This bracelet is from my local gym in my hometown and was given to me by the owner’s nephew (who was hustling everyone in the place one $2 sale at a time. Love it). 

The phrase itself isn’t that original, but it stuck with me as we ( are generally in the midst of a competitive space AND this week in particular we are at the Consumer Electronics Showcase alongside thousands of other companies all vying for the world’s attention.

The message - “Respect all. Fear none.” is clear. Common sense even… but often forgotten. Let’s break it down…

Respect all.

This really is common sense, but it’s easy to forget. It usually happens one of a few ways. 

  1. The competition is bigger than you and you say “they’re big and slow and can’t innovate and we’re going to f*ck them up.”
  2. The competition is smaller than you and you say “ha! yeah right… they’ll never catch us.”
  3. The competition is the same size as you and you say “so what if they have feature X… we’ve got a better team anyway…”

Justify it any way you want, all of these ways of thinking are stupid and lazy. When it comes to competition, the best way to approach it is as if you’re losing, regardless of whether you actually are. Treat every competitor with tons of respect and realize that it really is Any Given Sunday out there.

Fear none.

But! When competitor A launches X feature, hires Y engineer or gets Z press hit… all you need to do is see it, understand it, say “GAME ON” and then… GET. BACK. TO. THE GAME. To be clear, I’m not saying to blindly ignore it, and I’m certainly not saying to obsess about it. Just know what it is and then forget about it and build your vision. 

Getting caught up in the tit-for-tat game of competition is a surefire way to build crap and it’s really just not worth your mental bandwidth to think about the bad guys.

So believe in yourself, while being realistic and get back to kicking ass.