Most people in business talk about competition. I believe that cooperation is a better way to go about it. Network marketing is built on cooperation, and it is even more important with internet network marketing.
The Problem With Competition
In competition you limit yourself by the best that your opponent can do. I think Bob Proctor is the first person that I heard say this. When you compete you only seek to surpass the effort of your competitor. Competition does not necessarily push you to do the best that you can do.
When I was much younger I was in a swimming program and one day the instructor decided to challenge us to see who could swim the farthest underwater. Everyone went under at the same time and started swimming the length of the pool. Instead of doing my best, I hung back and watched until everyone else had surfaced. Then I swam just beyond the last person and came up. I win! It was a competition to see who could outdo everyone else, not a challenge to see how good each person could do, so I didn’t do my best, just good enough to win.
Competition Can Turn Ugly
Competition can become very destructive when it shifts even farther from doing your best, or just better than everyone else, to bringing down your competition instead. If you want proof just look back to any election campaign in the past several years. Instead of selling you on why they are the best choice for the office, the politicians now try to convince you that their opponent is a worse choice. There is absolutely no attempt to create anything positive in the experience.
More related to network marketing, I have talked to and worked with several network marketers who spent more time worrying about what others might be getting away with than they spent on building their own network marketing business. I had one friend who spent hours looking for all the ways a handful of other marketers were possibly breaking the rules. When he finally stopped doing that and spent the time on his own business instead it really took off. You will always make more money building your own business than you will by tearing down someone else’s.
Cooperation – Working for Mutual Benefit
Cooperation can help you win in anything that you do. Here’s an example from NASCAR. I used to be a huge fan of NASCAR but I don’t watch it much anymore. I did watch the Daytona 500 a week ago and as much as they talk about competition, it is all about cooperation up until the final laps. First, the driver has their own team, the guys in the pit stalls that service the car during the race. Obviously they all have to cooperate to get the fastest stops possible.
On the race track during a restrictor plate race like Daytona cooperation is key. A single car running by itself will only go in one direction compared to the rest of the field – backwards. Two cars working together are much faster and have a much better chance of getting to the front of the field and have a shot for the win. The more cars working together in a line the better. When the focus shifts from cooperation to competition is when wrecks become more likely. To prove the point, the Daytona 500 finished under caution because of a wreck on the final lap.
Cooperation in Network Marketing
Cooperation in network marketing is about building something – building trust with prospects and customers, building a team, and building your income. You simply cannot do it on your own if you want to succeed in network marketing. It is called network marketing after all. You cannot build a network if you are in competition with everyone.
To maximize your income in network marketing you will cooperate with your upline and downline. Some network marketing companies even promote cooperation cross line, usually in the form of training on what is working and what isn’t. Just like in NASCAR, when network marketers work together in true cooperation they can build much more than what any of them can build by themselves.
Cooperation in Internet Network Marketing
Cooperation is even more important in online marketing and is the only way to succeed in social media marketing. Social media marketing is all about getting other people to share your message with their network, whether that is liking or sharing something on Facebook, retweeting or favoriting on Twitter, or pinning on Pinterest.
There is a lot of cooperation going around on Facebook. Tuesday is for following each other and retweeting each other’s posts on Twitter. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are all about liking each other’s pages on Facebook. This is using cooperation to expand your circles to reach more people. I participate in the hopes of finding the people who want to take the cooperation to the next level and actively share each other’s content on a regular basis.
The same thing goes for online marketing with a blog. You can write the greatest content the world has ever seen, but if nobody sees it, then it might as well not even exist. Google will eventually index your post and people may see it that way, but that can take a very long time. The best way to get exposure quickly is through social media like I already mentioned and by commenting on other people’s blogs. The same rules of cooperation apply with commenting as with social media. You leave a comment on someone’s blog and then they hopefully come to your blog and leave a comment as well.
What has worked better in your experience, competition or cooperation? Please share your thoughts in a comment below then share this with your networks on Facebook and Twitter.