The World Is a Lot Bigger Than You Think

There is a lot of talk about competition out there these days – and the competitive nature, across industries, of our generation (and to be honest, every generation). There’s also a lot of talk about collaboration, working together, uniting and pushing each other to do more and be at our best.

The truth of the matter is – we’re all hustling. Hell, I’ve never see so much hustle in my entire life as I’ve seen in the past six months. There is so much moving, shaking, and go-getting taking place out there, it makes my head spin. And it’s awesome, really awesome – to be able to clash ideas, share thoughts, brainstorm proposals, start projects…you name it. Whatever you want to do, with whoever you want to do it with – the possibilities are endless. I’ve talked to a TON of people over the past two weeks – and every single on of them has these amazing dreams, innovative ideas, and incredible goals that they want to achieve. It’s pretty damn inspiring.

But then there’s this competition thing – something that can motivate and drive you to greatness, but can then turn on a dime and make you a bitter and miserable person. And I don’t really understand it – I don’t understand the bitterness, the “I was here first” attitude, the unwillingness of some people to do good for others and instead siding with selfishness. Guys…Being generous pays dividends, and worrying about what everyone else is doing is a waste of time. Yes, you should keep an eye out on the horizon, but instead of worrying about the other people around you who who are achieving success at whatever it is they’re doing – you should be worrying about what YOU’RE doing, what you can be doing better, and you YOU personally can best serve your community, clients, etc.

The world is bigger than you think. This idea goes way beyond our Gen Y Twitter community, this idea is national and international – there are millions and millions of people hustling out there – and it all comes down to one thing. Finding your niche. Finding what you’re great at. Working to develop your own skills – and letting your target market know you’re there.

It’s not about being the best. You’re not the best, I’m not the best – none of us are the best. THERE IS NO BEST, capiche?

We’re all good at something, or someTHINGS – don’t ever let the competition diminish what you’re good at, and don’t waste your time bashing everyone else. Know what you can do, and own it – take it to the bank. Everyone has different styles, everyone has different approaches – and this just in – you’re not going to please everyone along the way – you’re going to make some amazing connections, build some incredible friendships, make a lot of money, and while you’re at it, piss some people off and rub them the wrong way. You can’t win them all, no matter how hard you try.

With success comes competition – with competition comes envy and jealousy – don’t fall into the trap. Know that there are other people out there doing very similar things that you are but that the world we live in is a MASSIVE place ripe with opportunity for you, me, and everyone else. You have something to offer that I don’t – that no one else does.

Focus on what YOU can and should be doing, forget all the rest. Everyone who wants to can (and will) achieve greatness.

What are YOU focusing on?


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127 Responses
  • Jen Reply

    I really liked this post Matt. At times I catch myself thinking ‘there isn’t enough’ especially when I see lots of other people offering similar services but I usually catch myself …we are all doing good stuff and I try and remind myself of your message…there is no competition and we just need t do our best and help each other … the more we help others, the more it keeps the cycle going.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Hi Jen. I have to catch myself as well – It’s easy to think that our tight-knit community is all there is – and we forget that there is a whole world of opportunity out their for us…all of us. There’s plenty to go around and, in both our personal and professional endeavors, there are going to be people and businesses who are going down very similar paths. Rather than focusing in on what everyone else does – it’s of much more value to you (and me) if we can take the time to define what we are great at, and then follow that niche.

      I don’t think I would write off competition completely, but there is clearly a line between constructive and destructive competition, don’t you think?

  • Jen Reply

    I really liked this post Matt. At times I catch myself thinking ‘there isn’t enough’ especially when I see lots of other people offering similar services but I usually catch myself …we are all doing good stuff and I try and remind myself of your message…there is no competition and we just need t do our best and help each other … the more we help others, the more it keeps the cycle going.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Hi Jen. I have to catch myself as well – It’s easy to think that our tight-knit community is all there is – and we forget that there is a whole world of opportunity out their for us…all of us. There’s plenty to go around and, in both our personal and professional endeavors, there are going to be people and businesses who are going down very similar paths. Rather than focusing in on what everyone else does – it’s of much more value to you (and me) if we can take the time to define what we are great at, and then follow that niche.

      I don’t think I would write off competition completely, but there is clearly a line between constructive and destructive competition, don’t you think?

  • Sheema Reply

    Great post Matt! I agree that when you see your competitors, or colleagues, succeeding in something it can be tempting to get jealous or simply quit whatever it is what you’re doing. I like your approach to just doing the best that YOU can do- not focus on what everyone else is doing. I was actually thinking about quitting blogging, but this post has be reevaluating! Thanks!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Don’t quit…seriously don’t do it. If you don’t mind me asking – what has you thinking about the idea of quitting? Sometimes talking through it helps a bit (I had to talk with some other blogger friends in the past when I thought about closing up shop) – so I’ve been there.

      And you’re right – focus on the best YOU can do – don’t focus so much on what everyone else is out there doing – or at least, don’t let it effect you. Learn from your surroundings and use “competition” to motivate YOU to be that much better.

      • Sheema Reply

        I just don’t think I’m a very good at blogging! I’ve failed at keeping a blogging schedule, as well as getting people to read my content. I just feel like no one cares what I have to say- I know that you should blog for yourself, but without some positive reinforcement, it feels sad to keep going!

        • Matt Cheuvront Reply

          Believe me when I say that I hear you. I would be HAPPY (more than happy) to help if you want to chat about this more. I’ll shoot you an email and we can brainstorm.

  • Sheema Reply

    Great post Matt! I agree that when you see your competitors, or colleagues, succeeding in something it can be tempting to get jealous or simply quit whatever it is what you’re doing. I like your approach to just doing the best that YOU can do- not focus on what everyone else is doing. I was actually thinking about quitting blogging, but this post has be reevaluating! Thanks!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Don’t quit…seriously don’t do it. If you don’t mind me asking – what has you thinking about the idea of quitting? Sometimes talking through it helps a bit (I had to talk with some other blogger friends in the past when I thought about closing up shop) – so I’ve been there.

      And you’re right – focus on the best YOU can do – don’t focus so much on what everyone else is out there doing – or at least, don’t let it effect you. Learn from your surroundings and use “competition” to motivate YOU to be that much better.

      • Sheema Reply

        I just don’t think I’m a very good at blogging! I’ve failed at keeping a blogging schedule, as well as getting people to read my content. I just feel like no one cares what I have to say- I know that you should blog for yourself, but without some positive reinforcement, it feels sad to keep going!

        • Matt Cheuvront Reply

          Believe me when I say that I hear you. I would be HAPPY (more than happy) to help if you want to chat about this more. I’ll shoot you an email and we can brainstorm.

  • Andrea Reply

    Thanks Matt, I enjoyed this post. As an outside or more of a newbie I see a lot of this on twitter and blogs it seems. I think people really forgot how big the world is and how each of us have something to offer since we all are very different and every experience will shape you differently in your life.
    Competition is always good but along with that team work and working together more will never hurt you, it will only help.
    Thanks!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Agreed 100%. It’s easy to pigeonhole yourself into that very niche network of people, sometimes we need a reminder that there is a whole world out there we haven’t even begun to tap into…

  • Andrea Reply

    Thanks Matt, I enjoyed this post. As an outside or more of a newbie I see a lot of this on twitter and blogs it seems. I think people really forgot how big the world is and how each of us have something to offer since we all are very different and every experience will shape you differently in your life.
    Competition is always good but along with that team work and working together more will never hurt you, it will only help.
    Thanks!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Agreed 100%. It’s easy to pigeonhole yourself into that very niche network of people, sometimes we need a reminder that there is a whole world out there we haven’t even begun to tap into…

  • Henri Junttila Reply

    Rockin post, Matt!

    I agree that in reality there is no competition. Helping others does pay off and it feels good. Share instead of hoard. Collaborate instead of compete. It’s all good.

    Once you find your passion, your voice or your purpose, whatever you want to call it, you will start attracting the right people into your life. They need/want your help, so keep plugging away and doing good stuff. That’s my way of thinking ;)

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      I like that way of thinking Henri – good stuff. When you do good, it always comes back full circle. Cheers!

  • Henri Junttila Reply

    Rockin post, Matt!

    I agree that in reality there is no competition. Helping others does pay off and it feels good. Share instead of hoard. Collaborate instead of compete. It’s all good.

    Once you find your passion, your voice or your purpose, whatever you want to call it, you will start attracting the right people into your life. They need/want your help, so keep plugging away and doing good stuff. That’s my way of thinking ;)

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      I like that way of thinking Henri – good stuff. When you do good, it always comes back full circle. Cheers!

  • Yifei Reply

    Hey Matt,

    I’m with you 100% of the way. I think most of us start with a biological gut reaction to cheer when the other guy crashes and burns. Once you toss that habit, the world just becomes a more friendly place.

    To argue the other side though, competition IS realistically going to play a factor, no matter how empowering someone’s worldview. Lower barriers to entry and success stories such as your own have created hundreds of new bloggers. Layoffs and necessity have created thousands of new freelancers. The economics of the situation mean that unless demand rose alongside supply, there are going to be more losers than before.

    In practical application though? I think your mindset is a healthy one. So long as folks take the time to scope out their niche and differentiate like hell, there are definitely opportunities to be had. Cheers!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Yes. Agreed. The important thing is to differentiate – define what YOU are good at and work within that – instead of worrying about how everyone else is competing, define yourself and/or your business and what you can be doing that nobody else is…

  • Yifei Reply

    Hey Matt,

    I’m with you 100% of the way. I think most of us start with a biological gut reaction to cheer when the other guy crashes and burns. Once you toss that habit, the world just becomes a more friendly place.

    To argue the other side though, competition IS realistically going to play a factor, no matter how empowering someone’s worldview. Lower barriers to entry and success stories such as your own have created hundreds of new bloggers. Layoffs and necessity have created thousands of new freelancers. The economics of the situation mean that unless demand rose alongside supply, there are going to be more losers than before.

    In practical application though? I think your mindset is a healthy one. So long as folks take the time to scope out their niche and differentiate like hell, there are definitely opportunities to be had. Cheers!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Yes. Agreed. The important thing is to differentiate – define what YOU are good at and work within that – instead of worrying about how everyone else is competing, define yourself and/or your business and what you can be doing that nobody else is…

  • Tim Jahn Reply

    “THERE IS NO BEST, capiche?”

    I completely disagree, and I’m guessing you haven’t read Good To Great. First, please go read that book. It’s a MUST read for anybody in any form of business, in my opinion.

    One question I often ask entrepreneurs on Beyond The Pedway is “What are you the best in world at?” It usually takes people a few seconds but they really dig deep to realize what it is they are truly the best in the world at.

    We all have core skills that we’re better than anybody else at. That’s what drives some companies to succeed. Apple is the best in the world at sleek electronic product design. Zappos is the best in the world at customer service. Figuring out what you’re the best in the world at is part of what drives you to succeed. As well as the other parts of the Hedgehog Concept.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      I have to completely disagree with you here (surprise, surprise). I have read Good to Great, by the way – and reading that book doesn’t change my perspective (it’s just one book). Being the “best” is all a matter of perspective. You do have to focus on what you can be doing that other people aren’t – targeting a specific niche, offering a new or unique product or service, approaching your clients in new and innovative ways. But even by doing all this – it doesn’t necessarily make you the best.

      I know what I am extremely good at, I know what my forte’s are – but I’m not going to sit here and claim I am the absolute BEST in the world at “X” – Apple is great at product design, but there are millions of people out there who still prefer Microsoft. Zappos has incredible service, but there are other companies out there who would claim that THEY have the best service. If Zappos and Apple are the absolute definitive best at what they do, why would anyone even bother to compete. Safe to say these companies do extremely well at specific things, you can’t sit here and say “Apple has the best mp3 player” – I had three, they all broke, I switched to Zune and love every minute of it. It’s ALL a matter of perspective.

      • Tim Jahn Reply

        “it’s just one book.”
        Agreed, but it was a book full of non-fictional, real studies.

        “but I’m not going to sit here and claim I am the absolute BEST in the world at “X” ”
        Figuring out what you COULD be the best in the world at gives you a goal and a path to strive for.

        “why would anyone even bother to compete.”
        Because being in the best in the world at something doesn’t mean you are forever. Plenty of things that aren’t the best eventually took over the best – look at VHS and Betamax.

        “It’s ALL a matter of perspective.”
        That could be argued for anything though, and nobody would get anywhere. I think it’s better to throw that argument out the window so a discussion can actually take place. :)

        I think this whole idea would be great for one of our Noble Tree roundtables, we should get those started!

        • Matt Cheuvront Reply

          The perspective argument is a valid one, because that’s exactly what this is – “BEST” is never definitive, your definition of best and my definition can and are clearly completely different. Differentiation is key, figuring out what you can do that nobody (or few) are doing is imperative, but that still doesn’t make you the “best”.

          • Tim Jahn Reply

            Perspective is irrelevant here. If we use perspective as an excuse, then anybody can say anything and it’s true.

            Imagine a basketball game played when all that mattered was perspective. The Bulls scored a basket but from the Hornets perspective, they didn’t. Or what one team though was a free throw shot wasn’t what the other team thought.

            If we don’t have any guidelines or agreed upon rules to outline the discussion, nothing gets accomplished and everybody just uses their “perspective” as an argument. Walking in circles basically.

            • Matt Cheuvront Reply

              A game like basketball has rules..or guidelines if you want to call them that, there is a way to “be the best” in a sport – when someone makes a basket, there are rules in place that say it counts. However, in terms of business, there is no definitive rule for what is good or what is the best. You may think Apple “scored” with the launch of the Ipad, while my perspective is it’s pretty lame – and there’s nothing in place to tell us what’s right or wrong, who wins or loses…thus…perspective my friend. But alas, you and I can agree to disagree…again. :)

              • timjahn Reply

                True.

                I think the rules for what is good or best in business are defined by history (sort of like how the U.S. law system works). We can determine what works “best” in business based on the successes and failures of those in the past. In a sense, these are what defines our “guidelines.”

                Based on Apple’s previous history with products (very few failures compared to the number of successes), we can probably estimate that the iPad will do well.

                It may not, but Apple’s business history provides us with the guidelines of what they’ve done best and what they haven’t.

                Not sure if that makes the sense it does in my head! This discussion has my brain going though, so kudos to that.

                • Matt Cheuvront Reply

                  In terms of bottom line sales, sure, we can certainly measure who’s the best at their game – but that doesn’t mean that Apple (since we keep using them as an example) is hands down the best electronics manufacturer out there. That’s your perception – you like their marketing approach and products, whereas I have had bad experiences with them and don’t turn to them first for my electronic needs. Again, perception. Which goes back to my main point that “there is no best” – “best” is in the eye of the beholder, unless we’re talking about measurable, definable numbers.

                  • timjahn Reply

                    Bingo! And what I’m saying is that you need some sort of measurement (or guidelines as you said) to begin with when discussing what/who is best.

                    :) And scene.

                    • Matt Cheuvront

                      “There is no best, capiche” – unless you have something to measure. Your claim about Apple having the sleekest design and Zappos having the best customer service is your perception, but not measurable tangibly. If you would have said, “Apple sold the most mp3 players in 2009 – making them the “best seller of mp3 players” – totally different story. And scene. :)

  • Tim Jahn Reply

    “THERE IS NO BEST, capiche?”

    I completely disagree, and I’m guessing you haven’t read Good To Great. First, please go read that book. It’s a MUST read for anybody in any form of business, in my opinion.

    One question I often ask entrepreneurs on Beyond The Pedway is “What are you the best in world at?” It usually takes people a few seconds but they really dig deep to realize what it is they are truly the best in the world at.

    We all have core skills that we’re better than anybody else at. That’s what drives some companies to succeed. Apple is the best in the world at sleek electronic product design. Zappos is the best in the world at customer service. Figuring out what you’re the best in the world at is part of what drives you to succeed. As well as the other parts of the Hedgehog Concept.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      I have to completely disagree with you here (surprise, surprise). I have read Good to Great, by the way – and reading that book doesn’t change my perspective (it’s just one book). Being the “best” is all a matter of perspective. You do have to focus on what you can be doing that other people aren’t – targeting a specific niche, offering a new or unique product or service, approaching your clients in new and innovative ways. But even by doing all this – it doesn’t necessarily make you the best.

      I know what I am extremely good at, I know what my forte’s are – but I’m not going to sit here and claim I am the absolute BEST in the world at “X” – Apple is great at product design, but there are millions of people out there who still prefer Microsoft. Zappos has incredible service, but there are other companies out there who would claim that THEY have the best service. If Zappos and Apple are the absolute definitive best at what they do, why would anyone even bother to compete. Safe to say these companies do extremely well at specific things, you can’t sit here and say “Apple has the best mp3 player” – I had three, they all broke, I switched to Zune and love every minute of it. It’s ALL a matter of perspective.

      • Tim Jahn Reply

        “it’s just one book.”
        Agreed, but it was a book full of non-fictional, real studies.

        “but I’m not going to sit here and claim I am the absolute BEST in the world at “X” ”
        Figuring out what you COULD be the best in the world at gives you a goal and a path to strive for.

        “why would anyone even bother to compete.”
        Because being in the best in the world at something doesn’t mean you are forever. Plenty of things that aren’t the best eventually took over the best – look at VHS and Betamax.

        “It’s ALL a matter of perspective.”
        That could be argued for anything though, and nobody would get anywhere. I think it’s better to throw that argument out the window so a discussion can actually take place. :)

        I think this whole idea would be great for one of our Noble Tree roundtables, we should get those started!

        • Matt Cheuvront Reply

          The perspective argument is a valid one, because that’s exactly what this is – “BEST” is never definitive, your definition of best and my definition can and are clearly completely different. Differentiation is key, figuring out what you can do that nobody (or few) are doing is imperative, but that still doesn’t make you the “best”.

          • Tim Jahn Reply

            Perspective is irrelevant here. If we use perspective as an excuse, then anybody can say anything and it’s true.

            Imagine a basketball game played when all that mattered was perspective. The Bulls scored a basket but from the Hornets perspective, they didn’t. Or what one team though was a free throw shot wasn’t what the other team thought.

            If we don’t have any guidelines or agreed upon rules to outline the discussion, nothing gets accomplished and everybody just uses their “perspective” as an argument. Walking in circles basically.

            • Matt Cheuvront Reply

              A game like basketball has rules..or guidelines if you want to call them that, there is a way to “be the best” in a sport – when someone makes a basket, there are rules in place that say it counts. However, in terms of business, there is no definitive rule for what is good or what is the best. You may think Apple “scored” with the launch of the Ipad, while my perspective is it’s pretty lame – and there’s nothing in place to tell us what’s right or wrong, who wins or loses…thus…perspective my friend. But alas, you and I can agree to disagree…again. :)

              • timjahn Reply

                True.

                I think the rules for what is good or best in business are defined by history (sort of like how the U.S. law system works). We can determine what works “best” in business based on the successes and failures of those in the past. In a sense, these are what defines our “guidelines.”

                Based on Apple’s previous history with products (very few failures compared to the number of successes), we can probably estimate that the iPad will do well.

                It may not, but Apple’s business history provides us with the guidelines of what they’ve done best and what they haven’t.

                Not sure if that makes the sense it does in my head! This discussion has my brain going though, so kudos to that.

                • Matt Cheuvront Reply

                  In terms of bottom line sales, sure, we can certainly measure who’s the best at their game – but that doesn’t mean that Apple (since we keep using them as an example) is hands down the best electronics manufacturer out there. That’s your perception – you like their marketing approach and products, whereas I have had bad experiences with them and don’t turn to them first for my electronic needs. Again, perception. Which goes back to my main point that “there is no best” – “best” is in the eye of the beholder, unless we’re talking about measurable, definable numbers.

                  • timjahn Reply

                    Bingo! And what I’m saying is that you need some sort of measurement (or guidelines as you said) to begin with when discussing what/who is best.

                    :) And scene.

                    • Matt Cheuvront

                      “There is no best, capiche” – unless you have something to measure. Your claim about Apple having the sleekest design and Zappos having the best customer service is your perception, but not measurable tangibly. If you would have said, “Apple sold the most mp3 players in 2009 – making them the “best seller of mp3 players” – totally different story. And scene. :)

  • Jenn Sutherland Reply

    Good stuff, Matt! I was just at the local TED conference last night, and being chock-full of free-wheeling innovators – there was a lot of this discussion going on in every corner – seemed like every person I met wandered back to this same theme…which was pretty awesome. We could have gotten our shoulders up and viewed each other as the competition, but really, there was so much Play going on – tossing ideas back and forth, offering of differing perspectives that it was a great affirmation for being generous with your time, ideas and doing good. And I know that by sharing and being generous with the skills I have will bring more business in – not the opposite.

    • Tim Jahn Reply

      Me too! Weren’t those speakers awesome??? I LOVED Dawn from Firebelly, and the guy Skyping in. And Zach from Inventables. Talk about inspiration.

      Whew!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Great stuff Jenn. Glad to hear you had a good time at the TED conference. That’s what this posted started as, a rant about how much “awesome” is flying around out there – followed by a rant about competition and how much it (can) suck when we take the side of diminishing those around us.

      Lunch soon…count on it!

  • Jenn Sutherland Reply

    Good stuff, Matt! I was just at the local TED conference last night, and being chock-full of free-wheeling innovators – there was a lot of this discussion going on in every corner – seemed like every person I met wandered back to this same theme…which was pretty awesome. We could have gotten our shoulders up and viewed each other as the competition, but really, there was so much Play going on – tossing ideas back and forth, offering of differing perspectives that it was a great affirmation for being generous with your time, ideas and doing good. And I know that by sharing and being generous with the skills I have will bring more business in – not the opposite.

    • Tim Jahn Reply

      Me too! Weren’t those speakers awesome??? I LOVED Dawn from Firebelly, and the guy Skyping in. And Zach from Inventables. Talk about inspiration.

      Whew!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Great stuff Jenn. Glad to hear you had a good time at the TED conference. That’s what this posted started as, a rant about how much “awesome” is flying around out there – followed by a rant about competition and how much it (can) suck when we take the side of diminishing those around us.

      Lunch soon…count on it!

  • Emily Jasper Reply

    So my friend and I were talking about something along these lines the other day. We were both good at a bunch of stuff, but we were totally happy not being the best at one. We didn’t feel like we’d be happy because it would feel like a limitation. Now, if we need to be the best on a team, we’ll work hard. And we’re willing to work hard, to learn, to train, to whatever it takes to continue to grow. I think that’s a good sign of balance and understanding yourself. Thanks Matt!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Thank YOU Em. I think it’s important for you to define some characteristics or qualities that you do very well – but you don’t have to limit yourself to ONE thing. I just launched mattchevy.com – I could have just as easily said I am a web designer – but that’s not at all who I am – and I would feel slighted if I limited myself to that – which is why I present a full range of services that I KNOW I can do, and do well. Thanks for the comment!

  • Emily Jasper Reply

    So my friend and I were talking about something along these lines the other day. We were both good at a bunch of stuff, but we were totally happy not being the best at one. We didn’t feel like we’d be happy because it would feel like a limitation. Now, if we need to be the best on a team, we’ll work hard. And we’re willing to work hard, to learn, to train, to whatever it takes to continue to grow. I think that’s a good sign of balance and understanding yourself. Thanks Matt!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Thank YOU Em. I think it’s important for you to define some characteristics or qualities that you do very well – but you don’t have to limit yourself to ONE thing. I just launched mattchevy.com – I could have just as easily said I am a web designer – but that’s not at all who I am – and I would feel slighted if I limited myself to that – which is why I present a full range of services that I KNOW I can do, and do well. Thanks for the comment!

  • John Bardos -JetSetCitizen Reply

    Great post Matt!

    You are completely right.
    “It’s not about being the best. You’re not the best, I’m not the best – none of us are the best. THERE IS NO BEST, capiche?”

    I think Hollywood has created a culture where everyone feels like they are rock stars or James Bond. Of course, we all dream of that, but we definitely are not all rock stars. Rock Stars are not even rock stars. They have problems and every day issues that are not always glamorous or fun. Even rock stars are NOT the best.

    Competition is insane and it is just getting started. Expecting to be the best and they reaping the dividends for the rest of your life is just not going to happen. Being generous and connecting with everyone you can is required to make you stand out. You don’t have to be the best in the world to be successful. You just have to be the best to the people you connect with. That means a lot of giving and caring.

    • timjahn Reply

      While I agree with you that you don’t need to be the best in the world to be successful or happy, I don’t think you should discount competition completely.

      Competition is often what forces people to innovate and fosters creativity. Sometimes pressure provides the best ideas.

      • John Bardos -JetSetCitizen Reply

        Thanks for the reply Tim,

        I completely agree that competition is healthy for exactly the reasons you mentioned.

        It is the notion of striving to be ‘the best’ that I think is misguided as Matt posted. Constantly striving to improve is what excellence and life is about. “The best” is a subjective and a temporary state so that shouldn’t be the focus.

  • John Bardos -JetSetCitizen Reply

    Great post Matt!

    You are completely right.
    “It’s not about being the best. You’re not the best, I’m not the best – none of us are the best. THERE IS NO BEST, capiche?”

    I think Hollywood has created a culture where everyone feels like they are rock stars or James Bond. Of course, we all dream of that, but we definitely are not all rock stars. Rock Stars are not even rock stars. They have problems and every day issues that are not always glamorous or fun. Even rock stars are NOT the best.

    Competition is insane and it is just getting started. Expecting to be the best and they reaping the dividends for the rest of your life is just not going to happen. Being generous and connecting with everyone you can is required to make you stand out. You don’t have to be the best in the world to be successful. You just have to be the best to the people you connect with. That means a lot of giving and caring.

    • timjahn Reply

      While I agree with you that you don’t need to be the best in the world to be successful or happy, I don’t think you should discount competition completely.

      Competition is often what forces people to innovate and fosters creativity. Sometimes pressure provides the best ideas.

      • John Bardos -JetSetCitizen Reply

        Thanks for the reply Tim,

        I completely agree that competition is healthy for exactly the reasons you mentioned.

        It is the notion of striving to be ‘the best’ that I think is misguided as Matt posted. Constantly striving to improve is what excellence and life is about. “The best” is a subjective and a temporary state so that shouldn’t be the focus.

  • Sam Karol Reply

    This is such a relevant topic. I think as bloggers, in our tight-knight community, it’s very easy to start comparing ourselves to others. To a certain extent, that’s human nature, but it can quickly get to the point where we are burning bridges and ruining friendships because we’re so competitive. You’re right, we’re not going to please everyone, and there are going to be people who are better at certain things than we are. But, if we follow your advice and focus on ourselves and being the best that we can be, none of that will matter. Great post!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      To be honest, Sam…I don’t understand the comparison and competiton between bloggers. What exactly are we competing for? More attention? Can’t we ALL have the attention? And you’re right…as long as you are doing the best YOU can do…nothing else matters. If YOU believe in what you’re doing, there’s no reason to doubt or worry what other people will think.

  • Sam Karol Reply

    This is such a relevant topic. I think as bloggers, in our tight-knight community, it’s very easy to start comparing ourselves to others. To a certain extent, that’s human nature, but it can quickly get to the point where we are burning bridges and ruining friendships because we’re so competitive. You’re right, we’re not going to please everyone, and there are going to be people who are better at certain things than we are. But, if we follow your advice and focus on ourselves and being the best that we can be, none of that will matter. Great post!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      To be honest, Sam…I don’t understand the comparison and competiton between bloggers. What exactly are we competing for? More attention? Can’t we ALL have the attention? And you’re right…as long as you are doing the best YOU can do…nothing else matters. If YOU believe in what you’re doing, there’s no reason to doubt or worry what other people will think.

  • Nathan Lustig Reply

    Maybe our generation’s theme song should be Hustlin’ by Rick Ross, minus the drug dealing. I really agree with you on your point about competitiveness. Someone once told me “if you think your idea is 1 in 1,000,000, theres 300 other Americans working on your idea right now!” What an eye opener. It changed the way I think and to make me focus more on what I was doing and how I could improve myself and my ideas, rather than worrying about what others were doing.

  • Nathan Lustig Reply

    Maybe our generation’s theme song should be Hustlin’ by Rick Ross, minus the drug dealing. I really agree with you on your point about competitiveness. Someone once told me “if you think your idea is 1 in 1,000,000, theres 300 other Americans working on your idea right now!” What an eye opener. It changed the way I think and to make me focus more on what I was doing and how I could improve myself and my ideas, rather than worrying about what others were doing.

  • Theresa Reply

    Great post, Matt, and some great points made.

    Being a job seeker right now, the number one thing on my mind is my competition. There’s so much amazing talent out there right now, and I find I have to remind myself that I haven’t gotten this far because I’m not good at what I do – quite the contrary. Having support and honest discussions with the people who know me best really helps me stay focused on what I bring to the table.

    Even though I am in this space currently, I try to meet as many people as I can, and more importantly, try to help as many people as I can. I’ve spent a lot of time chatting with people, connecting them with my contacts, offering advice, helping with resumes, teaching social media and the like because sometimes all we need is someone to step outside of themselves and be kind. My biggest joy would be to hear that I helped someone get a job.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Yes…and that’s a tough line to toe in this day and age. Looking out for yourself but also being willing to help other people when you can. If more people thought this way – we’d all be a lot better off. Cheers!

  • Theresa Reply

    Great post, Matt, and some great points made.

    Being a job seeker right now, the number one thing on my mind is my competition. There’s so much amazing talent out there right now, and I find I have to remind myself that I haven’t gotten this far because I’m not good at what I do – quite the contrary. Having support and honest discussions with the people who know me best really helps me stay focused on what I bring to the table.

    Even though I am in this space currently, I try to meet as many people as I can, and more importantly, try to help as many people as I can. I’ve spent a lot of time chatting with people, connecting them with my contacts, offering advice, helping with resumes, teaching social media and the like because sometimes all we need is someone to step outside of themselves and be kind. My biggest joy would be to hear that I helped someone get a job.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Yes…and that’s a tough line to toe in this day and age. Looking out for yourself but also being willing to help other people when you can. If more people thought this way – we’d all be a lot better off. Cheers!

  • Srinivas Rao Reply

    Matt,

    Great points. This is what I continually refer to as the “competitive and comparative” disadvantage. Each of us has a certain strength and life is all about embracing that strength. You are right that it is much bigger than just this Gen Y influx of ideas. I don’t know even know if I’m technically Gen Y since I’m 31. But, what I love is the amount of collaboration that is going on and the amount of innovation that is occurring because of it. What I’m focused on going forward is the discovery of new bloggers and providing advice by having bloggers tell their stories (aka BlogcastFM). Thanks again for your support on the launch.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Great thing you are doing with BlogcastFM – just as I feel that I am a “connector” of good people, I see you in the exact same light. Good things ahead my friend!

  • Srinivas Rao Reply

    Matt,

    Great points. This is what I continually refer to as the “competitive and comparative” disadvantage. Each of us has a certain strength and life is all about embracing that strength. You are right that it is much bigger than just this Gen Y influx of ideas. I don’t know even know if I’m technically Gen Y since I’m 31. But, what I love is the amount of collaboration that is going on and the amount of innovation that is occurring because of it. What I’m focused on going forward is the discovery of new bloggers and providing advice by having bloggers tell their stories (aka BlogcastFM). Thanks again for your support on the launch.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Great thing you are doing with BlogcastFM – just as I feel that I am a “connector” of good people, I see you in the exact same light. Good things ahead my friend!

  • The Boob Nazi Reply

    But what if I really am the best at everything?!? haha no.
    I’m about to graduate from grad school and have to compete with others to get jobs. Others who got much better grades than I did. Oh well. I just have to remember there are enough jobs at hospitals for all of us who want them!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Plus…you have a name like “The Boob Nazi” – that should get your foot in a few doors…

      • Srinivas Rao Reply

        That you are my friend. In my mind that is the greatest asset that both of us have. I realized that was going to be the key to my success in life in general when I read the Tipping Point.

  • The Boob Nazi Reply

    But what if I really am the best at everything?!? haha no.
    I’m about to graduate from grad school and have to compete with others to get jobs. Others who got much better grades than I did. Oh well. I just have to remember there are enough jobs at hospitals for all of us who want them!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Plus…you have a name like “The Boob Nazi” – that should get your foot in a few doors…

      • Srinivas Rao Reply

        That you are my friend. In my mind that is the greatest asset that both of us have. I realized that was going to be the key to my success in life in general when I read the Tipping Point.

  • Alex Reply

    Love this post!
    I am focusing on three things:
    1. My relationships (online and off)
    2. School school school – keeping the grades up and the thesis moving forward without losing my sanity and free time
    3. Work – I love my job and am doing my best to KEEP this job so when I get my PhD I will have a job waiting for me

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Between relationships, school, and career, I’m sure you have a full plate right now. Don’t forget to take a step back and breathe every now and then. Good luck to you :)

  • Alex Reply

    Love this post!
    I am focusing on three things:
    1. My relationships (online and off)
    2. School school school – keeping the grades up and the thesis moving forward without losing my sanity and free time
    3. Work – I love my job and am doing my best to KEEP this job so when I get my PhD I will have a job waiting for me

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Between relationships, school, and career, I’m sure you have a full plate right now. Don’t forget to take a step back and breathe every now and then. Good luck to you :)

  • Adrienne Reply

    I work as an actress as a side job kind of thing. I do A LOT of auditioning. In the past, I used to look around the room to see who my competition was – and I would find friends and talk to them about the latest movies in town or the latest auditions. I’ve since learned that it doesn’t matter who is there. I need to just do the best I can for me – and if the casting directors like it great – if they don’t – oh well. I’m sure people now see me at an audition and think I must be a snob. I don’t talk to anyone, I don’t look at anyone. I just focus on me and why I am there. It’s amazing what it does for confidence when you only have to worry about yourself.

  • Adrienne Reply

    I work as an actress as a side job kind of thing. I do A LOT of auditioning. In the past, I used to look around the room to see who my competition was – and I would find friends and talk to them about the latest movies in town or the latest auditions. I’ve since learned that it doesn’t matter who is there. I need to just do the best I can for me – and if the casting directors like it great – if they don’t – oh well. I’m sure people now see me at an audition and think I must be a snob. I don’t talk to anyone, I don’t look at anyone. I just focus on me and why I am there. It’s amazing what it does for confidence when you only have to worry about yourself.

  • Matt Geib Reply

    Good Post Matt!

    It should all be about giving out to others…When The Infinite Creator made each of us he “Broke the Mold”…Therefore each of us must realize we have unique talents-gifts- abilities–to give out to the World that no one else can Give.

    Th answer is not to Compete but to Create,,,Competiveness serves only to ‘shut one down’…as you say there will always be someone ‘better than you or me’ at a given task. Creativity, on the other hand opens you & me up to unlimited potential & opportunity

    The Sky Is the Limiit Bro.!

    The Great Matt Geib :-)

  • Matt Geib Reply

    Good Post Matt!

    It should all be about giving out to others…When The Infinite Creator made each of us he “Broke the Mold”…Therefore each of us must realize we have unique talents-gifts- abilities–to give out to the World that no one else can Give.

    Th answer is not to Compete but to Create,,,Competiveness serves only to ‘shut one down’…as you say there will always be someone ‘better than you or me’ at a given task. Creativity, on the other hand opens you & me up to unlimited potential & opportunity

    The Sky Is the Limiit Bro.!

    The Great Matt Geib :-)

  • Ben Weston Reply

    Matt-

    I really appreciate you writing this post. It’s refreshing to hear that I don’t necessarily have to be the BEST or beat out other people to do well. I just started a blog and the beginning stage is naturally rather difficult, almost enough to make me question why I’m doing it, especially when I see so many other great bloggers out there.

    I also recently joined the circus and have hopes of putting together my own, despite all of the wonderful other performers out there. But like you said, “Focus on what YOU can and should be doing, forget all the rest. Everyone who wants to can (and will) achieve greatness.” That’s all I can do. Greatness isn’t something mystical, elusive thing that only a few people are capable of. Focus on what you want and do it.

    Thanks again,
    Ben

  • Ben Weston Reply

    Matt-

    I really appreciate you writing this post. It’s refreshing to hear that I don’t necessarily have to be the BEST or beat out other people to do well. I just started a blog and the beginning stage is naturally rather difficult, almost enough to make me question why I’m doing it, especially when I see so many other great bloggers out there.

    I also recently joined the circus and have hopes of putting together my own, despite all of the wonderful other performers out there. But like you said, “Focus on what YOU can and should be doing, forget all the rest. Everyone who wants to can (and will) achieve greatness.” That’s all I can do. Greatness isn’t something mystical, elusive thing that only a few people are capable of. Focus on what you want and do it.

    Thanks again,
    Ben

  • Tiffany Reply

    Amen! It’s so easy to get caught up in looking at other people–what they are accomplishing, building and doing–that we can forget to hone our own skills. When I first started blogging, I felt like an IDIOT. I looked around at all the successful blogs around and figured that I would never make it. But I like helping people, so that’s what I focused on. And I know that I’ve helped someone and that’s all that counts.

    We can’t all fit in the same suit, and we shouldn’t try to. How much fun would that really be? Thanks, Matt!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      I felt like an idiot too…hell, I still do. There are times when I think “there’s no possible way I can do what so-and-so has done” – but then I tell myself it doesn’t matter what they’ve done, it only matters what I’ve done and what I can be doing better. Thanks for the comment Tiffany!

  • Tiffany Reply

    Amen! It’s so easy to get caught up in looking at other people–what they are accomplishing, building and doing–that we can forget to hone our own skills. When I first started blogging, I felt like an IDIOT. I looked around at all the successful blogs around and figured that I would never make it. But I like helping people, so that’s what I focused on. And I know that I’ve helped someone and that’s all that counts.

    We can’t all fit in the same suit, and we shouldn’t try to. How much fun would that really be? Thanks, Matt!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      I felt like an idiot too…hell, I still do. There are times when I think “there’s no possible way I can do what so-and-so has done” – but then I tell myself it doesn’t matter what they’ve done, it only matters what I’ve done and what I can be doing better. Thanks for the comment Tiffany!

  • sui Reply

    This is an awesome and inspiring post. I really enjoyed it; thank you for writing it.

    I agree that there is no best, or if anything, best is subjective. The only thing we’re best at is being our individual selves.

    By the way, I like the bokeh photo ;)

    I’m focusing on helping people love themselves more, be happy, and live healthy & sustainable lives while also sustaining the earth through our choices. :) While also loving myself and living a happy life myself, of course.

    • sui Reply

      By the way, may I ask what plugin you’re using for your “reply” function (and the welcome page)? :o

      • Matt Cheuvront Reply

        Thanks for the comment Sui. The “welcome” page is the COMMENT REDIRECT plugin – the reply function is just done through enabling threaded comments through the WordPress dashboard under SETTINGS-DISCUSSION (some themes don’t support threaded comments. Hope that helps!

  • sui Reply

    This is an awesome and inspiring post. I really enjoyed it; thank you for writing it.

    I agree that there is no best, or if anything, best is subjective. The only thing we’re best at is being our individual selves.

    By the way, I like the bokeh photo ;)

    I’m focusing on helping people love themselves more, be happy, and live healthy & sustainable lives while also sustaining the earth through our choices. :) While also loving myself and living a happy life myself, of course.

    • sui Reply

      By the way, may I ask what plugin you’re using for your “reply” function (and the welcome page)? :o

      • Matt Cheuvront Reply

        Thanks for the comment Sui. The “welcome” page is the COMMENT REDIRECT plugin – the reply function is just done through enabling threaded comments through the WordPress dashboard under SETTINGS-DISCUSSION (some themes don’t support threaded comments. Hope that helps!

  • jeanine Reply

    fantastic post! thank you for this.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Thanks for coming by Jeanine. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • jeanine Reply

    fantastic post! thank you for this.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Thanks for coming by Jeanine. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • Jen Reply

    I’ve just recently learned this lesson, so I’ve been focusing on me. Being the best me I can be. Professionally, emotionally, physically and in my personal relationships.

    Great post, Matt!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      That’s all you can (and should) be Jen. Sounds like you are doing great. Cheers!

  • Jen Reply

    I’ve just recently learned this lesson, so I’ve been focusing on me. Being the best me I can be. Professionally, emotionally, physically and in my personal relationships.

    Great post, Matt!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      That’s all you can (and should) be Jen. Sounds like you are doing great. Cheers!

  • Alex Blackwell Reply

    All good points.

    With so many distractions, it can be easy to loose our focus or simply give up. By staying within ourselves and understanding what we are capable of doing can make all the difference.

    Here’s to hard work – there is no better substitute.

  • Alex Blackwell Reply

    All good points.

    With so many distractions, it can be easy to loose our focus or simply give up. By staying within ourselves and understanding what we are capable of doing can make all the difference.

    Here’s to hard work – there is no better substitute.

  • Sarah Tucker Reply

    Matt, Great thoughts here! So, so true and so difficult. It’s a true test of ones level of pride though don’t you think? I have had several opportunities when I should have collaborated with a copywriter and haven’t yet. This post inspired me to call my good friend a copy writer and share the wealth.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Awesome. That’s what it’s all about. I recently started up my own business but I know that I don’t want to go at it alone forever – I am constantly seeking out other people to work and collaborate with. Plenty of opportunity to go around for EVERYONE. Thanks for the comment.

  • Sarah Tucker Reply

    Matt, Great thoughts here! So, so true and so difficult. It’s a true test of ones level of pride though don’t you think? I have had several opportunities when I should have collaborated with a copywriter and haven’t yet. This post inspired me to call my good friend a copy writer and share the wealth.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Awesome. That’s what it’s all about. I recently started up my own business but I know that I don’t want to go at it alone forever – I am constantly seeking out other people to work and collaborate with. Plenty of opportunity to go around for EVERYONE. Thanks for the comment.

  • Brant Choate Reply

    I have been SO tempted to give into this mindset hundreds of times! What I have noticed is that you have to do a lot of mundane, uninspired, unremarkable things to put yourself in a position every once in awhile to do something remarkable. This is great advice that I wish was more widespread.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Good point – the “grunt work” is necessary at times to lay the foundation for remarkable things. It’s interesting because so many out there do not recognize this – they talk about all of these incredible things but never mention all of the planning and hard work – I’m an idealist, but also a realist, and realize that things don’t happen unless you’re willing to make sacrifices and put in a lot of time and effort.

  • Brant Choate Reply

    I have been SO tempted to give into this mindset hundreds of times! What I have noticed is that you have to do a lot of mundane, uninspired, unremarkable things to put yourself in a position every once in awhile to do something remarkable. This is great advice that I wish was more widespread.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Good point – the “grunt work” is necessary at times to lay the foundation for remarkable things. It’s interesting because so many out there do not recognize this – they talk about all of these incredible things but never mention all of the planning and hard work – I’m an idealist, but also a realist, and realize that things don’t happen unless you’re willing to make sacrifices and put in a lot of time and effort.

  • Ryan @ Planting Dollars Reply

    If we’re all competing towards things that matter (rather than creating the newest Hummer) all ships rise and we’re all better because of it. I think competition is a wonderful thing and am inspired to compete and grow every time I find a new idea I’m passionate about.

    There’s enough out there for everyone, but you have to want it bad enough to make it happen. Inspiring post.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Like I said – competition can be an amazingly wonderful thing – but it also has a very ugly side. Important to compete, but not at the sake of other people. Focus on YOU, not on everyone else. Thanks for the comment!

  • Ryan @ Planting Dollars Reply

    If we’re all competing towards things that matter (rather than creating the newest Hummer) all ships rise and we’re all better because of it. I think competition is a wonderful thing and am inspired to compete and grow every time I find a new idea I’m passionate about.

    There’s enough out there for everyone, but you have to want it bad enough to make it happen. Inspiring post.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Like I said – competition can be an amazingly wonderful thing – but it also has a very ugly side. Important to compete, but not at the sake of other people. Focus on YOU, not on everyone else. Thanks for the comment!

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