Part XXVII – Compete or Complete?
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
When I founded my company, I was considered a pioneer in the industry - one who created the idea of a location company for events. My inspiration came from the film location companies which were extremely common in Los Angeles. But no one had ever had a location company for parties and events before. It was another industry entirely. So I was influenced and I guess you could say I "copied" the concept of booking locations from the established film location companies.
However, my business had a unique twist and didn't compete with them - and that uniqueness is what brought me worldwide publicity. I often mentioned in publicity that I got the idea from film location companies. Did I copy the idea? Yes, I believe so. It wasn't meant to flatter, of course, but I sensed an opportunity - a missing link that had not been addressed - and I hit gold. So I was guided to take an existing, established idea and make it different and better for another purpose.
On occasion I actually used the services of these film location companies. In fact, they provided all of the mansions I booked in Los Angeles for the Campbell Soup promotions in 2004 to 2006, since there were different requirements than those for a typical one day event.
If you can't say something nice...don't say anything at all.
~ Thumper in Bambi (1942)
At the time I created my business, there was a woman who owned a late film star’s home in Beverly Hills. Although the home had a celebrity connotation, it had “old Hollywood” décor and was really not the most appealing - there were so many more beautiful mansions to book. My clients didn't care for the home but I continued to show it along with the others because I wanted to help her.
The owner became upset because they wouldn't book it.
So just a few years after I started my business...she decided to become my only competitor and went for it full force. We even ended up in a feature story in theLos Angeles Times together, in which they depicted us as "rivals." Prior to that time, I was the only game in town - in the world, in fact :-)
So...there was now someone who copied my concept, went after the same venues (I didn't really want exclusives), some of the same clients and even created the name for her company that started with one letter before mine in the alphabet, so that she would be above my company in the trade publications.
This was truly one of the greatest business and spiritual lessons of my life. Although it ruffled me at first, when I "lifted" myself above the situation, I realized that the competition was the best thing that could have ever happened to me and that in reality there was no competition. Those clients who were right for me easily found me. She attracted those who were right for her. It inspired me to be an even better businesswoman than I was and propelled me to new professionalism. And it paid off. Her style of doing business was quite a bit different than mine. One of her specialties was weddings, which I stopped booking in favor of corporate clients. Corporate clients who met the two of us contracted my services. Sure it was sweet, but I wished her well and even sent her holiday cards on occasion. We occasionally spoke. I came to the realization that there is enough abundance for everyone in business and you can never lose what is rightfully yours except through fearful lack thinking and a negative consciousness. Lesson learned. It was a great growing experience toward my prosperity consciousness.
I don't believe in competition, at least in the traditional sense. Oh sure, it may appear to be there on the surface, but when we focus on giving the very best of ourselves and rely on the Universal source for our supply, we can trust that we will always be exactly where we are supposed to be with the right people and the right circumstances and we will be happy to afford others the same. If we feel threatened by competition, it only means one thing: we are operating from fear and lack and not from our true nature as children of a rich and abundant Universe.
We do not have to compete. We are complete. We are whole, complete and perfect. When we recognize our completion within, all outer circumstances will be consummated, perfected and completed to reflect our inner state.
What if someone copies us to the extent that there are violations or infringements? We have the right to protect our interests and take action if needed - that's good business sense. But I like what the great teacher Dr. Joseph Murphy said: When you steal from your brother, you steal from yourself. What you wish for your brother, you wish for yourself. So if someone does steal, the laws of their own mind and consciousness will take care of them.
The Universe doesn't miss a trick.
To be continued…
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