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Your Competition Is Really Your Best Friend

By Cheval John

Photo Courtesy of Phanlop88

Photo Courtesy of Phanlop88


Everyone has heard the mantra that in order to succeed, you must beat your competition.

That mentality has been around for a long time.

If someone has a successful business and are doing well, you will want to know how they did it so that you can do it better.

In this day and age, your competition will be someone different you did not expect.

Facebook became the dominant player in social media for years.

They were keeping their eye out on new technologies that would have tried to compete with them.

Then Twitter came along and gave them a run for their money.

A few years later, Pinterest and Instagram came along and have given many people options to find their customers and communicate with each other.

You should not worry too much about your competition because they will always change.

I am not saying to ignore your competition completely.

What you should do is try to learn from them and even lift them up.

Share their content on your social media channels because they are providing tremendous value for your audience.

When they see that you are willing to share their content and lift them up, they will most likely go out of their way to help you in a lot of ways.

Patty Farmer, who was one of the presenters at the inaugural Social Media Day Houston event, shared a great quote about competition.

“If you feel that you need to crush your competition, then you have a scarcity mindset. There is a customer for everyone who is in business.” #paraphrased.

This quote by Mrs. Farmer is right on the money.

When you think you need to dominate the market, you will go so far to the point that you will cross the line.

They are many examples of companies who try to use illegal means to crush their competition.

British Airways is among those companies.

They were trying to crush Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic in the late 80s because they did not like the fact that he had entered the airline industry.

They felt that Mr. Branson’s fun personality and reputation of running Virgin Records was not great for them or the airline industry.

So they used an illegal method called the “Dirty Tricks” campaign in which they would have representatives pretend to be workers of Virgin to convince passengers that their flights were canceled, or that the airline was insolvent.

The method put Branson’s airline in jeopardy as they were struggling to gain new passengers.

In an attempt to save the airline, Branson did the unthinkable.

He sold his Virgin Record label in order to save his airline, took British Airways to court and won.

As a result, British Airways had to pay for their mistakes and issue a public apology.

When you go to any means to crush your competition, you will end up losing money because of fines that you payed.

In addition, you will end up hurting your reputation which will take years to rebuild.

If you just focus on building your business and not worry too much about your competition, the right customers will come along.

Plus, your competition will end up becoming your ally in the long run because you are willing to lift them up and not tear them down.

Your competition will even push you to be better and make you a better person.

Isn’t that what competition is all about?

What are your thoughts on competition?

College Is Not Worth Your Time

By Cheval John

Everyone grew up hearing that college was the best investment of our lives.

Parents would gear their offspring towards studying hard in school, get good grades and make the honor roll in order to impress the decision makers at major universities.

Major universities would blast their message on television about the benefits of their university programs if you are watching their college football teams or basketball teams playing.

We all believe that if we gain a college degree, we were on the road to job security and not have to worry about the so-call instability of the part-time work.

And who would blame them for believing the hype of going to universities.

Statistics would show that a person who have an bachelor degree or higher will be more likely to remain employable according to the National Center For Educational Statistics (NCES).

Those same statistics shows that a person who only have a high school diploma are less likely to remain employable at a stable workplace.

Everyone believe this message and the number of college attendees are increasing.

The same statistics by the now enrolled in college.

The NCES shows that they are 20.4 million people attending both 2-year and 4-year colleges/universities.

That should be encouraging for everyone because they are taking their education to the next level.

They are enhancing their level of knowledge because of the quality that the professors bring to the classroom.

The professors are recognized for their academic knowledge of their fields and are getting invited to teach or share their knowledge with other universities/conferences around the country and especially around the world.

These qualities alone should make the students more knowledgable and prepared for the real world.

They are paying (I mean their parents) are paying an average of $9,000 dollars a semester which includes books, student fees, etc. if they are at a public universities.

That is just in-state tuition.

It is much higher if you are out-of-state and worse if you are attending a private university or the elite universities like Harvard, Princeton and Yale.

Community colleges (2-yr colleges) are much cheaper.

So that is a bargain to cut the expenses in half if a person is transferring to a university after completing the first two years.

So when the person/s graduates from university, they should have proven that they are ready for the real world and the workforce.

They are aiming to gain great work that will allow them to make great salary in order to pay off the loans that they acquired while gaining their degrees.

Unfortunately, that is not the case.

It is true that the economy has rebounded since the “Great Recession of 2008-09.”

Many college graduates are struggling to find work with the fancy degrees that they earned.

They are wondering how they are going to pay off their student loan debts, which is an average of $28,400 according to the U.S. News and World Report in 2014.

My guess is that number has risen tremendously.

And the masses who have graduated from high school this year, are looking forward to entering the next four years of university life.

Don’t get me wrong, college is a unique experience.

I know.

I gained an associate degree in liberal arts and a bachelor’s degree in spanish.

Plus I had years of experience in public relations, journalism, television, and radio at my alma mater while I was a graduate student for most of those.

However, you should look at the alternatives to college.

We are in the age of the internet where anyone can learn about business, science, history, etc. thanks to YouTube, podcasts, and webinars.

A person can form their own business at a less expensive price because they don’t have to worry about setting up a brick and mortar store.

They don’t have to worry about having a hefty marketing budget because they can market themselves by building an online presence through social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.

The main thing is if you interact with your potential customers through these social media channels on a daily basis, you will gain new fans.

So if you still feel that you need to go to college to gain knowledge in the arts, business, languages, history, etc., go for it.

Only if you are studying for a degree that you need to be certified in order to practice like a doctor, lawyer, engineer, etc.

As for the rest, you can learn about history, business, languages, etc. outside of college and save yourself the agony of dealing with debt after gaining a piece of paper that says your are educated.

Don’t Skip Out On Sleep

By Cheval John

If you are a college student, you might get in the habit of studying a lot with little sleep.

You might think that it is the best thing to do because of the amount of work you have to do in order to pass a test.

The same could be applied to someone who is running a business or an employee of a large corporation.

They put in the hours without little sleep while drinking a lot of coffee/caffeine in order to stay awake to get their work done.

They might feel that it is a badge of honor to say that “they got little sleep after putting in a whole lot of hours at their work.”

And the entrepreneur might feel that they can skip sleep because they are wearing many hats in making their business profitable

The truth is that nothing can substitute sleep

According to this article on Health.com, sleep helps to improve your mind and be more creative.

My guess is that the most successful people in the world recognize the importance of sleep and don’t allow the superhero syndrome to take over their life.

I can also guess that Anh Nguyen understands the importance of sleep as well.

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So if you feel pressure about working a lot without getting a lot of sleep, stop and think about the benefits of sleep.

Because no paycheck or promotion can replace your health in the long run if you don’t get enough sleep.

Small Businesses Are Really The Innovators

By Cheval John

I had made a promise about two months ago that I was going to have articles out twice a week.

I was going to put out an article as an continuation of a series of companies/people who are doing more with less resources.

Last week I broke that promise and missed putting out the article last Thursday and I want to say that I am sorry.

Though they is a valid reason for missing out on last week posting, which I can explain, I will take full responsibility for missing the deadline.

What I should have done was write the post the day before and let it rest for a while before putting out that Thursday.

I should have forseen the circustance of not being able to write the post on the very same day and getting it out to all of you to keep the schedule and my promise.

Now, I have learned my lesson on writing an article the night before publishing so that when something unplanned comes about, I will be ready to just hit publish on the same day.

Here is another example of people/organizations who are doing more with less:

Kelly Hungerford

Mrs. Hungerford is a small business consultant who co-host “bizheroes” every Tuesday at 1 p.m. central.

She was working with Paper.li for about four years before striking out on her own.

With the limited resources that they had, Kelly used her imagination and build the Paper.Li community into a loyal following.

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One of those innovations was #bizheroes chat.

She started the chat last year and over that period, amassed a loyal following.

#Bizheroes has also trended on Twitter for the majority of the time they have been in existence.

That ingenuity of Mrs. Hungerford has made Paper.Li one of the most respected small businesses in the world.

By the way, she still co-host the #bizheroes chat with Paper.Li even though she is on her own because of the company treating her right.

The World Is Your Oyster

By Cheval John

When a person travels overseas, they have a chance to explore a different culture.

They can see how people live differently from them and also pick up some new habits that can benefit them and their business.

Many people only get to see the surface of the culture when they are visiting a country due to the “dreaded” vacation.

That vacation time for most lasts only two weeks.

Plus they might only be in the touristy spots of the country if they only speak English.

That makes it more difficult for them to really enjoy the culture.

For those who believe that they can spend time overseas and make it part of their work, I am very happy for them.

They understand that in this day and age, everything is more mobile and internet friendly.

If they have a computer and internet, they can run a business from anywhere in the world.

That is why so many people are going the entrepreneurial path and are taking their business overseas.

They see that it will allow them to explore their culture and also have something great to do while they are not worrying about the cost of running a business.

For example, many expats are living in the cheapest countries in the world while they are growing their business.

They see that the expense is much lower when they are living in the developing countries compared to the Western World according to this article on the Tropical MBA website.

And they don’t have to run an online business to live overseas.

If you are running a fitness training online, you can have the opportunity to live overseas and train the clients who are looking to get themselves back into great health.

Jamie Logie had the opportunity to live and work overseas in the fitness industry.

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He now runs a website called Regained Wellness.com, which allows him to show people how to eat healthy and avoid the foods which makes them more sick.

He has a podcast by the same name which reached No.1 on iTunes in the New and Noteworthy section of fitness and nutrition.

And he has written two books that allowed him to attain Amazon Best-Selling Status.

So if you do have the opportunity to live overseas, now is the best time to begin.

If you put it off until the perfect time, that perfect time will probably never arrive.

Plus, you will also be among a small percentage of people who have either studied or lived overseas and in the process gain more opportunities to grow your business if you are an entrepreneur or gain full time work if you want to be an employee.