“Don’t let your icecream melt while you’re counting somebody else’s sprinkles.”

This was a quote that a friend posted on Facebook. How true is that, especially when you are in business.

While it is important to be aware of what your competitors are doing, if you spend too much time focusing on their business rather than your own, you could drop the ball. You could miss out on opportunities.

Or if you let what they are doing influence your decisions about what you do in your business, you could find yourself totally off track from your mission, offering programs and services that don’t actually fit your business model or play to your strengths.

Keeping a healthy eye on what others are doing is a good idea, plus if you have a good working relationship, you could learn from and work together on certain projects.

I’ve always tried not to set our programs up to compete with other women’s groups. For example, if they run something on a certain Tuesday, I avoid offering my program then or that week if possible. People have only so much money to spend on events.

This recent collaboration over International Women’s Day, where eight different women’s organizations have come together to organize an event, has been enlightening in terms of the strength we have when we work together.

Each of us offers something different and our target audience is different too. Oh there’s some overlap, but there is room in the sandbox for us all to play nicely together. And we have. Our event on March 4 is sold out, with over 450 in attendance. We could never have achieved this on our own.

Getting back to the quote, it’s also true of life in general. We often think the grass is greener next door, but you know what, none of us knows what’s happening in other people’s lives, so often we make judgements or envy someone else, when the real work belongs on our own doorstep.

I suggest we focus on what is within our realm to do and fix, and let the other stuff go. Life is too short.

Anne Day

Anne Day

Company of Women

I have had an eclectic career from running non-profit organizations and being editor of a national magazine, to working for government on women’s issues. In 2003 I launched Company of Women, an organization that supports women in business. A prolific blogger, I also write for the Huffington Post, and several other online publications. I am the author of five books on women and entrepreneurship, and co-author of Good Enough. Embrace who you are. Unleash your brilliance. which is available on amazon.ca In June, 2016 I launched Full Circle Publishing offering one-stop services to get your words out into the world.