We are all a little competitive by nature. Naturally, we want to be be faster or better than our peers and it’s this feeling of competition that pushes us to strive for more. But competition does have it’s downsides, and this is why I believe it no longer has no place in the VA world.
The reality of competition focused business
When it comes to business, the rules are changing. For far too long, competition, fierceness and pressure were the keys to success. Business was seen as a ‘dog eat dog’ world, a world where ‘there are no friends – just competitors’ and everyone felt a need to fight for their piece of success.
But competing with your peers had its downsides. The need to seen better than your counterparts meant you had to shout louder, stand out more, push yourself to be more, try harder and do more. Working hours kept extending, authenticity was replaced with perceived, staged image, whilst the very values and beliefs that made you unique, were often replaced with jealousy, underhand tactics and backstabbing. Not to mention the effects competition stress had on a person’s overall health, well-being and personal life.
Competition is a lonely game
The competitive mindset still continues in many industries. We find ourselves in competition with others when we fear there aren’t enough clients to go around. We feel the need to stand out, in order to ‘get’ what we feel we’re entitled to have. We’re in it for our own gain – and we stand alone.
The problem with this mindset is we become naturally wary of our peers. Competition makes us distrustful of others and we second-guess any attempts of connection from another VA. We’re become focused on the negative aspects of business, rather than the joy and freedom it can bring.
Collaboration is the way forward
Collaboration on the other hand, encourages us to work together – something that is encouraged in the VA world. We look at others as our peers, friends even, and we look to work with them, rather than against them.
As VAs we’re naturally inclined towards helping others and collaboration suits that part of our nature. This is why VAs are trained to not only grow their own businesses, but to also grow their networks with other businesses and their connections with other VAs. Associates form an essential part of any growing VA business, as they not only help you grow, they help those Associate VAs grow too. It’s a natural win-win scenario, without the stress of competition, and with the added bonus of more freedom and security.
Collaboration is how we raise VA industry standards higher
It’s about learning from and sharing with each other, whilst also empowering each VA to be the best version of themselves.
It’s about being better because we want to – not because we feel the need to stand above other VAs.
Collaboration is based on the understanding that, if we work as a team, we make it better for all. Instead of pushing and striving, we’re attracting and growing, as individuals and teams – all working together to ensure overall standards in our shared industry remain high.
The VA industry as a whole is still growing, and we all have a part to play in that growth. We want the VA industry to have higher standards, so we can always be aiming to become the best version of ourselves – and this is something that can only be achieved, if we let go of competition and focus instead, on collaboration.
The Society of Virtual Assistants has an ethos of #CollaborationNotCompetition – and it is something that VACT Limited totally supports and endorses. You can check out their post on the subject here.
What are your thoughts on collaboration and competition? Do you believe collaboration is how we raise standards and expectations? Do you feel competition is healthy and still needed? Why not share your thoughts and opinions, by leaving a comment in the box below!