Do not compete to be the best, rather to be unique
Is there a difference between being the best and being unique? Definitely! There is a great qualitative gap. The category of “the only thing” exposes extra-ordinary, special, exclusive conditions, to the point that for this reason it is not populated and has only one exponent.
Is it possible, they may ask, to be unique in something when the planet is populated by millions of individuals, companies, projects and propositions?
It is not easy, but it is possible. And in fact it is a competitive imperative for those who intend to prevail and be successful.
In one way or another, all professionals and businesses compete to be “the best” at what they do (at least they don’t strive to be mediocre or bad). This causes the category where they register to be tremendously populated and have complex dynamics.
On the other hand, and no less important, acting in this category conditions visions and behaviors that cannot lead to the state of “the only thing”. Those who compete to be “the best” run on a track that hardly leads to the extraordinary.
Those who seek to be unique must establish guidelines, define models, explore the unknown, reveal the uncertain, open paths. Tim Grover puts it very well when he says, “don’t compete with others, make them compete with you.” This it is.
When you compete to be the best, you imitate. When it is done to be unique, it innovates.
The most important factor in this logic is distinction.
Those who compete in the category to be unique always leverage elements that distinguish them from others. What is different is never the same and tends to be unique. It is a matter of common sense in many respects.
Usually, it is very difficult to do better what others do, while doing things differently is less complex and more effective. Distinction is the foundation of the unique.
Now, what is different (which is distinguished for this very reason) is a quality of nature, it is not necessarily something that has to be reached, in reality it is an element from which any competitive concern has to start.
All people are unique and different from each other. And although it is often ignored or underestimated, precisely therein lies the advantage. It is absurd to waste precious energy and time trying to emulate others when strengths can be built precisely from differences.
The same thing happens in business. It is easier (and pays better) to look for the difference than to strive to be the best. If the distinction is not clear, the journey is a steep climb conquered by those with the most reserves and resources.
Distinction is the guiding term, “differentiating element” is the vehicle and “distinguished” the qualifying adjective of the state of “the only thing”.
To compete in professional life or in business, one must first assess the distinction that will be exposed to the market. Make it a differentiating element and obtain, thanks to effort and competence, the distinguished status. This is the formula.
It is clear that the process demands competition, obviously. But competition in the capacity sense, not necessarily in the comparative logic. The representative of “the only thing” does not look every moment to the right and left to see how others are doing, he focuses his vision on the goal. He travels another route.
It is possible, of course, that this “other route” ultimately leads to the same goal, but it does so without congestion or obstacles. That is what allows the distinction. The channels of competition to be the best are saturated, and often with tremendously skilled agents. It is difficult to travel there. While the path of the different is never congested.
Certainly, the better things are done, it doesn’t take long for imitators to appear, but by then the advantage is consolidated.
Now, how to sustain the advantage is already part of another story. Nothing will prevent the distinguished himself from having to protect and defend his conquests, because life never stops, obviously, not even for those who are different.
For the only one, “perfect competition” does not exist, he is an exponent of monopolistic dynamics.
This contrasts with the economic premises that have always supported the theory of the free market. But it is completely logical, because “the only one” is essentially a monopoly. And as long as this is so, he is also an agent who can optimize his performance, because among other things, he does not need to commit energy, time and resources in dealing with competitors.
See the case of Google, a company that, for the purposes of its distinction in the market, is free to behave as a monopoly agent (this in the functional sense, not in the legal one). Its growth can be exponential and its social and economic contributions too. It has the luxury of establishing avant-garde policies in the treatment of its collaborators and effectively contributing to issues as diverse as caring for the environment.
A company busy competing tooth and nail with its rivals does not have the time or resources to contribute to the qualitative evolution of the industry or the environment in which it operates.
The same goes for a professional. As long as he has to worry about not being nipped at or overtaken, he enjoys a poor quality of life and contributes little to his environment.
There are many examples like Google in the business world, all of a distinguished nature: Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Tik Tok, Intel, Tesla, etc. Each one of them is a unique exponent in terms of what they do. They may have competitors, indeed, but having worked out a solid distinction from the beginning, they have left a lot of distance and “scorched earth” behind them, which makes it extremely difficult for them to catch up (this added to the efficiency they have in their management, obviously ).
An interesting example of the extension and influence that the exponents of the unique can achieve is the case of the largest Foundation that exists in the world. One that is dedicated to addressing sensitive issues in the interests of humanity: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This is the product of the business performance of a particular institution: Microsoft.
Being the only one not only pays at the moment, but also over time. It is a competitive model that has transcendental character. And everything starts from considering “what is different” to start the journey.
You are part of that universe of “different” that populates existence. It has been since the day he was born. There is no one similar anywhere. You have gifts, virtues and strengths that cannot be compared, so why try to be the same as others and travel on high traffic roads?
These differentiating elements can be invested in your professional and business projects. They are an invaluable basis for planning the trip, because in addition to what has been said, any distinction on which the actions are based reinforces the circuit of satisfaction.
Nothing is done better than what few can do with the same solvency and efficiency. That generates powerful feedback. It has always been true that excellence is a consequence of love.
As long as it is inevitable to do what is right in this life, adopting the criterion of not competing to be the best and rather doing it to be unique, seems like an intelligent act.