Earlier this year, the winner of Celebrity Apprentice was Leeza Gibbons, a correspondent and co-host of Entertainment Tonight and later the host of her own talk show. During the competition, there was a great deal of drama between the ladies in the running. When asked how she managed to stay out of the drama, Gibbons answered:
My mother’s inspiration was enormously important to my win. I promised her when she got Alzheimer’s disease that I would “tell her story and make it count.” How incredible that she got this amazing prime-time platform for awareness! And I played the game with her advice in my ear. She always said, “Stay in your lane. Run your race,” so I kept remembering just to ignore all the drama around me and focus on what I needed to do to help our team win the task. It proved to be a pretty good winning strategy for “Celebrity Apprentice,” and it’s been pretty good at my career, too!
Simply put, Leeza is a class act, and I have thought many times since then about those words of wisdom handed down from her mother. The words “Stay in your lane. Run your race,” resonate with me as I concentrate on staying focused in my business.
Someone recently asked me, “Wendy, who are your competitors?” I was honestly taken aback by that. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about “the competition”. In business, it’s critical that you stay focused on what you’re doing and ignore the competition. (Yes, it’s important to know the market because you have to stay open to new ideas, but you don’t need to worry about what other people are doing.)
Find your voice and create the magic for your customers. It’s what sets you apart and makes you special. If you are creating the same product as your competition, your only differentiation is price. You have no choice but to compete on price. Stay in your lane.
Constantly worrying about your competition, will put a negative spin on everything you do, leading you into victim thinking. That is the kind of thinking that says, “I’m limited because of what I can do.” Instead, turn your thinking around by being positive and staying in your lane. Focus on your customer and listen to their needs. Stay in your lane.
When you’re driving, you naturally head in the direction of your focus. If you are constantly turning to look at the car in the other lane, you will wind up veering in that direction. Business is the same way. A constant focus on what others are doing will cause you to lose your focus. There’s a lot of noise out there and it’s easy to lose your focus, but focus straight ahead. Stay in your lane.
A mentality of abundance says, “There’s plenty of business to go around.” Embracing this mentality allows you to focus on your clients without worrying about what others are doing. Bring value to your clients. Stay in your lane.