If You’re Creating, You’re Bypassing Competition

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

A newly discovered, uncontested area—a “Free Zone”—only stays new for so long before it becomes the new normal and fills up with numerous people in addition to whoever got there first.

So what does the discoverer of a Free Zone do once it becomes a known quantity that anyone can travel to?

Well, one option is to push past the frontier and continue further into uncharted territory to find another Free Zone.

What entrepreneurism means.

There can be all sorts of frontiers—including emotional frontiers, psychological frontiers, and intellectual frontiers—and people who feel limited by the established order under which they live are constantly creating new frontiers.

Their capabilities can’t come out, and who they are can’t grow. So they say, “We’re going to push out.”

And this is essentially what entrepreneurism means.

The fundamental definition of entrepreneurism is taking any kind of resource from a lower level of usefulness and value to a higher level, both for yourself and others.

French economist Jean-Baptiste Say came up with this definition in the early 1800s. Entrepreneurs take something that isn’t demonstrating value and raise its power so that it becomes valuable. And all of a sudden, they start attracting new consumers.

Seeing what others can’t.

Anytime you entrepreneurially transform an existing situation by combining underproductive resources, you suddenly acquire capabilities for rapid and profitable growth that no one else can see or understand.

Entrepreneurism is seeing value in a possibility no one saw before and being willing to focus your capabilities on making that possibility into a reality—forging into a new Free Zone where there’s no competition.

But this has an expiry date on it because the moment that a Free Zone becomes popular, the freeness of the zone decreases. Rules get established, and the exciting, abundant part of it disappears. And you have to do it all again.

There’s always a tension between those who dwell in established areas and those who push the boundaries, but once entrepreneurs understand that their entire lives have to involve always pushing into new frontiers, they avoid becoming part of the establishment.

Indeed, entrepreneurs stop being entrepreneurs when they want to become the establishment of the new zone and live there permanently. The secret to being a constantly growing entrepreneur lies in always moving on to a new Free Zone that others can’t yet see.

For more insights and guidance on the Free Zone Frontier, read the ten-chapter book, available here.

Competition depletes existing value.

Most stories of entrepreneurial success—mostly told by non-entrepreneurial outside observers—focus almost entirely on the isolation and negativity of cutthroat competition over opportunities, resources, and rewards that have already been created because of collaboration.

Collaboration creates entirely new kinds of value. Competition, on the other hand, always depletes existing value of its creativity, usefulness, productivity, profitability, and meaning.

Once collaboration has created a brand new industry, that industry fills up with competitors. This will soon take the value creation in the zone down to nothing because, for the competitors who have moved in, everything will be all about the price of what’s being offered rather than about creativity and innovation.

So the individuals who created the great value in their collaboration have to move out of the Free Zone they created and think of what their next collaboration and Free Zone creation will be.

Creating new Free Zones.

For all of your entrepreneurial life that lies ahead, you can choose to use only new forms of collaboration to create bigger and better Free Zone Frontiers that are increasingly free of any kind of competition.

You can avoid all of the isolated competition you previously thought was the only way to be an entrepreneur, and focus your energies on expanding your limits and collaborating with other like-minded individuals to create brand new value far greater than what anyone involved would be able to create on their own.

The vast majority of entrepreneurs won’t be up to this because they feel too locked into the fierce competition that defines their entrepreneurial lives.

But those entrepreneurs who are drawn to this idea immediately know that it’s right for them and that they’re going to start leaving energy-depleting competition behind and devoting their entrepreneurial lives to energizing, value-creating collaboration projects.

If this resonates with you and you’re motivated, you’ll learn to recognize rewarding opportunities all around you and that there’s an abundance of rewards available when you’re creating brand new value.

Entirely new territory.

You can always be extending the frontier of your capabilities outward into new zones of entrepreneurial achievement where you’re free to grow beyond the control of existing conditions.

This is the very essence of what entrepreneurism is—the creation of a Free Zone Frontier. And it’s available to any person on the planet who has the desire, imagination, and willingness to venture into new territory.