How You Can Embrace a Community Over Competition Mindset

Career

We are welcoming branding expert Kait Fontenot back to the blog today! Did you catch her last post on 5 Ways To Stay Productive as a Business Owner? Kait, our newest creative on The List, is chatting about an important topic today: embracing the community over competition mindset. It’s a topic that has made it’s rounds on […]

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We are welcoming branding expert Kait Fontenot back to the blog today! Did you catch her last post on 5 Ways To Stay Productive as a Business Owner? Kait, our newest creative on The List, is chatting about an important topic today: embracing the community over competition mindset. It’s a topic that has made it’s rounds on the web, but for good reason. I personally need to continuously remind myself of staying within this mindset. Thankfully Kait is here today with a positive reminder and message for us all. How do you embrace the community over competition mindset? Let us know in the comments!

Owning a business can be so lonely and if you aren’t willing to embrace your competition to turn them into your community, you’ll feel burnt out, alone, and at a dead-end road. There is beauty in that moment you decide to let someone into your world and open up your struggles, your hardships, and your heart to them.


From Kait FontenotWe’ve all been there: we get a new idea, we get really excited about it, and then we log into Instagram and immediately are flooded with an overwhelming sensation of “enoughness.” What is enoughness? To me, its the lagging feeling of never having quite enough. In a world of constant gratification and social media justification, its so easy to get caught up in the “I wish I had this” or “I wish I could be like so and so.”

Enoughness is ever-consuming. We want to be enough in every aspect of our life: motherhood, relationships, friendships, family, business. We want enough but we can’t seem to find it or be pleased with it. And when others seem to have more than enough it stings. Instead of fueling us to work harder, we crawl into this ball of self-pity and sadness and almost get mad at ourselves for not being able to be just like them. We begin to feel this competitive energy and a ping of jealousy, all because of an image we saw on social media which, lets be real, may or may not have been totally staged.

And the last thing we ever want to do is congratulate that person on their victory because we feel that somehow lifts them even more.

But what if we did?

Photography: Ana Lui for Gemma Bowman and Kerry Anne Winton

What if, in a moment of jealousy and comparison, you decided to flip the switch? What if, while you were feeling that discontentment, you decided to reach out to the person and whole heartedly congratulate them rather than sitting back, feeling totally left behind? What if we tried to put comparison and competition to the side, knowing that all of our paths are entirely different for a reason?

In my previous career, I had a boss I absolutely adored but when it came to competitors, she immediately shut them out. If someone simply commented on Instagram that they loved our store and they happened to work for a competitor, she would immediately ask me to block them. She never thought to herself “what if they’re being genuinely supportive?” Instead, she thought her world had to only involve her and her business. At no point were we allowed to communicate or congratulate others in their successes, too.

So when I started my own business, I was under the impression that anyone who could come near my business needed to be shut out. I didn’t think there would be a true need to actually befriend my “competition” because I was scared that if they got too close to me, they would take my clients or take a word I said and use it against me. My gosh, how things have changed since then.

I was in a Facebook group almost two years ago and decided to make a post that called for others in the creative industry to join an instagram pod with me (remember when those were all the rage?) My friend Tierra Wilson of Studio Lavi reached out to me and together we formed a group of 12-13 amazing women, all wanting to support one another on social media. But, what happened is the complete opposite. Instead, we ended up supporting each other on everything from our businesses to our personal lives, hardships and high points altogether.

These women have become my rock in everyday life. Whether one of us needs help with a client or needs feedback on our projects, we’re all there for one another. We support one another through everything and here’s the thing: we’re actually intensely each other’s competition but we don’t see it that way. We refer clients to one another, we’re really open with how close we are and how well we all work together.

When I decided to open my business up to others, I found a supportive group just waiting on me. Since meeting them, I’ve completely adapted a community over competition mindset whole-heartedly embracing the women in my industry and wanting to support them. On my instagram account, I share tons of tips & tricks for my clients but I also share my own strategies, my own client on boarding processes, and tips for other designers to help them succeed. When designers reach out to me, I genuinely take the time to try and help as much as I can.

Owning a business can be so lonely and if you aren’t willing to embrace your competition to turn them into your community, you’ll feel burnt out, alone, and at a dead-end road. There is beauty in that moment you decide to let someone into your world and open up your struggles, your hardships, and your heart to them.

There are, at times, I find myself comparing too much so I decide to step back from social media for few days. And there is something incredibly important to remember as a business owner: your clients and customers come to you for a reason. If you’re sharing your passion and utilizing your strengths, there is no amount of “competition” that could ever take those clients away from you. And, if they do, they weren’t meant to be your clients to begin with. When you remind yourself of that, you tend to realize that there is no harm in being friends with others in your industry.

Support others in your industry, build them up, grow your relationships with them genuinely without wanting anything in return. If there is someone in your industry you find yourself feeling competitive with or jealous of, reach out to them and meet them. Congratulate them and let them know you notice how amazing they’re doing.

You’ll be mind blown at the amount of release it will give you. You will be totally shocked at how much quicker your business can grow when you aren’t hinder by a competitive mindset. You’ll begin to realize just how amazing your community really can be when you need them.


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  1. Kaitlin says:

    Thank you for sharing, friends! Excited to be a part of your community. x

  2. Trina says:

    Yes! I had a local high rolling real estate agent telling me about another home stager in the area. When I mentioned that I was aware of her and that I would love to meet her, the agent looked almost appalled and asked, “ Why would you want to meet her?! She’s your competition!” To which I replied, “ I’d Like to meet her to share ideas and form a support network”. The agent looked at me like I had three heads.
    I walked away shaking my head at how the ME vs THEM mentality fills us with fear and makes us look petty. Promised myself then that I must never let myself fall pray to that.

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