What is the ultimate goal for your business? When you get up in the morning and you drive into work, or you’re an entrepreneur and you roll out of bed and get on your computer, what is your goal?
Most companies will answer this with one of the following answers:
- To be the best….
- To be the biggest….
- To be the fastest….
- To be #1 in….
And then they will take that vision and run to their employees and shout out these visions with passion! The problem is, nobody knows what these look like, and nobody knows how to measure these goals. Because their really is no way to do that because how will you know when to stop or when you get there?
This is not football. Football is a finite game. There are agreed upon rules. A finite game also has finite players who agree to play under agreed upon rules. At the end of the game there are winners based upon the agreed upon rules, and then everyone agrees on the outcome and they all go home. End of game.
This is business, and in business you are not playing a finite game, you are playing an infinite game. And an infinite game will continue on as long as there is always one competitor. So you can’t crown yourself #1 if the game doesn’t end. This is why most companies get it wrong when trying to figure out what the ultimate goal is for your business. In their mind, they are playing the wrong game. They know finite games. But they are trying to play a finite game in an infinite world simply because they want to feel victorious because they are using the wrong measurement for success.
In a finite game, the goal is to win over the competition. In an infinite game, the ultimate goal for your business should be to be better than yourself. This is how you progress. And progress is truly how you can measure your success, regardless of where your competitors are or what they are doing.
As a full-time entrepreneur, I’m not measuring my day by how much I make. I measure my day by how much I progress. If I don’t show progress, then my day is not good. But if I do show progress, either personally or professionally, then my day is a success.
Did you notice what’s missing? Nowhere in my previous statement did I say that I had to do better than anyone else. I said that I had to be better than myself. I could care less what my competition is doing. Their standards should not be my measuring stick for success. I should not be concerned throughout my day about what they are doing.
I heard a perfect example after watching a video by Simon Sinek on Youtube not long ago and if I can find it, I’ll update this post with the link. But he was talking about giving a speech at Microsoft. And after giving the speech, Microsoft gave him their new Zune. It’s what Microsofts answer was to Apples iPod. And he said that it was much better than Apple’s product. A few week’s later, he was speaking at Apple. And after his speech, he shared a cab with an Apple executive. At that time he decided to stir the pot a little and said (paraphrasing) that Microsoft’s Zune was much better than the Apple iPod. To which the Apple executive replied “I have no doubt.” And that was the end of the conversation.
So you see, while Microsoft was busy trying to be better than and working hard to be better than Apple, Apple was only concerned about being better than themselves. They have zero concern over what the competition is doing or what they have done.
To be better today than you were yesterday. That’s the ultimate goal for your business. That creates a hunger to be better by reading, by listening, by understanding, and by implementing what you have learned.
Now, while I’m not concerned about my competition, I am wary of who is better. But I don’t see them as competition. I see them as mentors. I see them as measuring sticks to see what areas that I need to get better in. So now I have a goal, an idea, a checklist if you will of things that I need to work on. Because again, I’m trying to be better than myself, not them. I see what they have done right, and I learn, and implement so that I can get better.
To be better than myself or my company was yesterday. That’s the ultimate goal for my business. And that should be the ultimate goal for your business as well.
By doing this, I continue to grow, I continue to learn, and I continue to progress, reaching new levels of success every single day. This is what separates me from the competition.
How will you separate yourself?
Jeff Demers ~Host of The Motivated Mindset Podcast