We are in the midst of one of the greatest sport competitions on earth as the Winter Olympic games from Sochi Russia continue to create buzz, excitement and epic sports battles. In a global sporting event such as the Olympics there are stories of undeniable favourites cruising to victory, under-dogs rising to stardom and feel-good stories of those individuals who overcame great adversity to be at the games. However you spin it, the Olympics create lasting memories and fierce competition amongst some of the world’s greatest athletes and strongest competitors. Some very noteworthy stories coming out of the games include the falling of American snowboard legend Shaun White who was beat out by Russian snowboarding hero Iouri Podladtchikov in the men’s half pipe. Gianian Ernst of Germany, who recently turned 15, is the youngest Olympic participant competing in the women’s ski jump. Jaqueline Mourao became the first Brazilian biathlete to ever compete in the sprint. These are a few examples of athletes overcoming great odds and rising up to beat or play with the global heavyweights and Olympic favourites.
Large competitors with vast resources exist in sport and business and sometimes challenging them may seem overwhelming and insurmountable. Start with the following 3 steps to get started and rival some of the big players in your industry to come out on top:
1) Belief in your team and message: Do you and your team believe that you can beat out your larger competitors? If not, you will need to adjust the message you are sending by first adjusting your mindset. You must believe that you deserve to win or deserve to land a sale. Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better.
2) Don’t follow your competitors: Focus on personalizing your product or service and the value you can deliver that your larger competitor may be unable to commit to. In discussions with a prospective customer, ignore focusing on the areas that your competitor may have you beat.
3) Capitalize on your strengths: Iouri Podladtchikov beat out Shaun White in the men’s snowboard half-pipe competition because he invented and committed to a trick that White was ultimately not able to perfect and perform. Differentiation is key. If you are a smaller market player perhaps focus on your prompt personal service and the fact that your competitor may be slower and less flexible.
In order to achieve your Olympic gold medal in business – focus on what you do best and be prepared to work for it!