The Value of Coopetition and Rivalry

I knew a clinician that was trained in a specific practice of healing. She, in fact, was the only person who was trained in this type of healing in her entire city. She, however, received this training from out-of-state. So when she heard that her mentor was thinking of coming to her very city to conduct a workshop, she tried to dissuade her mentor from doing so.

My client currently has a long wait list of people who need her services. She simply can’t take all of them on, and so she turns these people away, or makes them wait.

In my mind, this was selfish. She was allowing people to suffer just because she didn’t want any competition. That’s not exactly good branding.

She soon came to realize that if more people practiced this form of healing, it would bring legitimacy to it, and it would also be more aligned with her mission to heal people using this method, even if she wasn’t the one doing the healing. She currently leads a group of other practitioners where they share case studies, and discuss outreach programs. Win-win for everyone. And she still has a waitlist.

In this age of hyper-competitiveness, we sometimes lose site of our mission and the big picture. Sometimes we forget that there is a way to stay competitive and make our business grow without having to kill the competition.

Rather than trying to kill off your competition, why not try to work with them instead? Why not a have a little friendly rivalry? This is known as cooperative competition, or coopetition. Coopetition is when two competing entities work together to help each other, often toward a common goal. This is not to be confused with collusion.

For example, I know a wedding photographer who often gives away overflow work to other wedding photographers. He’d rather give a good referral rather than letting the client feel rejected. Sometimes, he’ll work with other photographers with the same client, usually one assisting the other. His competition, in turn, often refers clients to him whenever they have an overflow. By seeing how the other works, it forces them all to step-up their game, in terms of their photographic skills.

Sometimes, having a rivalry is a good thing. A rivalry will keep us on our toes, and challenge us to improve, and your customers are the one’s that will benefit from it.

Don’t be afraid of a little competition. Welcome it. If you can’t take the competition, then maybe you have no business being in the game in the first place. If you feel you’ve got what it takes, then a little rivalry go a long way to improve your game.

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