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Featuring business and technology insights from Cindy Bates
06/02/12 Posted by Cindy Bates Don’t fall prey to comparison games – it’s your business

In yoga, you’ll often hear the instructor remind the class to stay focused on their own yoga practices and not on what everyone else is or isn’t doing. It’s great advice, especially as you catch sight of your neighbor balancing his entire body on just his forearm. Everyone’s yoga practice will look different and that’s a reality to embrace, not shy away from. Some bodies are made to stretch and bend in certain ways, while others never will or may not do so right away. The goal is to focus on listening to your body with all its limitations and possibilities, instead of wasting time with comparison games.

Similarly, in business it can be all too tempting to pay excessive attention to what your competitors are doing or what you’re reading you should be doing, even when these actions might not be best for your business right now. Here are a few examples that come to mind:

  • Social media overload – Yes, today’s businesses benefit from having social media strategies in place, but that doesn’t always mean tackling Facebook, Twitter and a corporate blog all in one week. Depending on the nature of your business and your available manpower and talent, you might be better off tackling one social media platform at a time, as well as consciously choosing not to adopt platforms if you honestly don’t feel they serve your business well at this time.
  • Moving it all to the cloud – I’ve talked a lot on this blog about the value of moving software solutions to the cloud, but that doesn’t mean every business should move every program skyward. Carefully consider the short and long-term savings a cloud solution will bring to your business. In some instances it makes more long-term financial sense to leave some programs on-premise.
  • Focusing too much on growth – This is a tough one. Every business needs growth goals and in a challenging economy it can be very tempting to set lofty goals for growth that end up getting in the way of high-quality products and services. Be sure your growth goals don’t impede with the quality of your offerings. Each year will look different for your business and some years might call for greater attention to quality over growth than others.

What do you think? How have you seen comparison games impact your business? How are you learning to focus on your business instead of all the competition?

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