How To Leave The World Of Competition Behind

Dan Sullivan
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The following is an excerpt from Free Zone Frontier by Dan Sullivan.

Actually creating value and receiving positive feedback makes up maybe only five or ten percent of the typical entrepreneur’s existence.

The rest is made up of the problems that entrepreneurs face—practical, economic, psychological, and emotional—which all have to do with sometimes being successful but also failing a lot in the competitive business world.

In other words, entrepreneurs’ negative stories tend to all relate to being in competition.

It can seem like competition is the center of the universe, but what if those entrepreneurs who’ve proven themselves as credible in the competitive world and are good at collaboration enter into an area where there’s no struggle?

What you hoped might be true.

What may have seemed like fairy tale visions of your future that you kept to yourself during all of your years of competitive frustration and failure can actually take on a greater daily practicality than you ever imagined.

You can leave behind the negativity and feelings of scarcity that are such a big part of most entrepreneurs’ lives. Everything can be positive, encouraging, and exciting. A future without competition is possible.

That’s what a Free Zone is: a world without competition. New Free Zones don’t last forever, but it’s not your concern whether or when other people move into a Free Zone you’ve created. Your goal is just to create more and more Free Zones.

Bypassing all self-comparison.

As you continually develop and expand many different kinds of unique collaboration, you stop comparing any aspect of your life with anyone else’s.

The only reason you’ve ever compared yourself to other people is that you were competing, and you can now be permanently in an environment of no competition.

Operating with a Free Zone Frontier mindset, what you’re looking for in other people are unique capabilities you don’t personally possess. You want to collaborate with them because they’re unique, as you are, and their mindset resonates with yours because they also have a cooperative attitude.

Self-comparison means you’re looking at yourself in relation to someone else. There’s no value in doing this. It’s not about value creation.

When you’re trying to figure out how you can compete, you compare yourself, and you focus on best practices. Focusing on best practices tells you you’re not into value creation but rather trying to be the same as everybody else.

It has nothing to do with creating something new. It’s just thinking, “What are the best people doing, and how can I be more like them?” That means you’re trying to change everything in your company to match what already exists.

Instead, identify the area in which you’re already ahead of the competition, package it, and go outside of the industry so there’s no competition. And as soon as you go out there, you’ll talk to people, asking, “If we match up our unique capabilities, what do you think we could do together?”

The person you’ll talk to has likely already had the thought about going outside of their industry. It’s the law of magnetism: People with resonant mindsets find one another.

For more of Dan Sullivan’s wisdom on creating a Free Zone Frontier, download and read the full book.

Multiplying, not imitating.

In the Free Zone Frontier, there is no mimicking, imitating, or copying what competitors might do, but rather every unique 10x collaborator helps to multiply everyone else’s creative contributions.

There’s no actual value creation in doing what one of your competitors is doing, and people choose to do that only when they’re in competition and aren’t confident enough in their own value creation skills.

But it’s not a factor in true collaboration, where you and another person are combining your best 10x capabilities to create something new. Copying anyone in this situation is just not necessary.

When you make the permanent move to the Free Zone Frontier, it means you’ve accumulated enough Free Zone capabilities that you’re ready to play this different game, and all the people you’re going to collaborate with have reached the same level. This means that no one playing this game is going to feel any need to “keep up” with anyone else. Instead, all of you are focused only on new value creation.

Increasingly gravity-free.

You’re no longer going to be weighed down by fatigue and costs of competitive strategies and activities.

Now, all of your greatest energy, concentration, and activities will be 100 percent utilized to create entirely new kinds of value in situations and circumstances that are completely different from any conventional marketplace.

You’ve already proven yourself in the competitive world as being someone with strong capabilities who’s worth collaborating with, so now you need only engage with other people possessing strong capabilities who are also looking to leave competition behind.

Own it and grow it.

Your entire personal future in an expanding universe of Free Zone Frontiers has a simple formula: As you take more responsibility for collaborating in a new way, you immediately feel the value growing for everyone involved. You can’t do this halfway. You have to have both feet in the Free Zone Frontier.

And you can’t be irresponsibly collaborative. What you contribute and put out can’t just be a cosmetic thing. It has to be real, from a genuine desire for new value creation, and you have to completely own it.

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