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When in Doubt, Outwork Them

Shot of a woman posing with a chalk illustration of flexing muscles against a dark background

One’s attitude toward market position, talent, or capabilities relative to your competition may make all the difference needed to be successful. Not that one should obsess over every aspect of their competition, be aware and use that awareness to your advantage. New York Times bestselling author James Clear recently wrote:

“Before you begin, think as if you are a lazy person. Imagine the competition will work harder. Your only chance is a better strategy.

After you begin, work as if you are a dumb person. Imagine the competition is smarter and more talented. Your only chance is to outwork them.”

It’s a fascinating contrast. Strategy is key early on as the competition may rest on their laurels being larger, better funded, or further along. A better strategy could be enough to overtake them.

As business professionals, there may be a rivalry between individuals where the opposition is older or more experienced. We still have an opportunity, the opportunity to outwork them. There are countless stories of entrepreneurs, sports teams, and even small countries at war who have prevailed by outworking their opponents. So just when you think you’re not as smart, less talented, or short on funding, you’re not out of options.