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“Look for ways to be inclusive rather than competitive—for ways to help the whole team win rather than just one individual. As much as possible, it behooves you to erase the idea of competition in the workplace from your mind.”
Excerpt From: “The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life” by Bernard Roth.
The idea of community within an industry is counterintuitive because it’s new, but highly necessary in today’s world.
I love being around and interacting with other branding designers, logo makers and letterers. I learn from them. Just because someone follows you, doesn’t mean that they can’t follow someone else as well. You don’t like just one type of food, do you? There’s no win or loose. Whether your lead a community or you are part of one, you will only benefit from it.
In a tribe, you share the same space with people from different industries or of the same as you. There, you are able to share interests, knowledge, fears and whatever else, with likeminded people.
For instance, an animator within a community who shares techniques with other animators do not necessarily share the same geographical characteristics or even a niche with them. But instead of seeing them as so-called competitors, she sees them as partners. While she is animating lettering, one of the others is animating icons and the is animating characters. It’s not because you share the same “title”, you are direct “competitors”. And even if you were. The internet is a big enough place — the world is a big enough place — to hold all of you.
Actually, do yourself a favor and eliminate the concept of competition from your mind. A well defined brand has a well defined target audience and market. Your problem is not what someone else is doing, but what you ought to be doing. Erase the externals and reinvent the internals. I am not asking you to alienate your brand, but to secure it. Be ahead instead of following.
Selling and Being sold
Brands are not sold anymore, they are bought. That means that if a certain individual doesn’t resonate with Apple, they are not bought into it, therefore they don’t buy from it. It’s not just Apple that doesn’t sell to them.
To eliminate the concept of competition: regardless of what happens externally, you need to be able to recognize what motivates you. This means that, if you love tech and you are always on top the game, knowing what’s going on and applying what you know, who then can do it better than you?
Be obsessed with finding out what you don’t know. Community is a great way to do that, because there will be people with different knowledge levels and backgrounds who will help you with finding resources and genuinely caring about what you do. Seek diversity.
However, it has to be two ways, otherwise you are an opportunist and a selfish leech in a group of genuine people. Teach what you know, so that more people can grow. If you are constantly learning, you will be ahead of the game. Being inclusive means taking care of the newbies as well as the intermediate people.
You can teach and find community in various forms. But mind you, for it to be worthwhile it has to be reciprocal. You need to share and you need to listen. Whether you pay a membership to someone who owns a community, whether you watch YouTube, listen to podcasts and read books. When you are simply consuming content, you have an extra step to take, because then it’s not an environment of community but rather straight forward gaining knowledge. The key is to find ways to interact with other people and share value.
- Being inclusive rather than competitive brings the most rewards;
- Being part of a community means getting touch with a multitude of knowledge only possible through diversity;
- The internet and the world are big enough places: just because you share an industry with someone doesn’t mean that you can’t share knowledge;
- External factors should not dictate your actions, rather, you should find what motivates you;
- Brands are not sold, they are bought;
- Be obsessed about knowledge;
- Be genuine and use reciprocity in life and community;
- Teach what you know, there is always someone who knows less than you do.