The Power of Not Being Number One

Posted On: November 13

Many companies aim high. They set their vision or BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) to be the best in the world. It’s a lofty goal. But let’s be honest. Only a few can achieve it. It takes massive resources, focus, and effort. If you can do it, great. Go for it! But what if you can’t?

The Reality Check

Being the best is hard. It’s stressful. It demands a culture of extreme discipline and an insatiable competitive spirit. Think Navy SEALs or Super Bowl champions. They train their whole lives to be the best. They make huge sacrifices. Millions are spent to help them achieve their elite status. Most businesses can’t match that level of dedication or investment. So, what’s the alternative?

The Value of Being “Good Enough”

Here’s a thought. You don’t have to be number one to succeed. Being number two, three, or four can be just as good. You can run a highly profitable business with less stress and pressure. I know it runs counter to what our culture might say, but you don’t have to be the best to be successful.

The Benefits of a Balanced Approach

When you aim for a balanced spot in the market, you gain advantages. You don’t have to try to keep up with everything your competitors do and you don’t have to be perfect in every area. You can focus on what you do best. This approach is easier for your team. It’s easier on your resources. And it’s easier on you. Your business can thrive without the constant pressure to be the best on the face of the planet.

Redefining “The World”

Here’s a twist. You can still aim to be the best in the world, depending on how you define “your world.” Maybe your world is your city or state. Perhaps it’s a niche market. When you narrow your focus, being the best becomes more achievable. So, if you are determined to be the best in the world, simply redefine the world you will compete in.

The Bottom Line

Success doesn’t always mean being number one. You can be profitable and successful without the top spot. Don’t stress yourself out. Don’t drive your team crazy. It’s about finding the right balance. Aim for what’s realistic for your business. 


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