Some people don’t just see their business as a means to an end. Many of us view our business with great passion and imagination. For me, I don’t just see a competitor as a competitor. I see them as a rival. I might as well be Superman and they’re General Zod. If you’ve got that kind of fantastical view, then you might really embrace this post.
While you have your General Zods of the business world, you’ve also got your Lex Luthors – people whom you’re friends with but secretly hate. If they feel the same way about you, then you’ve got your business frenemy, which is an enemy masquerading as a friend. You both are friendly enough, but you would secretly love to outdo each other. You both know it, but neither of you are uncivil enough to admit it for any number of reasons … including the fact that you might need each other.
A Fast Company article by Prasad Thammineni, entitled “Building a Business Around Frenemies,” takes a bold look at this unique position. Arguing his point on cloud companies, he writes “The core of the frenemy theory is this: The very nature of the cloud is collaborative, and users don’t want to be hamstrung by a certain service. If your company chooses to make other cloud services work well together, you’re going to attract a loyal user base. But it goes a level further than just playing nice with others. We can associate 40% of our revenue with our frenemy partners.” Prasad terms the strategy as anti-proprietary, rightly arguing against business isolationism in what’s the start of a ‘Frenemy Manifesto.’
In addition to the Zods and Luthors, you’ve also got to deal with Bizarro. In Superman fiction, Bizarro is the mirror image of Superman in which everything good about our original hero is reversed – almost like a shadow character, a failed doppelganger and essentially the Green Goblin equivalent of a gremlin-like self. We all have one, but it’s a question of which version of you wins out.
Inc. Magazine writer Geoffrey James gets this. In his article, “Turn Self-Sabotage into Success,” Geoffrey writes a decline in project enthusiasm (and essentially conviction) as an inner gremlin that causes self-sabotage. He quotes Tom Roth, COO of a sales training firm called Wilson Learning, who gave him the “Stop-Challenge-Focus” technique. The technique involves forcing yourself to first identify the belief causing a frustrated emotion preventing you from moving forward. Next, question the validity of that belief (where you’ll usually find it’s not based on fact), and then create an inner counter dialogue that supports your goals. Follow it up with action. Not knowing what I was doing had a label, I’ve used the technique on myself. The busier you get, the more likely you are to be discouraged by your own goals through nothing short of your own mindset.
Pscyhology Today gets it right with an article on this subject. According to them self-sabotage “is the conflict that exists between conscious desires and unconscious wants that manifests in self-sabotage patterns. It not only prevents you from reaching your goal, but also becomes a safety mechanism that protects you against disappointment. In other words, your brain is protecting you from getting hurt by doing what it thinks is best, which is keeping you within your comfort zone.”
So really it’s not about failing, it’s about having to admit that maybe you weren’t good at something. Try not to think of it that way. Rewire your brain to think that it’s not that you failed, but that you’re strategy failed. This way, the goal isn’t a failure, but rather the way to best achieve that goal.
Are you ready for a smarter way to engage with your customers?
Benchmark helps you do email marketing the practical way. Create an ongoing relationship with your subscribers that leads to increased sales and happier customers.