It’s hard to believe we’re already in the last week of our 4-week Quest journey with Jeffrey Davis at Tracking Wonder. This is the second year I’m participating and once again it’s been full of rich, stimulating ideas, discussions, and reflections. #WeQuest #BestYear #DoingItTogether.
It’s school holidays and I’m home with my two young children attempting to squeeze this week’s response into the cracks of their needs and demands. With my husband offshore for work for the Christmas and New Year period, it’s a challenging time of single parenting for me. However, I managed to listen to this week’s wonderful roundtable discussion in the car on the way back from a 5-day holiday down at a seaside holiday village in Western Australia.
This week’s topic is intriguing and very relevant: Competition versus Building Community. Responses from different Quest participants can be found across social media using the hashtag #CompetitionCommunity. The discussion between Dorie Clark, Marketing & Strategy Consultant and Jonathon Fields of the Good Life Project explored the different aspects of competition in entrepreneurship and the need to build a loyal community of people who resonate with your brand and message.
On the topic of competition, both Dorie and Jonathon discussed how they’ve never been motivated by competition with others, but rather by an intrinsic drive to always improve on their own internal standards. Both have achieved wonderful things in their careers due to this desire to continuously improve themselves and their work. I think I’ve operated in a similar way over the course of my life.
Competition is healthy to a point; it helps us look around at others to see where we can strive for more ourselves. It gives us the impulse and motivation to push ourselves harder, to see what we’re truly capable of. It becomes unhealthy when the sole motivation is to always be ‘better than’ everyone else, leaving no room for cooperation, collaboration and ‘win-win’ solutions. I love these wise words from Franklin Roosevelt.
“Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further.
Cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off.”
– Franklin D. Roosevelt
True power and possibility come from shifting our focus from simply ‘outdoing’ others to generating collaborative, win-win solutions in contribution to a vision larger than ourselves.
It’s been shown again and again in different ‘happiness’ studies that those who focus their energy and efforts on something larger than themselves feel more fulfilled and genuinely happy than those who focus their efforts simply on increasing their own power or status. Both Dorie Clarke and Jonathon Fields have a very clear vision for a future that they’re working towards and this vision drives their efforts and communities in a way that leaves them feeling impactful, fulfilled and satisfied.
There is a lot of ‘competing’ out there particularly in the coaching world that I’m now part of; people trying to protect the communities they’ve worked hard to build and protect their own ideas and intellectual property. While I can certainly appreciate that it’s important to protect ourselves, last year I noticed that things started shifting for me personally once I stopped looking at fellow coaches as ‘competitors’ and started looking at them as potential opportunities for collaboration, and vehicles for bringing more resources, tools, and resources to the people I’m here to serve.
Once we can move past ‘competing’ to focusing our efforts instead on creating collaborative opportunities to serve our people more effectively, we open the doors to even greater impact and possibility.
Jeffrey Davis does this brilliantly in the way he sets up his whole annual Quest collaboration. And when we ‘light another candle’ by embracing our competitors and their work and providing opportunities for their greater impact and visibility, we expand our own networks, our friendships and our own ability to serve and impact others more genuinely and effectively.
The Role of Envy in Competition and Community Building
In the discussion of competition, the topic of envy came up and how the emotion can be used as a signpost for what we desire more of in our lives. Rather than feeling bad about our feelings of envy towards others, we can use them to uncover more about our own genuine desires.
This week Jeffrey Davis asked the question:
“Who do you envy and what is it telling you about your own desires?”
For me personally, I look towards those who have built knowledge, expertise, and networks through reaching out to people they admire and interviewing them about how they do what they do. They then culminate all their findings in books or podcasts to share their ‘secrets’ with others. This approach has three great by-products:
– You create a connection with someone you admire and expand your network significantly with inspiring people a few steps ahead of you on the path;
– You learn directly how these people have gotten where they are;
– You become an ‘expert’ of sorts on the topic you’re researching and you’re able to share your learnings and insights with others to help them.
Again, Jeffrey does this brilliantly in Quest. Another good example is Chris Guillebeau’s book Born For This: How to Find the Work You Were Meant To Do in which he travels the world interviewing people who have made the decision to go for their dreams, despite all kinds of difficult (sometimes seemingly impossible) obstacles they have up against them. In the process, he learns so much, establishes a broad network of like-minded people doing great things in the world and brings all this knowledge and insight to his followers and his readers. I’m currently pondering how I could do something along those lines to expand my network of like-minded dreamers.
Both visionaries Dorie Clarke and Jonathon Fields discussed the importance of building our own communities of people with shared values and beliefs, particularly as entrepreneurs.
Jonathon Fields’ instigation this week for #CompetitionCommunity is:
Finding or building community starts with shared values and beliefs. Write down three or four deeply held values or beliefs about the way you see the world and what’s important to you.
Here are mine:
- To live our happiest lives, it’s essential that we get to know ourselves intimately through cultivating in-depth self-awareness. We need to tune into our hearts to become familiar with our own genuine desires and creative impuleses and make daily choices to be true to ourselves. #Authenticity #AuthenticJoy #ListenToYourHeart
- We create our own reality through our thoughts and beliefs. Keeping our thoughts and attention focused on what we want (not on what we ‘don’t want’ through worry and obsessing), we allow more of what we want to flow into our lives. #powerofintention #joyonpurpose;
- It is up to each of us to do the ‘inner work’ to work through emotional barriers that prevent us from experiencing genuine happiness and fulfillment. Personal growth, healing, and transformation are necessary to experience greater levels of peace, joy and harmony #innerpeace #selfcare #selflove #relationships
- “Loving what you do is the fountain of all youth”. Life feels good when your work and life feel meaningful and you’re contributing your unique gifts towards something you care about and that contributes something positive to the world. It’s up to each of us to find the work that makes us come alive and allows us to unleash our unique gifts for the benefit of all. #findyourpathandpurpose #findyourpurpose #professionaljoy #selfexpression #authenticselfexpression
- We become the best version of ourselves when we find the people and communities who support us to be ourselves and reach for the stars. #relationships #community.
Dorie Clarke’s instigation for #CompetitionCommunity this week is:
To get an invitation, you have to give an invitation.
Who will you invite to the table in 2018, and what form will this take?
Late last year I started a video series called CONVERSATIONS THAT MATTER, which is a series of interviews with some brave and courageous women who have overcome serious adversity to find their inner light and share it with the world through their work. The series aims to discuss real issues and challenges that we all deal with to some degree, with the intention to:
– Help people understand they’re not alone in their own challenges and struggles;
– To share our stories and journeys in order to heal, connect and learn from each other’s journeys;
– Empower, uplift and inspire each other.
I’m going to continue the series this year and consider inviting some people I really admire and look up to. I’m still pondering who that might be.
I’m also looking for ways to include some of the complementary services offered by my coaching colleagues in my own coaching packages to:
1) Offer more value to the people I work with;
2) Collaborate with and support fellow colleagues in my field;
3) Expand my network of supportive friends and colleagues.
This year’s theme for me will be along the lines of Jeffrey Davis’ favorite saying:
Doing it Together (DIT) Beats Doing it Alone (DIY).
– Jeffrey Davis
Thank you Jeffrey for providing such thought-provoking topics again this week.
If you missed the first Quest instigations and responses, you can view them here:
And in the spirit of collaboration, please check out some of the beautiful responses this week from fellow Questers on this week’s instigation #CompetitionCommunity:
Alicia Anderson’s beautiful post Inviting Change.
Julie Peatt Cassaday shares her thoughtful response here: Week 4 Quest 2018 Competition versus Community Building
In service to helping you live your brightest life,
Katie De Jong, Ph.D.
Personal & Professional Freedom Mentor
Whispering Heart Coaching