Play at your Best Regardless of Your Competition.

My client Bobby was telling me a story yesterday about his son. His son is 12 years old is a very good tennis player, he tells me. He explained to me that when his son goes to the tennis camps, which he does in the summer and a couple times throughout the year, he plays with other kids that are at his level. They’re serious about tennis, they love tennis, and they want to win. And when Bobby’s son goes there, he does really well. Then during the year, when he plays at school, he doesn’t play so well, he misses balls, hits shots that are so easy for him during camp are much more difficult for him at school. So the interesting thing about that is what Bobby said to me is “When I watch my son play at school as opposed to at camp, I notice the difference. And I said how can that apply to me in my business?”

What Bobby said was he felt that setting yourself goals to compete at a higher level forces you to compete at a higher level. It also allows you to want to be the best that you can be. When you’re playing with people, competitors, associates, that aren’t that good, aren’t that serious, and aren’t that competitive, you just don’t have the motivation to reach to the next level. So Bobby said what he thinks that means to him is that he has to set his goals higher than he had set them before, and it doesn’t matter what his other associates have set their goals at, he needs to set his at that next level. It also means that he needs to play his best all the time, and even when something becomes easy for him, he still needs to play at the highest level. He needs to be going on all eight cylinders; he needs to be using a process that’s much better on the process all the time, not just when he’s in a difficult sales call. So I thought that was interesting that he tied both together. So what could I learn from that. Well, I thought it was first of all very introspective of him and interesting that he thought about how to take that situation and put it into business for him. But even more importantly, I thought what was truly interesting is what happens when you have others around you that compete at a higher level. We’ve all heard the saying associate yourself with smart people, and you’ll be smarter. Well, it doesn’t necessarily mean it happens through osmosis, but when you have people around you that thrive, people around you that want the best, you are going to naturally rise to the occasion. And how do you do that with a bunch of associates in your organization? Well, you can’t. You can’t control other people, but what you can control is that you’re always competing at the highest level.

Now, the most important thing is to make sure that you are always hitting the top level of your game all the time, no matter whom you’re competing with, no matter how easy you feel it is to make that sale because you are always competing with yourself. If you are always competing at the highest level, you will always get referrals to bigger and better opportunities, you will close more sales, and you’ll have the pride that you should have knowing that you did the best that you possibly could all the time. Keep that in mind. The next time you go see a prospect you say, this one’s going to be easy.


Greta Schulz is president of Schulz Business SELLutions in West Palm Beach, Florida. She is the best selling author of “To Sell is Not to Sell”. Greta does corporate training for fortune 1000 companies and she has an on-line training course for entrepreneurs. For more tips go to: “”


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Greta Schulz

Greta Schulz

Author To Sell Is Not To Sell, columnist, Business Journals nationally, SFBW + others. Seen on NBC, ABC. Founder of Schulz Business SELLutions.

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