Several years ago, I was stabbed in the back. A father whose daughter took lessons at our studio, decided to start his own music school--just a few miles away from our location. He opened the doors and still sat at his daughter's recital, in one of seats near the front, looking right at me. He even joined a coaching program that I was in! I was seething. How could he do this to me??
My mentor at that time kindly told me, "There are more than enough clients for everyone. Ignore him. Keep your eyes on your own business."
At first I was furious. I wanted sympathy. I wanted revenge.
Instead, I did exactly what my coach suggested: I ignored him. I focused on growing my own school.
Around that same time, one of the teachers at my music school left and started his own music school a few miles the other direction. This time I didn't give him much energy. "Do your own thing, Jen," I coached myself. I focused on my company, my staff, my systems, my marketing.
I could have frozen in fear. I could have shrunk back and refused to hire anyone else in case they, too, would leave me and hurt me.
I didn’t. I chose abundance. I chose to believe there are enough fish in the sea. There are enough families to serve. The potential hurt is worth the opportunity to serve more kids and more families.
Since these two hurtful events, guess what happened? We doubled our income. Around that time, we were grossing around $500,000 per year. Just 3 years later, we bring in $1,000,000 per year.
You can choose to fight your competition or you can choose to fight your fear.
I worked extra hard. I was attentive to our marketing message. I gave my clients more amenities that the new schools couldn't afford. I doubled down on my time and my discipline to my work time. I added additional streams of income. We now have 3 large streams flowing into our main umbrella company. It gives us security-- if anything happens to one, we know the cash flow will not completely dry up. I have trained my staff to manage and maintain what we have, so I can scout out new streams of serving people. (I love service-based industries. There will always be needs we can meet, people we can serve, and money we can make.)
When I was tempted to flip my lid and throw a fit about new competitors popping up, I took that energy and grew my own company. I asked myself, "What can I do about this?" I can't stop someone from wanting to fulfill their own dreams. I can't stop them from pursuing their passions. But I CAN serve my clients and keep my eyes on my own work.
I'm not interested in dominating my market. I am interested in doing the absolute best job I can for my clients. And that creates a culture of very happy clients who refer their friends. Our reputation is strong. Our name is not tarnished. We work with integrity and we always will.
I don't need to crush my competition. I need to crush my own fears.
I created a video this week that at first might rub you the wrong way. But I have to speak truth. Watch it and let me know your thoughts.
I'm always here to cheer you on.
About the Author
I'm Jen Hickle. I love coffee, journaling, reading, and cozy winter evenings. A business owner for 20+ years, I can't imagine having a "real" job or getting up every morning to an alarm clock. I love my freedom and my family and the chance to encourage fellow business owners every day.