Another awesome A to a Q Marie!

    In our business, we like to do things different to our competitors by speaking our own language, using ‘real tawk’ and being ourselves. We like to innovate and are always thinking of new ways to market ourselves and look for those out of the box ideas.
    I think we are doing really well in our industry, and are slowly pulling away from our direct competitors.

    Thanks for the confirmation Marie.

    Btw, your hair looks super long and luscious!

  11. I have SO been there. In fact, I even wrote a blog post about how I struggled with comparing myself to everyone and their mama, including YOU, Marie!

    I think Kaneisha hit the nail on the head when she encouraged us to work on our own businesses whenever we start to feel jealous!

    These days, I visit my colleagues pages to see how I can promote them rather than beat myself up over what I’m not doing that they’re doing. The result has been me forging great relationships as well as my business expanding b/c of the tips we cross-share with each other.

    Great reminders, Marie!!!


    • Rachel thanks for being so transparent. I think that should be a t-shirt (hint, hint Marie ; ) “I’m not Marie Forleo, But I’m Still Rich, Happy & Hot”

      Marie can’t help that she’s so damn awesome and neither can our competitors. I like to think of mine as ‘alternatives’ instead of competition.

      Honestly there are 10s of thousands of “alternatives” to our own services, when you are your business sometimes the only thing that separates you and someone else who can provide your client a similar result is you. That’s why it’s important to be yourself, it’s your major competitive advantage, and the only one no one else can copy.

      I love that you’re looking for ways to promote the people you love instead of beating yourself up and copying. Great advice. Go girl!

  12. hi there, I love your video tips. I really don’t believe in ‘competition’ as I think that even if thousands of people were running the same type of business, each individual still puts their own unique stamp on what they are doing. We always attract the clients that resonate with our energy at that particular time and there is more than enough for everyone. I think you are so right in saying just focus on making your own business the best it can be…that’s all we can ever control after all… I like to connect with and get to know everyone that is working in the same area as me (promoting self-love) as I believe we all have the same intention in our hearts.
    thanks Mxxx

  13. Morning to everyone from Mattapoisett

    Ahhh, this is such a great video for me. You always seem to know what I need when Marie.

    As someone who is less than a year into the business of helping young women-preneurs who work from home manage their time while being their own boss and take care of their health while not sabotaging personal relationships and their sanity (–I can easily get caught up in focusing on what everyone else is doing. And yes, I do find myself going down the slope every once in awhile.

    But I know that not only is it taking me away from focusing on growing my own business, but it feeds negative talk in my head which is also not productive.

    Just recently, I have dealt with this by removing myself from a number of newsletter lists. I have remained a subscriber to a select few that actually give me inspiration and ideas. But for all the lists that I was on that weren’t helpful and just proved a distraction to what I am doing, they don’t come into my inbox any longer.

    It’s quite liberating!

    Enjoy LA. Feel free to send some heat and sunshine to us on the East Coast!

    Johanna xo

  14. Ohhhhhh, mama! Thank you so much for calling “me” out on this! The comparison monster in my closet prevented me from getting out of the gates. Now that I’m rolling, I beat him back daily. Great video. I think I really can do things differently! (or at least give it a kick-ass Girl Scout effort 🙂 )

    xox- Brandi (aka. The Sassy Mama)

  15. This is an awesome post – again, as always.

    I spoke about creating a pure SWOT analysis of your business when it comes to analyzing yourself and your competitors. I wrote about this in one of my articles about Evander Holyfield and how he sized up his competition to defeat Mike Tyson when he was an up and coming boxer in the industry.

    “She does not have to be your evil arch nemesis” – Another truth.

    How do I deal with my competitors? I do my best to befriend some of the competition because I don’t really see it as such. I see everyone as mostly in their own lane, especially if they stay true to themselves as you’ve already said. So if they’re in an industry I’m in, I try to befriend them and put them in my Mastermind Group, which has been going strong for… I want to say about 6 months.

    If they’re a “poor” competitor – poor site quality, poor content etc. . . then I don’t bother and just use that to strengthen my advantage and create honest, ethical and quality content. Who says, “By the way pal, we’re competition but you suck so let me help you out?”

  16. stephanie*

    Great and inspiring as always, Marie! As your thoughts as you as your style.

    I see, that when I start comparing myself to others, it is a sign of tiredness.
    So I do things, that I like and take my attention to a juicy place.
    Or I just do MY stuff, basically the ONLY stuff, that can fulfill myself (nobody else’s success really can…)
    – or I really just go to sleep (interestingly enough, comparison time often starts in the evening on the computer…) –

    When I am where I am and do what I do comparison thoughts very rarely speak up. And when they do they can be a little kick in the ass, to do something.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Big hug from Switzerland,

    Being collegues always helps – when they do something, I’d like to know, I just ask how they do it and already we are in a discussion…Just starting the conversation often kills the comparison MONSTA! :o)

    • marie

      Hey Stephanie – I really like that insight that if you slip in to comparing yourself to others, it’s a sign of tiredness!

    • OMG, Stephanie! I hadn’t considered the tiredness connection until you mentioned it. When I’m tired is also when I tend to “get into trouble” (that is, find ways to torture myself or fritter away valuable time). I should just change gears, pick up something juicy and do that instead. Rock on!

  17. Kay

    Marie, this advice is really on point. The absolute best thing to do when entering a new industry is to turn it upside down! Look for the gaps, the things that just don’t make sense and what your customers are dying for. This will really set you apart and differentiate what you have to offer.

    I’m just getting started in the health coaching industry and my differentiating factor is that I am a firm believer in holistic means to fight disease, overwhelm and life chaos. My target market (women suffering from Lupus or other autoimmune diseases) have been fed the “there is no cure, take these meds for the rest of your life” line, so I am already coming in going against the grain. I plan to use the fact that I am a Lupus survivor and can appreciate all of the aspects of this illness (mental, physical, emotional) as my unique positioning. The point is, no one will have my unique perspective, thus setting me apart from more general health practitioners. I plan to capitalize on that and blaze a trail in this arena.

  18. Terrific answer Marie and great perspective on the subject. I think running your own race and befriending people in your own field is THE answer. It has certainly worked in my community (art licensing, fabric design) In fact fabric designers are some of the most generous people I know! I do however see artists slip into comparison and critique mode way too much. I have really had to stop that way of thinking and ask myself how it makes me “feel” to join in or do it myself. It makes me feel like poo! So it is a conscious decision not to do it.

  19. I love looking at it from the perspective of “how would I like to see it done” and do it instead of what I don’t like and wish was different or how my competitors are doing it so I’ve got to do it like them to be good.

    How do I deal? Partner. Bring them into things I’m doing. Not always but I have done it several times.

    The Pleasure Nutritionist

  20. Good for you! Have a FANTASTIC winter.

  21. Marie, this was so beautiful it made me cry!!!

  22. This video spoke to me and was exactly what I needed to hear when I needed to hear it. I am in the process of dealing with comparison hangover. I just started The Artist’s Way so that I can go inward and unleash my creativity to ask myself some of those big questions. Thanks, Marie!

  23. Great job Marie.
    You really are quite charming how you present your great info.

  24. Marie – Love this one! Getting that abundance mentality is awesome and the distinction between competitor and colleague hits the nail on the head! Won’t it be great when all business owners focus on improving their industry and not competing for business 🙂

  25. Leonora

    NO COMPETITION. Be authentic, be integrous and LOVE what you do, Be OUTSTANDING at it.. the best ever = Zero competition. I never doubted having any competition from day 1. I left the corporate world and started an aesthetic business with ZERO clientele. I knew my skills were bar none, I knew the service was outstanding, Each client got to spend time one on one with me and my personality is sparkling, vivacious a Hell of a fun time, Positive and encouraging and compassionate to listen to YOU and what YOU need. I offered the complete enchilada so it was one stop get it all done – makeup, waxing, electrolysis, facials, skin care, pedicure, manicure, massage, all done by me. Everything done to perfection EVERY time. Without fail. The price was very reasonable, the quality was not even comparable in the highest standard of organic products and the results were 100% amazing every time! Zero competition. I was that confident you would leave thrilled and had a great time with me. I went from zero to 18 hour days fully booked in such a short time… no joke. CONFIDENCE and KNOWING your stuff and LOVING what you do is key. And being amazing at it, blows all competition aside. I could no longer work those 18 hours a day and providing a one on one service so I sold my biz. The person who bought it.. was out of business in a few short months.. they did not have to work up the clientele I did they were given a goldmine. But they did not perform or have the charisma and energy and PASSION as I did. That is the key. The quality of service was lacking.. there was no passion or personality involved or feeling a sense of creative art with every service performed. That blows away the competition. If you are the BEST at what you do, there is no competition. Only a waiting list. TRUE!

    Now an online business is different than a personal one on one business. But YOU are still running it and I think this day and age we need to re-connect again, we need to build a relationship.. a lasting LOYAL customer base.. That comes with your PASSION and desire to be BRILLIANT at whatever you are offering.. the BEST and having CONFIDENCE you are the best at whatever the heck it is you are doing.

    If you Offer the best most amazing thing possible you will get the best most amazing quality customers.. it is all energy right? What you put out you get returned to you a boomerang.. he he.

    What level of mastery are you offering? wishy washy mediocre or AMAZING blow your mind service / product? .. Just like Marie Forleo right? he he.

    I am looking for a new biz to put all my PASSION into.. I don’t know what it is just yet but when I do.. I will be confident that competition is not existing for me. I am not arrogant. I am truthful that what I am PASSIONATE about is definitely known to others and felt and seen and magneticly draws the right people to you for exactly what you have to offer. Whatever I am offering or servicing will be the BOMB! The SHIZZLE, like WOW! AWESOME.. and it will bring joy and something of VALUE to others.. memorable and needed, and definitely something you want more and more of….not just a gadget to make money. Money should NEVER be the motivator.. ONLY your PASSION and your amazing gift of skill or whatever it is YOU have to give and share with others.

    There are MILLIONS out there who want YOUR personal PASSION filled “ULTIMATE” creation.. what are you offering? That my friend does not allow for competition… competition does not exist at that level of creative mastery.. yes? Do not fear creating something extraordinary and so fantastic because we are all craving extraordinary and fantastic… truly.

    I am passionate about creating a robot maid but I don’t have the engineering skills just the creative idea on how it would look and operate.

    I am passionate about creating a body & hair blowdryer that is mounted on the wall or even in the shower so we don’t need to use towels anymore. Something that blows you dry in 3 minutes both hair and body. But is energy efficient.

    If there are any robotic specialists or engineers out there please contact me.

    PEACE and PASSION to all.

    • Gian Cabuenos

      Wow. What you wrote sounds like the front page to your new ‘business’/adventure! I dont even know what it is but you got me ENERGIZED, excited and MOTIVATED to act! Sign me up! Lets go!!

      Haha. You got me commenting now, i didnt know how else to reach you!
      I better go ahead and ‘Land this plane’ before i realize i have no idea where Ive flown to– thats when I start to edit what I just wrote, try to make sense of it, and/or delete it..

      I just LOVE to see people who are passionate and so I offer my appreciation and praise.

      And the writing.. Sometimes i get on those moments and BLAM! I write a whole Manifesto!

      But to sit down and try to write? Uhm.. For me its like trying to get a noodle to go by pushing on it.

      Anyways Thanks again.

  26. Marie~ Spot On!

    Great Video! It is so funny that you are talking about the very same subject a few of my colleagues and I were discussing yesterday. It got HOT up in there. LOL!

    Here are my thoughts:

    1. Competition is Good! Embrace it..

    2. If you spend a lot of time on examining what other people are doing, you will start to look like them…… Do you really want to be and look like everyone else? Believe me you don’t want that.

    3. Sometimes you have to really ask yourself if this other business or person is really competition? Sometimes it could be a favorable ally that you can partner with and create some amazing things! Hmmmm…

    4. Last remember the famous and my favorite quote:
    ” Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken”

    Keep it coming Marie! We need more of this!

    Nikki Curry

  27. Marie, i found myself comparing with the wrong competitor and obsessing. Till I felt so bad I didn’t want to work. I take in rescue fiber animals and handprocess the fiber. I cannot compete with mill processed fiber and I cannot compete with mill spun yarn. Hand processing takes much more time and effort. So to get over it I when I realized what I was doing and that I couldn’t compete with machine processed products. I took those products off the table completely. My customer is one who will appreciate hand processed fibers.

  28. As a writer, I’ve definitely experienced the comparison hangover. On the fiction side of things, it’s easy to look at other writers who have short stories or novels published and wonder why they get all the luck. On the copywriting/business side of writing, it’s just as easy to fall into that trap when you find other writers’ websites or portfolios. No two career paths are the same, yet it takes almost no effort to dip into those ugly comparisons.

    BUT, I try to always turn those thoughts around. It’s much healthier to be happy for others when they find success– besides, what you put out is what you get back. So I strive to feel good for other writers when their careers are going well… and it reminds me to focus on and appreciate my accomplishments, my clients, and my work.

    I think if you’re focused too much on other people and whether or not they’re “competition,” you’re acting and thinking out of fear. That’s never a good place to be!

  29. I have recently launched a specialty shortbread business. There happens to be another specialty shortbread company in the area that is well established and has marketed their product to many of the same markets that would be a good fit for our product. In the last couple of weeks, I have run into “well, we carry so-and-so” and have left with my head hung low.

    Your post today has shoved me right over to that other path. The one where, rather than feeling defeated, I empower myself and my business by looking at the differences in our businesses and how both products can live on the shelf together and then create a marketing strategy around that.

    Funny how things manifest when you need them the most!

    ~ Leigh

    PS ~ enjoy the sunshine!

  30. Hey Marie! I really dig it when you refer to competitors as colleagues because really, we’re all in this game together. There has to be something that the other people in a particular industry AREN’T doing that we can identify, shape, mold, and turn into something fantastic to offer our clients. What I’ve learned, especially in my self evolution is that there can be 1,000 people speaking on the same subject but only a few of them will really resonate with me and that is key. It’s about being yourself, having confidence, and the belief in your product or service and you. With all of those ingredients, you’re bound to attract the people who will understand and want your business!

  31. Wow, what fantastic and inspiring responses from all of you ladies. Great video Marie, really hit the spot. Like Annching I too am in the fashion industry, launched the website last year, and then the real work started!! It was all the things I didn’t know, plus how I thought things would be whilst in my dream-state, you know the one, you launch the website and are sold out within days.

    The competition and how they were doing it, getting PR, hitting sales targets, getting on the first page of Google you name it, they were all doing it. Then I came across this expression that I had written down years ago from my self-development/spirtual classes ‘if you go around comparing yourself to others, you will always be left wanting – be your authentic self’. Which is also why I love the expression Marie of ‘make my business different a full expression of me’ now that I can relate to. It is so easy to get bogged down with how great our competition is doing that we forget that hey, if they can do it so can we, yes it make take a little more time than we anticipated but then how much more will you have grown as a result??

    I changed hosting companies in December and without going into the saga all the contents got lost and it meant having to start the website again from scratch, so I went with fresh copy the works, plus the upgrades which meant that I now have a website that is functioning much better and quicker than before plus it looks great, I’m one of those everything happens for a reason type of gals. I wish each and every one of you great success for 2012 and beyond, we’ve already done the hardest task and that’s having the belief to set up a business in the first place. Have a great mini move Marie, send some of that sunshine over here. PS: How do I put my picture up here?

  32. As always….very clear instructions on how to keep moving towards your success. Sweet!
    21+ years in a retail optical business and I don’t offer eye exams. But I’ve always made good contacts with local optometrists so I can recommend my clients to them for exams. Yes, the Doc.’s sell eyewear also but my selection of frames and my unbeatable personal service and expertise keep my loyal clients returning to purchase.
    Anything you fear, embrace. And turn it into your friend.
    It will reward you.
    Welcome to the west coast Marie!
    If you make it down towards Laguna Beach or Dana Point for a day, I’d love to buy you lunch!
    …”California dreamin’ on such a winter’s day…” Uhm….75 degrees by noon today! 🙂

  33. This is on the top of my list for 2012 – stop looking at everyone else and focus on what I am doing. Week 2 of the new year and already I have my clarity back. Great advice as always Marie

  34. Been there done that! Now that I’m in year two of my business I feel less anxious and more confident about myself when it comes to competition. The biggest thing I’ve done is gotten very clear on my branding, personality and how I’m unique. Along with using it for marketing I use it to remind myself that I belong in the market too.
    Always love your Q&A Tuesday’s Marie. Thanks!!

  35. yep. That’s me. In full on comparison hangover mode today. I used it to think poorly of my efforts and that I will never “get there”. reminds me a bit of Junior High mind set. I want to be in the “popular”crowd and see them all connected and I am on the outside looking in. No. Not true. they’ve just been around longer so they know each other and are creating things together because of that connection. It’s just a matter of time. I’m heading in the right direction. I LOVE what you said about looking at what doesn’t feel right for me and changing it. working on it as we speak. Thank you Marie!

  36. Good one! I set a good example for my competitors.

  37. hey hey hey, I loved the topic and the video, usually we keep focusing in our fear, and this leads us to the “dark side” and makes us loose track.
    The best way of avoiding it, is to positivise, look to the good side, and make yourself take the different paths….do it yourself, do it your way and it’ll make the difference.
    Even in our personnal life, sometimes we get to those phases of doubts, and start having that kind of hangover, I usually ask myself, does this deserve my time and energy ? do I have better things to use that for….? YES AND YES 😉 A friend of mine and great professor from DeRose Method once told me: We should give to the things the importance that they have in our life. which means….we know what is important for us, we go for it, now if we know that something is not giving us the happiness and success, why should we give it time and energy 😀
    Keep it up girls, and Marie, please come to Lisbon 😀 hahahaha you have a bunch of fans here 😉

  38. What about looking at your competitors with the eyes of your prospects? It could give us a clue of what we are missing, and also it would make us realize that there are certain things we do REALLY well. : )

    Thanks Marie as always, for another super video!!

    Un abrazo Marie

  39. Oh man, I have experienced the comparison hangover so many times!
    In the five years of my business, I have ended up being in the same shows as my local jeweller “colleagues” and with time, have discovered that they are amazing and lovely ladies. I have referred clients to my colleagues when they come to me for custom work that doesn’t quite fit what I do, and I have found that was the key to having my colleagues really see me as a) a peer and b) a colleague, not a competitor and c) awesome and not a meany out to steal their clients.

    The thing I continue to struggle with, though, is my national and international “colleagues” who are making very similar work, but outsourced in cheaper metals and therefore selling their pieces at a much lower price point.

    I wouldn’t normally compare myself to someone working with silver plated jewellery but in one instance, I couldn’t join a designer jewellery site because a woman making work like that was already on it and therefore our work was “too similar” to both be showcased. Now she follows me on twitter, and I can’t help feeling like she’s just going to steal my designs! Do I see her as a colleague or do I focus my attention on the industry of solid sterling silver? Stumped!

  40. Race horses wear blinders to keep their focus on the track, and it’s the perfect metaphor for how to deal with competition. Focus, but feel the presence of those around you. Keep pace guided by your own Inner Jockey and don’t waste time swinging your crop at the other riders. Between races, you gather with your fellows at the stable to share stories.

  41. (Danged trigger finger!) I am aware of my competition and am friendly. When one seems to get “ahead” by having something I want, I use them as an example of what’s possible to more constructively fuel my own fire.

  42. Great video. When I was just starting out, the competition seemed intimidating and kept me sidetracked and thinking in limitation. But then I really got the idea that there is an unlimited supply. Now, I look at the competition as educators of the market. If there are other people teaching what I teach, they are broadening the base for everyone, opening the minds of singles to another way of dating v. the crappy stuff (a/k/a rules) that has been out there for years….and in this market, my girls buy everything, everyone’s products. So now, my competitors are my partners and we all make each other happy while promoting each other. The right high-end clients will be drawn to me or them because we all deliver the goods in our unique way and personality. Over 50% of the US population is single, they are all different and I can’t serve them all myself. The idea that someone can steal your business is a mindset of lack and you will get what you focus on. Be happy when your competition succeeds b/c their success is your success too. (I find it so interested that dating and business have so much in common!)

  43. Hi Marie – I’m an illustrator in the baby product / stationery biz with a very niche market. The way I dealt with competition was to approach them, in honesty and interest and create a network of like minded business ladies! We now have a collective that hosts Montreal’s first Baby Show and meet regularly for brainstorms, meetings, critiques, or wine drinking.

    In my opinion, no need to get backs up. Everybody has something unique to offer.

    Keep on being awesome!

  44. I have found lots of like-minded photographers to share business ideas with, both locally and internationally. I always say that if I don’t get a particular job I’m asked about, I want one of my friends to get the work. So I love to send referrals when I’m booked, and my friends do the same. Sharing frustrations and ideas about the market is also super helpful.

  45. Just did this! I have a “master plan” for my business, using the theories behind the book “Double Double”. Someone recently moved into my region with one of my smaller ideas, and has started workin’ it. Rather than be frustrated that my idea had been stolen, I invited her to meet for coffee, and we strategized together about how much we had in common and how we could work together to form a powerful community of people that offer valuable services–it felt great! Definitely a positive approach that will lead to more contacts that matter, and allow me to continue focusing on the bigger ideas.

  46. Luckily, one of my “competitors” treated me like a colleague early on. She set a great example for me, and now we are colleagues who send referrals to each other. Though we provide a similar service to a similar target audience, we so in our own style and at different price points. It’s good to be besties with the “competition!”

  47. Hi Marie! This is SO GREAT! Thanks so much! I have made a habit of connecting with any other branders out there! There isn’t many of us and thankfully, we are all SO different but I still deal with those times when I am playing the compare/compare game and not focusing on my true work. I try to keep focusing on what I hate about branding — It can be either too cuddly or too technical and it’s often SO PASSIVE and I am doing everything I can to make it better with my own business. I find that the more “me” I can be in my business, the better everything turns out!

  48. This past year I joined a network marketing and education company, as I spent the year trying to live up to the big hitters ideals I lost myself. In turn, my business never found the success that my so-called mentors promised and I became totally burned out. Now, I focus on what I love doing and present to others in a way that I would like information delivered to my inbox. I feel more authentic and proud then ever. Be yourself and the right people will find you!

  49. Hi Marie,
    Great video! When I first began my marketing and public relations agency for the arts, I was really concerned with what other agencies had that I didn’t have, and I was always trying to live up to that comparison. But then I got smart and I realized (thanks to Seth Godin) that I was overlooking my own strengths as a boutique (AKA “small”) agency.

    The other guys are larger, but I’m faster. The other guys have more capital, but I have less to lose. These things stick with me every day and give me the courage I need to take risks that will grow the business. And my most recent accomplishment has been going out on a limb to actually meet these “competitors”, who I now call “colleagues”, to arrange meetings to see how we can work together to create new business and execute larger projects.

    I’ve really come to admire and respect my colleagues, rather than fear and obsess about them. I see myself as an asset to them too, and in that way, we can both learn a lot from each other!

  50. Hi Marie-
    LOVE THIS.. as a yoga teacher i had a really hard time trying to fit myself into the “yoga mold” when i first started teaching.. when i did my teacher training audition i played music i like to hear when i practice which happens to be upbeat and on the hip hop side- i cracked jokes and made the class fun.. my teacher promptly told me i was never going to be taken seriously and i had to be more like other teachers- “more serious.” well that’s just not me.. thank god i realized that if i was going to make it as a yoga teacher in my town, which is OVERLOADED with teachers, then i had to stand out.. luckily i decided to teach the way i want to be taught and it has worked for me so far.
    The other thing that i feel really helped me banish thoughts of “competition” with other yoga teachers is constantly wishing them all well in my meditation- when you believe there is enough to go around, and don’t have an “attachment” to getting every customer, then the universe naturally brings you want you need because there is no resistance..
    … and in the end, “different strokes, for different folks,” it’s what makes the world go ’round!

  51. Riikka

    Hi Marie and welcome to cali!! I struggle with this issue for sure. Recently I have consciously made a choice to send this person (that I am obsessed about) a healing. I thank them for being an example of someone who is doing such an amazing work and is passionate about the same things that I am and by being a little further ahead of me this person is reminding me of my own intention and a possibility/potential. So I am learning to utilize this energy for my advantage instead of going into my old place of “I’m not good enough”. Self-love and gratitude always kick ass! Thanks for the timely post. Lots of love to you. Riikka

  52. You just got into my head. I “used” to suffer from this and it delayed my business tremendously. Now I am focusing on me an owning my stuff. I feel a lot more at ease and my business has improved 10 fold.

  53. There’s a reverse side to this too.. and that’s when you are the target of that envy.. Take a look at how you might be shutting yourself down by struggling to hold things too tight..
    I’ve had entrepreneur friends refuse to answer a direct question, like who did you use for that? Or neglect to acknowledge an accomplishment. Or to refuse to “like” a facebook page.
    It’s hard to not feel that you could lose something by sharing, but the reverse is actually true. You gain by sharing, your universe expands by giving, and admiring, and cheering the “competition” on.. Its a tough one for all of us, but its like a muscle that needs to be exercised.
    It gets easier, and the benefits are worth it.

    • Holli…

      Thank you for stating this point so well. I hosted a tele-summit last fall with so called competitors, and it was the best feeling knowing that I was doing something to empower and inspire others who are just like us.

      Now all I want to do is to continue to empower and inspire others to shine their light and knock it out of the park!

      Big love,

      • Dianne,
        I LOVE that.. What an empowering way to move through life..I’m sure it was a win win win for all!

        Big love back at cha!!

  54. Thanks as always, Marie. Provocative and helpful vid. I want to welcome you to Los Angeles! I’m in Topanga Canyon, so I thrill to the crashing surf, coyotes and palm trees every day. Not to mention the golden sun.

    2012 is all about stepping up my business. I’m a published author, with two books under my belt w/major NY publishers. To support my fiction/non-fiction writing habit, I began teaching in ’95. Then I started my own business 7 years ago. Writers On Fire. We offer luxury writing retreats in foreign locations incl. St. Tropez, and locally here in Los Angeles; as well as private coaching. This year’s going to be about all kinds of things, incl. more retreats, adding products — from video courses and expert interviews, digital books — to online salons and live events. Why? Because that’s what people want.

    When I started the business, I was sick of working in classrooms. Why not write in a chateau in France? Sip some wine v. snagging soda from a vending machine? Other people also launched writing retreats in other locations. At first this bugged me. I admit I obsessed. I’m a recovering Love Junkie after all! Then, I realized it was a compliment.

    Now, years later — I put into practice what I teach: learn what’s going on outside your business. What are the big shifts happening in the world? What do people want in terms of storytelling and publishing, today? How does this apply to your offerings? How can you anticipate where things are moving, so you can be of better service?

    Embracing business, studying online entrepreneurs v. other literary writers and teachers mired in the sandtrap of academia, has reinvigorated Writers On Fire and my outlook. By looking at the bigger picture of a world without the old skool gatekeepers (publishers, agents, editors), I can understand my perfect client better. You’re spot on to focus on the stepping back, and looking at the big picture — in your industry, and beyond — so you can offer something that customers want that hasn’t been addressed yet.

    Your Rich, Happy & Hot Live! event was a turning point for me, Marie. Thank you. Hope to see you on the beach or in the Whole Foods Parking Lot!

  55. P.S. I wonder if anyone ever did this. When I wasn’t obsessing, I used to overgive to some competitors. Help them with ideas, connections, clients while neglecting focus and time on my own business. Now I’ve learned to balance more. To focus on my own business first, then to forge partnerships with others. To join forces when it made good business sense. So here’s to voicing that angle, and overcoming that behavior.

    • Rachel – I absolutely love the concept of giving to your competitors. I am just starting out in my business and this is definitely something I will do – thank you!

      – Razwana

  56. I have dealt with both sides of this issue since I started designing jewelry. When I was a young pup, I would look up to the “famous” designers and admire their work and feel a sense of envy (maybe not because I was jealous but because I wanted to be famous like them). When my business started to grow, at times, I would get into the I’m not good enough cycle because even though I had significantly grown my business and was killing it, there was always someone more successful. After giving up my first business, scaling back and working with privates clients these days, there are probably a lot of companies and designers who are killing it. However, what I realized is that I am killing it too, just in a different way. And both ways can be financially lucrative.

    These days I believe there is really enough to go around. I agree with Holli, I don’t understand why people are so hush hush about their resources. I have always made it a practice to share my knowledge and I am actually coaching/mentoring a few young designers. It’s all about the cycle of Karma anyway. What goes around comes around….it’s all just energy.

    Good luck with the LA move Marie


  57. Woo-hoo for moving to L.A. this winter!!! Are you planning any events/workshops while you are here? Love the “comparison hangover” term 🙂 Analyze (your competitor), focus on fine-tuning your offerings, differentiate yourself and create partnerships – brilliant!

  58. This is a bit on the woo-woo side of things, but it’s been amazing for me. There’s a chapter in Gabby Bernstein’s book “Spirit Junkie” that talks about how we try to make everyone “special” and that causes separation. She has a great meditation exercise in that chapter that I do whenever I feel a little extra “separate” or “competition-focused” and it really brings me back to where I need to be.

    There is enough for all of us, things happen exactly the way they should, and it’s good to remember we’re all the same at the end of the day. 🙂

    • brigitte weber

      thank you that fits with my spirit bent too! gr8advice!!it is about my supposed inadequacies & separation for me:) Gratitude Brigitte

    • Nathalie,
      I love this. “We are all the same at the end of the day” is a great little mantra.
      Thanks for sharing.

  59. Nathalie, I love that recommendation.. Been meaning to order Gabby’s new book anyway. Thank you.

  60. MS

    I love what you had to say about providing a different offering. In fact, I did that. I offer something so out of my ‘colleague’s’ range, that it is completely different. The new challenge is, my colleague still treats me like a competitor. We both teach dance. She has been known to steal my choreographies, and to make false claims (that she has expertise that she doesn’t for example). On the one hand, I feel pretty good about my own business, I fill my dance classes with about 75% repeat clientele, and have grown at a sustainable pace. However, I do end up in the comparison hangover – she seems to have grown much faster than I. I cannot help thinking that she has grown because of her underhanded ways. I do try to refocus on myself be happy with my progress, but sometimes it is just hard.

  61. Great topic, Marie! Thinking industry wide and what is broken — not focusing on one or two direct competitors. Laura Roeder recently said “Keep your eyes on your own paper” — love that, too. Something that helps me, too, is that I have put a post it note by my computer that says “no business cyber stalking” — I find that if I start on the googling bandwagon to see what other businesses are up to, I *always* get that comparison hangover you talk about — what a freaking waste of time THAT is!

  62. Getting real in the Whole Foods Parkng lot. Lol. Love it! Have fun in Cali. Its my dream place to live. I live in Canada so please don’t brag about the sun too much until June when we get some sun again.

  63. Thanks for this Marie. From a slightly different angle – thinking too much about competition has, until now, made me question the way that I do things as ‘if everyone is doing it that way then it must be because it works/people prefer it etc’ and realise that I have not been fully myself and the business that I can develop. Big plans for change throughout 2012 with ME as the pusher 😉

  64. Love your idea to look in the industry, note what we dont like …… and change it.

    Elegant and simple.

    That’s Marie.



  65. I hide and cry. Seriously though, if I’m obsessing about a competitor, it’s usually time to take a good look at why I’m feeling inadequate. I identify exactly what it is that I’m noticing and appreciate it because it’s usually something more general that I want to emulate rather than a specific product or service.

    And also, from working with others on their marketing, I’ve come to learn that people aren’t always as they seem. They can have 2,000 likes on Facebook and little to no actual business. So, lesson is… don’t make assumptions and do your own thing because only you can do that special thing that you do.

  66. brigitte weber

    I work in the Complimentary therapies industry in a regional rural town. There are lots of therapists. I have one competitor who used to be a Mentor=till she fell off the pedastal when she attended a workshop & created havoc=by attempting to discredit the the facilitators-who are mentors of mine. I actively refer clients to others in my industry who i believe may suit that clients needs better.
    The X-Mentor has actively told one of these clients that she will aim to take ALL my clients away from me permanently! I was saddened yet not so shocked as this was the aim she had at the workshop!
    what do i do about this? yes i have expended an inordinate amount of time thinking & being disappointed about this. in fact it felt like i had been hit in my solar plexus-hard! it was a physical reaction & now a mental one…..
    Gratitude for all of your Wisewomn Business advice so far XBrigitte

  67. Wow, this video was fantastic Marie! I’ve definitely realised through experience and from hearing your advice that do the opposite of what competitors do is often a great way to stand out in a crowded market place. One thing I love about the Marie community is how open everyone is to genuinely sharing, giving and connecting- after all, these things are key in building successful businesses.

  68. Love this post! Last year I brought a number of my biz-ness colleagues together in my first ever TeleSummit (whoop-whoop!)

    For my first big gig this year, I am pulling together a number of people from the Tarot community:

    My traffic and lists have gone through the roof! And I’ve got more paid clients, too. With everyone out there promoting each other, we all win. 🙂

  69. Wow Marie – my survey response suggested you bring it all out to Cali. who knew I was so powerful? Speaking of powerful, if you make it out of L.A and down to the Laguna Beach, come see your success principles in action at my gallery of contemporary studio jewelry — Silver Blue & Gold. I’ve implemented so many of your ideas, kept strong with your virtual encouragement, saved money and gotten healthy with books you’ve recommended – and I even feature artists who have been through your B-School.

    Oh, but to answer the question: While I believe there is enough for everyone, I have one colleague/friend/competitor who sends me into fits. Whenever this happens, I ask myself: what am I not doing in my own business that I should be? Inevitably, my envy or irritation is a sign that I am not focused on my work or have gotten off track.

    • This is a great one. I think I’ve avoided my success by focusing on competitors and headed down the rabbit hole at times. But truly these days it’s a good reminder that there is something in my own business I am not working on. If I was I would be cultivating a sense of pride and quit the poor me pouting.

  70. Hi Marie, I love your advice: focus on your business. It took me a while to learn this and in the process earned me some fine lines across the brow. In my network right now, there are so many other VAs who are doing way better financially though i have been in the business as long or has more skills to offer. I was envious at first, I wouldn’t deny that. I avoided Facebook because I feel like they’re rubbing their success on my face. If I stayed long, I’m bound to say something stupid about them or criticize. I was being a bitter.

    But all that has changed now. I realize that the only competition I have is myself. I have my own niche, my own way of doing business. My current situation is not a reflection of their success. I’m in this dump because I did not do what I was supposed to do: work hard.

    Now, whenever I start feeling just a tinge of jealousy towards my colleagues, I tell myself ; It’s your fault for not having what she has. But you know what, you can have it, too! Then I leave their page and don’t return until I’m feeling better about myself. That’s my strategy.

  71. A great reminder to think outside the box, think BIG and focus on creating outstanding customer experience.

  72. Marie,

    I absolutely love your videos every week. Your advice, but more importantly your unique style has completely inspired me.

    One of the things that I have FINALLY learned… (although, I know it won’t always be easy) is to recognize that there simply is ENOUGH and to CELEBRATE others successes and use that energy as inspiration.

    More importantly, or just as importantly, I am learning now to express it more authentically (I am sick of that word), but to really embrace who the hell I am… ALL of me, every unique bit of me. And I know I will lose some people, but that’s okay… I am getting used to people “unsubscribing” haha.

    Fantastic advice, gives us much to contemplate. I’ve done a lot of “cleansing” and unsubscribing myself this month, so I don’t continue to get distracted my seemingly shiny objects, but not unsubscribing here, no way 😉

    Big love,

  73. kim


    Welcome to LA, and be sure to check out Funnel Mill and Amelia’s. Two of my favorite local businesses in Santa Monica. Oh, and my girl’s shop Clever on Main in Santa Monica too.

    For the video, I’ll be making a list of everything I think that should changed in my industry, and change it.

    Also, on the competition aspect. I tell myself, there is enough business to go around. And, when I see a need or a shift in the market it is an opportunity to jump on.



  74. Marie,
    This was so TIMELY for me! I just went through the dark and scary forest of this two weeks ago, right on the cusp of a launch! It took everything I’ve learned from both you and Josh (believe me, you were both there in my mind pulling for me!) to come through with my authenticity, commitment and a stronger place to stand.

    Now I’m standing there. My “competition” was a whole industry, not a particular person or business. What I learned is that my gifts are unique and necessary in the world. The world needs what I do and the world needs what all healers do. It’s not a competition when I am being truthful and real in the moment while I honor my gift and my client. In that moment, I give them what no one else can.

    I’m sure that is the same for every woman entrepreneur who reads this. The world does need the gift of each of us!

  75. I don’t obsess towards any other competitors. Yes I just started up in this hypnotherapy business, but I am busy enough to obsess my own to-do list… I just don’t want to miss a Tuesday show that’s why I was watching. Marie, you made business hot and sexy. Thank you!

  76. Great post, as always Marie!

    I was one of the first Barcelona private tourguides to get a website, looooong ago, so there wasn’t much to copy at all. I started getting ideas from international tourguides instead, doing what Picasso often did when he got inspired in other artists: copy the masters, master their technique/skills/ideas, then use them even better and YOUR OWN WAY.

    I think it’s great getting inspired in other people’s work, but always as long as you don’t just copycat but transform it into something new.

    As a result, now I’ve got people copying me instead, as it’s now when my local competition is awakening to the fact that business is online. While I won’t tolerate a straight copy from my website content if I catch it (and I have already taken mesures to have people change their copied content), I think it’s fun to be inspiring for other people and it also pushes me to keep beeing creative.

    In the other hand, I like beeing in good terms with my colleagues, passing them clients I can’t serve or hiring them, and making sure I’m paying them well in this last case.

    The world is huge, there are clients for everyone: just try to be a powerful magnet to attract as many as you can!

  77. Holy Shiznit!!! You’re coming to LA! This beachside babe welcomes you with open arms and loads of luuurve for your time here. ; )

    And … YOUR vid was JUST what the doctor ordered. I’ve been in an incubator of creative production and working hard not to be distracted by others’ launches or saying ‘Yes’ to every great opportunity that presents itself or feeling that lack & scarcity story I unfortunately told myself for oh-so-many years. I’ve often thought of what Sir Richard Branson says, “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” In my experience, that’s really true — as long as we do the work and show up for what we truly love. This video just amplified that reminder and reconfirmed there IS only one path: our own.

    Big gratitude, Marie!

    To your continued joy & success in 2012,
    P.S. Peeps, if you haven’t seen the Whole Foods Parking Lot vid do yourself a favor … … but don’t take my parking spot! {this is literally the Whole Foods I shop at with The Hot Dreadman}

  78. I definitely had a share of the comparison, and competitive hangover from design school and workaholic post school days. What I do love is the push, it forces you to find your style, influence, and personality. It also creates a mutual respect for each other. Once in awhile my evil little twin likes to come out and do the “she’s better then you dance” but in the end. I just kinda say, you know what. My work is pretty darn amazing, there is no one out there as unique. I take a deep breath, and move forward with my work..Another tip is not to look too long on their websites, do the opposite, take a break, and look at other things that inspired you to be a business owner/artist/designer in the first place;-)

  79. I used to suffer from Comparison Hangover in the worst way ~ all it did was make me feel so inadequate and stopped me in my tracks. Now I have reframed the way I think about “competition” and indeed see them as possible mentors, colleagues and basically just like me. As Nathalie shared Gabby B. has a great chapter on “special” relationships and it’s true that we are not separate from anyone, or the universe, so therefore there is enough for everyone. Abundance vs. scarcity thinking works for me and when I see someone thriving in their business I can genuinely feel happy for them and look to them to learn more about my business. And as Marie states, look to collaborate with those people, invite them into your world, don’t wait for them to invite you!

  80. I used to do this all the time when I first started my business, and it felt awful. yuck. Now I have formed close alliances and great friendships with most of those businesses that I used to obsess over – and I have come to find out that we all really benefit from sharing our strengths, lessons, and ideas with each other. There is enough.

  81. In college, I didn’t handle competition this way. I kept to myself, built up my “empire” and the lack of communication between me and my competitors led to resentment.

    So I definitely think O-my-raw should reach out to all her competitors! But they should work together or become friends. Like how Marie and Danielle team up. Or Marie and Laura. Or Marie and Josh. Or Marie and Kris. Or Marie and Gabrielle B. etc, etc. XD

  82. Hi Marie,

    I love your work, you´re a great teacher and I absolutely love Marie TV.
    I am writing this e-mail in hopes that you can help me somehow, because I really love your style and if I lived in the States I would attend to the Rich, Happy and Hot event like…yesterday!
    But, well, I´m from Brazil and that cannot happen, at least for now. Meanwhile, the last three years have been crazy for me. Three years ago I was starting a journey of selfknowledge and completely changed my self-image!
    Before a lot of challenges in my life, I would see myself as a weak person, a victim of the World around me. Thank God that changed a lot. Now I feel I alive and I feel I can accomplish anything.
    After 31 years I finally got the courage of BEING MYSELF and BEING PROUD for being who I am, and there´s no feeling better than that in the whole world…
    To make story short, I now find myself wanting to start my own small web based business. I have been seen Marie TV for quite a while. I pretty much watched all the videos you´ve put out there. Because I really wanted to learn everything you could teach me. And I really appreciate everything that you and your crew have done for us, viewers.
    Anyways, in the process of knowing who I am, I have the discovered a lot of things about myself and I really want to start to put together my business and I just don´t know how.
    Because I have a lot of ideas. I love Graphic Design, and I do designs myself and appreciate the work of other designers. I´m a journalist too and LOVE TO WRITE on my blog about lifestyle and creative businesses.
    Right now, Im writing my day by day adventure into the entrepreneurship world. Everyday I write about something that Im doing to launch my Graphic Design business.
    I have so much going on in my MIND, I love everything. I love design. I love writing, I really really love paper products with design…… oh my god, my head aches just thinking about it!
    So, Marie, Here is my question: how will I come up with a business model that suits my personality?
    Should I focus on the Graphic Design services I have to offer for small business (calling cards, packaging, sticks etc)?
    Should I focus on the Graphic Design services I have to offer for BRIDES? (INVITES, save the dates etc…)
    Should I rely on the products of other designers? (Here in my town theres a great desiner who makes the most beautiful lamp in the world that no one know about it and I love his work…)
    Should I develop a line of greeting cards myself?
    Should I concentrate on my blog??
    Products or services?
    Well, as you can see, I need help. If only I Knew what business model I had to follow, I could come up with a step by step ACTION PLAN to follow ( I have discipline!)
    Please help me! Answer my Q! Or if not, please, launch any kind of product for us, entrepreneurs who live outside the US.
    Thank you so much for everything.
    Have a beautiful Day!

    Day 😉

  83. Hey Marie,

    Good advice, I found that when I started looking at the competition as possible joint venture partnerships and product co-creators that it seemed to open up the potential instead of limit it.

    Great information… as usual!

    Dr. Paul

  84. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the 70 degree weather in Cali!! Whoop whoop!! Are you going to host a meetup in the area?

  85. There is nothing new under the sun. You’re going to have competition no matter what you do. Have a passion (or at least strong interest) in what you’re doing and make yourself stand out in some way, and act on your ideas.

    Since most people fail b/c of all the great ideas they have that they never act on.

  86. Great advice, as always, Marie~ in a nutshell, follow your own vision~ and toss that copy of ‘The Witches of Eastwick’ in the trash~ I don’t care if Jack is in it.

  87. I have been looking for a new space to start my business. I have been turned down way too many times with the reasons “well….there is another massage therapist here and it would be too competitive.” Wait a minute…really? I always thought that it’s not a competition and that we could refer clients to each other…as you said in your video. My bodywork is much different from anyone’s in my area….so I am trying to market that. Still new..still working at it….

  88. Watching you every week is like having a weekly New Years Eve rich on vibrant and good energy! Thanks for your gorgeous energy and inspiration. It makes my own path smoother.

  89. Emilia Chewning

    Thanks-a-mundo for the article post.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

  90. You Rock Marie, I used to run a business where I was one of the first in the industry and within 12 months, there were 25 people doing what I was doing. A wise woman told me to not fuss about what they are doing, instead, do what you do best and lead the way. She was so right. Geographically, I could never have accommodated everyone. But I could mentor, support and train those that wanted to do what I did.
    Marie, you hit the nail on the head – again.

  91. Years ago, still fresh in my professional life, one of my mentors said something that’s stuck with me and proved more and more true as I mature.

    “Be the best that you can; don’t compete with others.” How wonderful is that! We all come to this world with a unique set of qualities and skills. If we allow that uniqueness shine through, there’s really no competing with each other. How do you compare an apple to an orange, right?


  92. Kat

    Seriously, no one out there is doing things the way YOU do them, unless of course you’re just copying the next best thing.

    I don’t really fret – and in my industry of designers, brand creatives and site developers – there is plenty of competition.

    But I don’t care. I do me, and people come to me because of ME.

    Quit that jibba jabba! Do you, ladies!

  93. Another mega Q&A Tuesday Marie. Love your practical yet inspiring advice. It’s true that when we’re focussed on doing big things in our own biz we’re not worrying about the ‘competition.’

    One of the big things I’ve learned the last year is to look at my competitors as possible ‘collaborators,’ and it feels good as well as gives me a lot more opportunity to joint venture and to expand my reach.

    Great stuff.

  94. I am so glad that my FB friend posted your video last night. I have been going through one of those “woe is me” weeks. The where is my life going, everyone is ahead of me, I’m scared boo hoo type week. I can either blame it on PMS or the fact that I am at a crossroads in my career. I am ready for the next step and in my field it is saturated with women who are doing things similar to me and I can’t help but think, “but but she she has this and that and the other going and I don’t have it.” Of course I talk myself out of those moments, but I really needed to see this one. I know that there is nothing new under the sky and that what I do and how I do will always be different from the way someone else does it. Anyway. Thanks for the site 🙂

  95. Le

    Great vid as always! I have sat down and had lunch with my “competitors.” I don’t see them as my competitors. They are really my mentors. If you approach the situation the right way you can all talk and learn from each other. It’s a great way to find your tribe of like minded people. I grew up in the restaurant industry. Chefs go out after work – have their fourth meal, talk shop and learn from each other. I have treated my colleagues the same way – as friends/mentors who are int he same business. It has been very rewarding. I also agree with Marie, your colleagues in your biz is a great way to get great referrals. =)

  96. I have the comparison hangover, but oddly enough not with anyone specific and in fact its with a broader industry than my specific niches! I’m talking about the handmade community, and I get that feeling when I see a “success”, well why can’t that be me?! (Despite not knowing them personally or anything about the inner workings which might reveal a different picture.)

    I love the idea about shifting the focus from 1 person to a broader group and turning it around to a positive action (how can you fix problems & stand out) versus just sitting and wallowing in irritation & jealousy!

    I know I can up my game by adding some options I appreciate but aren’t always available in handmade – easy customizations that are simple on the consumer to make, a wider range of material options that include ecofriendly as well as some that may be easier on the wallet. (I say this because much of the time specialty materials make the final cost of a product seem astronomical to some.) And yes highlighting features & benefits can take the focus away from the sticker shock too.

  97. GIA

    UGH, well, I loved the video and of course, there’s much truth and wisdom as usual here but the facts are, there’s just so much competition coming, going and moving in every direction, it’s hard not to sometimes feel like…what’s the use.
    Take, for example, every person’s profile pic here, including Marie’s are glowing beauties; young, vibrant and hella pretty!
    I’m a late bloomer into the world of social media and online marketing and to remain relevant you have to utilize it smartly and often. Unfortunately, I’m a mere shadow of my former self and it stings. Not so much because you’ve “got it” and I don’t, but because OTHERS do judge people’s appearances and since health and beauty are highly prized in our society, there’s a distinct disadvantage for people like me. Let’s just say we all show up for the same job, right? Will I be hired when there are 200 just as qualified beauties — NO.
    You can all breathe a little easier knowing that life cycles as such and currently at your pretty peaks, you have the power, brains, and beauty to do what we once beautiful people did — without all the technology. To say nothing of the formulaic; blogger, book author, signature system creating, supersonic speaker… now people like myself have to also catch up and continue to dig out the use, meaning, and importance of every latest thing AND hope that when we put our mugs in front of the camera, our personalities, products and the skill in which we use to ‘sell’ them, will have some impact in this saturated landscape.

    Not bitter, just tired. Still, I press forward. I hope to use a little Botox and a little filler to help smooth and lift, but have been terrified of having a bad result. Please feel to recommend a good injector, cosmetic service, doctor etc. I frequent California, NYC and Seattle… 🙂

    – A 50-something-year-old, faded beauty.

  98. Jillian - Team Forleo

    Gia, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here. You’re absolutely not alone in the struggles you outlined here, and in a world that’s saturated and obsessed with physical perfection, it’s not hard to understand where you’re coming from.

    The good news is that authenticity, genuine heart, and character still, and will always reign higher. What you have to offer to the world is worth so much more than your profile picture (which we can’t see here, but which I’m sure is beautiful in all its perfect imperfection). And to be quite honest, most people yearn to identify and see themselves in others, so by being truly YOU, and having the courage to put yourself (and your ‘mug’) out there, you’re also giving so many people permission to do the same. We’re usually our most severe critics; the flaws you might see may well be someone else’s favorite things about you, and the very features that make you beautiful to behold.

    If you haven’t seen it yet, I would absolutely recommend you watch this interview Marie did with Sarah Jones, where they talk about following your inner GPS, and truly owning your voice:

    We’re so glad to have you in our world Gia. You’re doing such meaningful work in the world, and at 50-something-young, you’re inspiring even more people to put themselves out there and follow their dream.

  99. Marie Claire

    There’s this friend of mine who was in school with me, I actually introduced her to the guy he’s dating and each time I see her updates on WhatsApp or at times I just think of her n her boyfriend and I’m stressed. I really wanna get over this cuz I’m about to put to Birth n it’s been since I got pregnant.

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