The competition is fierce. There are competitors all around us every day—from other travel agencies to suppliers. It could be your neighbor that just bought the brand new Ferrari, or the little weasel that plays in your kickball league. Not a day goes by without you facing competition of some sort.
It has been around all of our lives—gym class in elementary school, sibling rivalry, or the affections of that hot guy or girl you wanted to ask to prom. It continues as you face unseen competitors while trying to get into college, or to land that perfect job. But the biggest competitor is probably none of those.
Many moons ago, my son actually competed internationally in Kung Fu. I recall a competition in San Juan in 2004 where he was seeded at the bottom—it was disappointing for a 12 year old and his dad. I recall him asking if we could just go to the beach and not compete because “what’s the use?”
In all of my kids, I have always tried to instill a “give it your best shot” and “don’t be a quitter” mentality; so going to the beach was not an option. I explained that any number of things can happen—the top seed could come up sick, he (my son) could have the match of his life. If you let your competition intimidate you without even facing them—you already lost the match/game/job. Why even bother showing up?
How did he do? He got his butt kicked. But he was not dead last. He ended up placing in the top 50% and came away with a small trophy in addition to his participant medal. And it all started with a request to quit and go to the beach!
After returning, his performance solidly improved. He learned a lesson that was not preached by me. On all of his competitions, no matter where he placed, he went back and found his missteps and worked to correct them. Consistently, he improved.
So, how does this all tie into travel? Had my son been allowed to go to the beach that day, we would have returned dejected. He may not have gone on to earn multiple black belts in Kung Fu. He may not have become the person that he is today. He might have spent his life fighting his biggest competitor….himself!
Be aware of what the other guys are doing. Are they marketing to your clients? Are the suppliers selling directly? Did they buy a similar domain to poach people? But focus and concentrate on your job at hand. Do not let them intimidate you; because anything can happen.
You are your own biggest competition. Always focus on becoming better than you were; and in time, you will find yourself far above the bottom seed!