Note to readers: this is a follow-up article from my post on 1/27/2011 called The True Definition of Competition.
What was one of the pinnacle moments in Major League Baseball in the last 20 years which generated massive amounts of attention? It was the 1998 home run chase between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire as they competed to attempt to break Roger Maris’ record of 61 home runs in a season. The result was both players broke the record with McGwire finishing the season with 70 home runs and Sosa finishing with 66.
I remember being glued to the television (as well as the news) all through that summer after my freshman year in high school into the fall of my sophomore year watching the race back and forth between the two. Even got to go to a Cubs game in Chicago to see Sosa crank one out of the park.
Now, all controversy with steroids put aside, what can we learn from this competition between McGwire and Sosa? Many sports reporters and analysts believe that the home run chase actually restored the fan base of Major League Baseball which had been diminished since the 94 strike. Two people competing against one another generated interest, boosted ticket sales, no doubt increased merchandise revenue and generally overall excited a lot of people about the sport.
As I mention in my previous post; competition can increase the level of demand. Doesn’t matter if you work as a model, a makeup artist, a photographer, or you do video work. The better those around you do, the more excitement and energy will surround your industry. The most attention given within your industry, the more opportunities you personally will have to do amazing work.
Flip side, if your competition is cutting corners, doing slopping work, or has shady business practices; it will have the reverse effect by disenchanting people – thus reducing the overall potential of the business you are in.
So, as hard as it may be, take a moment to try and be supportive of your competition. Don’t be afraid to be the person to attempt to work together and find ways that as a group you can better whatever facet of whatever industry you are a part of.