Ever since I founded Primal Strength Camp, and even more so since I opened the Primal Strength Gym, I get asked “Who is your competition?”
My answer probably isn’t what you expect from a typical businessman, but my honest and genuine feeling is that I have no outside competition.
That is not me being naive. The biggest gym in my town is a mile away from me. There is a Gold’s Gym less than 5 miles away. There are other gyms scattered around the town, all within a few miles of my location.
I could easily win a pissing contest about how I’m the gym in Charlottesville (and the region) with the biggest social media following; how I’m the only one with a kick ass blog that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors; how my training knowledge is light years above other trainers; how my gym is exclusive with some of the strongest lifters in the area, and actually institutes a waiting list; and how my gym has the best and most unique equipment.
If you ask me or any of my clients and gym members, they will tell you hands down, I have the best gym in Charlottesville.
That all sounds great on the surface and sure, it’s awesome for marketing and potential sales purposes, but it does nothing for my personal growth as a business man, a coach, an athlete, or a human being.
All of the above accolades and praise, in a way, are meaningless.
Let me clarify that thought with three examples:
#1: Most Competition is Subjective
Aside from head to head competition in sport (who can lift the most weight under identical conditions, for example), most competitions are really just subjective comparisons.
Take my gym example. How would you rate the best gym in Charlottesville? The serious lifter and person wanting to sling some serious poundage would take my gym all day, but the typical housewife would much rather take group ex over at Gold’s.
What about the Monday morning office debates about who the best NFL quarterback is? We’ve all heard it and everyone has a different answer. (The classic debate about comparing quarterbacks based on Superbowl wins versus position statistics comes to mind.)
The point is, it’s all a matter of opinion.
Opinions are like assholes. Everybody’s got one and everyone thinks everyone else’s stinks.
#2: Competition is Unrealistic
Competition is simply not realistic in most cases.
Say you wanted to be as strong as “The Mountain” Hafthor Bjornsson. Hate to burst your bubble, but you don’t have the genetics…
Just like I think it would be pretty cool to be a bassist in a rock band, I’m not going to surpass Flea from the Chili Peppers any time soon…
You need to compare apples to apples and 90% of the time, we are really just comparing apples to oranges…
#3: Competition Can Make You Drift From Your Identity
This is probably the most important reason of the three and something you must understand to achieve long-term growth as an individual.
You see, my outlook on the strength and coaching business is different than the norm.
If you ask me, I’m not in the business of making money. I’m in the business of making bad ass motherfuckers. That means I don’t take every person that walks through the door as a client or member, and I’m really focused on working with the right kind of people.
If I bring the wrong people in just to make some more cash like most gyms do, I’m letting competition pull me away from my identity and brand.
Don’t get distracted by what other people are doing. Nobody else should ever drive your progress and vision. Always stick to your values and know who you are as a person/coach/entrepreneur.
Everything else going on around you (“competition” included) is just noise…
So Who Is Your Competition?
The above thoughts are not meant to portray competition as bad. We compete in the weight room everyday and it’s damn healthy for your mental and physical drive. You should attack the weight room (and life) with a take no prisoners attitude. If I’m training with a partner, I am out to crush him on every lift, even if he outweighs me by 50 pounds.
But competition is a slippery slope…
At the end of the day, the only competition you have is with yourself.
The minute you learn to stop comparing yourself to others (on a deeper level), and instead focus that energy to making yourself better each and every day, the more freedom and clarity you will have in your life.
Better than I was yesterday.
That should be your mantra.
Nothing else matters because at the end of the day, your personal growth is your only measuring stick.
If you plan on kicking everyone else’s ass in the gym and in life (as you should be), the path is always through self-improvement. Are you smarter than you were yesterday? Did you lift more weight than you did last week? Did you train more frequently than you did last year?
Those are equatable and measurable things.
Worrying about outside noise and comparing yourself to others is a waste of time and energy, that of which is far better spent investing in a stronger version of yourself.
Forget about the competition. Just worry about what you see in the mirror…