Why I Don’t Believe in Competition (Especially in Business)

 

I was 15-years-old and about to start my after-school job at the local gym my brother and his family owned.

As I walked into work, members of the gym were asking me questions.

“How come your brother’s talking to that guy in his office?”

“What guy?”

“The guy that owns the gym that other people work out at – you know – the competition?”

“Hmmmm…I have no idea.”

 

I took a stroll by the office where this chat was taking place and I saw two men in conversation – wasn’t sure what the big fuss was about.

Being the nosy sister I am – and super curious why people were shocked about this meeting – after the gentleman left, I went in and asked my brother what the meeting was all about.

My bro was like, “Well, so and so wanted to know how we ran our EFT (Electronic Fund Transfer) system and so I told him.”

Easy as that.

One dude helping another dude out.

 

Back in the late 90’s EFT was a brand-new way of collecting money. Our small town gym was one of the “pioneers” in doing gym memberships through EFT.

And others wanted to adopt it.

Instead of my brother being stingy, or thinking he was lacking anything by “giving away” his EFT experience and set-up – he happily obliged in sharing what he knew about it.

And neither business was negatively affected by my brother showing another gym owner how to collect money electronically; it appeared this experience only lent support to a business each of them loved so much.

 

 

Nature Versus Nurture 

 

If we’re going to consider nature versus nurture when it comes to competition – I’m going to have to go with I just wasn’t born with a competitive bone in my body.

Now my husband on the other hand – the guy is competitive.

He thinks it’s healthy and when it comes to sports especially, he loves nothing more than blasting a ball out of the field and obliterating a bat while he’s at it.

Me? Not a feeling like that in my entire life.

 

Am I not competitive because sports have never been my thing?

(I mean, you guys, I played basketball once and acted like a ballerina trying to get the ball in the hoop. And there was a time playing tennis with my friends I thought I was hilarious and got myself wrapped in the net. I’m that good.)

 

Am I not competitive because my parents never pushed me to excel?

(As long as I was breathing and happy, that was winning in their book.)

 

Am I not competitive because I’m afraid to be?

(Is this an upper limit problem? Am I scared of rejection?)

 

I examine my view on competition because not only do I NOT feel inclined to compete with others, I feel that way in most areas of my life, especially business.

 

When I first started out online I heard the line, “Collaboration over competition.”

I know that’s probably been said by everyone and their online business mother, but it felt so damn right to me.

As right as non-dairy creamer feels in my coffee.

 

 

Why I Don’t Believe in Competition (Especially in Business)

 

Obviously, we’ve established it’s in my nature-bones I don’t feel the need to be competitive with others.

But, what about competition with my own damn self?

Is there such a thing?

Does that mean you’re a perfectionist, if so?

 

I’m not sure what textbooks or scholars say about this, but my take is I’d rather be “competitive” with myself than anyone or anything else.

I can control myself (if I’m not throwing too many margaritas back, that is), but I can’t control others – especially in business.

I can’t control your business and how you advertise.

I can’t control your marketing and how you show up in your newsletter, social media and website.

I can’t control what videos you make on YouTube, or how you structure your sentences, or how you network with other entrepreneurs.

 

But I CAN control showing up in my own unique way and tell my stories the only way I know how.

I CAN control what works for my business and my life and let that be the centerpiece of how I run things – not how I’m “supposed” to do life and business.

Because I’d rather spend my time focusing on how I can show up – with my distinct gifts – than worry what the “competition” is doing.

 

People (along with their business) are going to show up either way – and so am I.

Because there’s room for all of us.

 

Drive down any Main street and notice all of the shops.

Ever see two convenience stores across the street from each other? I always thought that was so crazy. But what I’ve witnessed is a steady stream of business to both stores.

 

I’m not saying competition is a bad thing.

If that works for you – work it.

 

In business, however, if it’s driving you nuts what your competitors are doing or not doing – perhaps you rethink your relationship to competition.

What if, instead of focusing on what others are doing, you pour that energy into your business.

Invest in yo’damn self!

 

There’s a difference between market research (aka, what are my “competitors” doing) versus allowing that to bring you down, become reactive or sway you from YOUR vision.

Because you probably have no idea what another business owner’s intentions are and what they’re sacrificing (or not sacrificing) to achieve certain goals.

 

Create a business (and life) that lights your candle and your people will find you. 

Some people/business dig a properly placed F-bomb.

Some people/business don’t.

Some people/business have strict return policies.

Some people/business don’t.

Some people/business believe in using social media.

Some people/business don’t.

 

That’s the beauty in it all: YOU GET TO MAKE IT YOUR OWN.

 

So don’t waste another hot minute on what you “should” do, or what your competitor’s doing.

Question what YOU want to do.

What you CAN do.

And show up right there and use your time and energy like a mo’fo.

 

 

Love + Leaning into Nature, 

Keli 

 

 

 

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

 

How I’m Making Summer my “Vacation”

I’m not gonna lie – when summer hit – so did my apprehension. 

The little daughter and I have had some bumpy roads in the past when it comes to seeing, ummmm, eye-to-eye. Why is it, that I am — sometimes — so scared of a tiny human?

My hubs reminds me it’s because we’re so much alike in our strong will and stubbornness, but I can’t help but think, “Can’t she hold off on that until she’s like 20?”

 

So, when that bell rang for the last time of her 1st-grade year I was equally excited for her and the fact that I didn’t have to take her to school every morning, pick her up every afternoon and do that whole morning routine thing – not to mention the lunches.

I mean. Why does it feel like I’m making 100 lunches when I’m making one, single, lunch…for a 7-year-old?

I digress.

 

 

You’re probably wondering why I’m so on edge over a little kiddo?

 

Well, it’s not entirely her.

I work freelance from home (aka – my laptop).

So, summer also means my coffee shop adventures and rock-solid Keli-Time was about to go out the Flat White window.

Bye-Bye double espresso.

 

Summertime had me nervous with how I was going to juggle my time being slashed by my little one being out of school.

 

Now, to be fair and honest, we have help. We have our own little village. Thank Sweet, Baby, J.

That means I can call on our family for support, but I still need a lot more time than weekends and a day or two here and there.

And considering I’m a whole lotta LET’S GET SHIT DONE – I was shaking in my mama boots a wee bit.

 

It wasn’t until about two or so weeks after summer started that I had a realization: I’m Going to Make This Summer my own “Vacation”!

 

After making schedules and to-do lists, I decided this shiz is for the birds and if my daughter’s sleeping in — so is mama.

And if my daughter’s on a less restricted timetable during the summer – so is mama.

 

 

How I’m Making Summer my “Vacation”

  

Once I realized I could give myself a little vacation right from my own home, this is what I’m experimenting with:

 

  • Sleep In – Now, I’d definitely call myself a morning person, but not waking up every morning to jump into the same routine eases me somehow. I think it’s because I get bored easily. Knowing I can sleep in a little bit and start my day on my own terms is helpful.

 

  • Stay Up — I’m definitely not in my 20’s anymore and don’t take well to all-night benders but staying up until 10 or 11 pm feels like a total rebel move on my part. I don’t always stay up late in the summer, but when I do, you better believe I feel like I’m on “vacation” when I do.

 

  • Treat Yo’self – Summer screams porch season for me. Give me a cold drink (preferably a cocktail or kombucha), patio and anything with salsa and guacamole and I’m basically like a kid that’s been transfixed by a new toy or good movie.

 

  • Be Like the Summer – In our neck of the woods, pool time and our local drive-in movie theater is all the summertime rage. And so is eating popsicles on the porch. So, what’s a mama to do? Bring my laptop to the pool (yes, I’m that cliché “laptop lifestyle” person, just minus the mansion and Mercedes Benz), and pack up some blankets and food and hit up the drive-in.

 

 

When summer hit I was resisting it because I knew I was going to have to change my schedule up.

And that frankly scared the bajeezers out of me because I felt like I was just getting my time back.

For the first time in ten years, I wasn’t a primary caregiver to my pops who’s rockin’ dementia.

As a family, we were in our second year of all-day school for the little one and settled into a routine.

And as a freelancer, I was now able to work my own schedule and have more than enough time to be creative – for myself and my clients.

 

When I decided to stop resisting and began embracing what is, I was able to place the power back into my mother-loving hands. That’s right.

 

It took me some time to be aware that bloody hell, I’m a freelancer for a reason; I make my own damn schedule.

And although I had my routine in place and I was going to have to adjust it – I had to remember that that was a privilege in itself.

 

If that meant working in the evening a little more, or in intervals – I was ok with that – because I knew it was temporary.

And even though I’m the type of mom that needs healthy breaks from her child, I was so down with living it up in a way I never have with my daughter.

 

Whether you’re a freelancer, business owner, or work at a particular job and struggle with the summer and your schedule being hijacked by your kid(s) – I’m hugging you right now.

 

And may the Summer God’s smile upon you – whether you’re slinging your laptop around, or juggling summer camp – may your village be robust and your coffee be strong.

 

 

Love + Sleeping In,

Keli

 

 

 

Photo by Benjamin Voros on Unsplash

Father’s Day – One of My Favorite F-Words

 

 

Ahh — Father’s Day – it truly is one of my favorite F-Words.

 

But, I know for some people this “holiday” can bring up all sorts of thoughts and big-time emotions.

Maybe your dad peaced out when you were little, maybe you never even knew your dad, maybe our dad is lookin’ down from the sky today – whatever your experience with dad and Father’s Day – know you’re not alone.

 

I know for myself, Mother’s Day does that for me.

When my mama beamed up to the sky when I was 24-years-old, there hasn’t been a Mother’s Day that I don’t think, “Damn, I wonder what we’d be doing today.”

 

Feel what you gotta feel, get it out and then if you’re up for it – enjoy the hell out of this day!

 

Thankfully, what I lacked in the Mom World, God decided to abundantly over-compensate me with some rockin’ men that have shaped my life: my Pops, The Vic, my Brother, Mike and my Hubs, Joshua.

Today, I want to celebrate them and let you know why I love the hell out of these dudes so much.

 

 

A Love Letter to My Three Favorite Men  

 

 The Vic (my Pops) —

 

 

When I spew to my Hubs, “My dad is one of my favorite people.”

The Hubs likes to remind me, “He’s your #1 favorite person, you don’t have to fool me.”

And he’s abso-flipping-lutely correct.

 

(3) Big Bopper Reasons Why I Love the Shit Out of The Vic:

  1. Unconditional Love

 My dad has always been more of a friend than a typical “father” in my world. He’s not big on discipline (heck, when you have a kid in your 50’s – do you even have any f*cks to give?), but he is big on love – unconditional love.

I knew if I ever went way off the rails in life my dad would be like, “It’s cool, Kel, I still love you.”

I pray I can give that to my daughter and not be so bloody uptight about certain things. God give me unconditional love.

 

  1. Authenticity

I’ll never forget…I was in middle school and all I wanted to do was fit in with the “rich” girls that wore new Doc Martens and had endless shopping sprees.

One day as I complained about wanting this new thing and that new thing, The Vic had enough and went full-on Italian Malocchio (“evil eye” on me and while his hands were flying he told me, “Kel! Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. Be YOU. Be Keli! Only answer to yourself and that’s all that matters!”

(I had to use a lot of exclamation points there because, damn, dad was steaming and I rarely see him like that, so I knew he was legit fired up for a reason).

He was right. And from that moment on, I learned to care less and less about fitting in with others and more and more about fitting in with myself.

 

  1. Humor

To this day, I’ve never met someone who matches my dad’s wit and easy humor. The guy knows how to work a room and he’s never met a stranger.

And let’s not forget his laugh – that thing is medicine for the soul, period.

The Vic has taught me to not take myself so seriously and that has always given me strength when I get into a tizzy about life.

 

 

My Brother, Mike —

 

 

I always say I have my two dads (wasn’t that a show in the 90’s?), My dad, The Vic and my 18-year-older than me, Brother Mike.

 

(3) Great White Whale Reasons Why I Dig My Bro Hardcore:

  1. Wicked Smart

This guy. He’s a businessman. A Registered Nurse. And more than that, he’s got that street cred.

I’ll never forget when he told me the three things you need when doing business: brains, bucks, and balls.

Quips like that and “power talks” (as he called them) were how he guided me best. And how eventually I grew more balls than brains (but, hey, I’m still working on that balance thing)!

 

  1. Assertive Trainer

In high school, I could be shy and timid and didn’t know how to set boundaries well.

Right there in his garage, I’ll never forget practicing dialog with him on how to be more assertive (not aggressive, as that’s how I was seeing it).

His way of teaching me about being assertive and setting healthy boundaries in life has saved me loads of headaches (not to mention, crappy people getting the boot from my life).

 

  1. He’s Obsessed w/ Your Success

He loves supporting education and will relentlessly do whatever it takes for you to succeed.

When I decided I wasn’t going to college right after high school, The Brother gently nudged me to try one semester.

I did and even though school didn’t stick with me then, I’m glad I had a guiding force that said, “At least try and then make your decision from there.”

 

My dad being the uber gentle, soft place to land in my life — my Brother was the guardrails that kept me in my lane of life. Lightly tapping me back in when I went off my own path. 

 

 

The Hubs —

 

 

When I met my husband, neither of us believed in marriage or kids. We were scared to death of those ideas and wanted nothing to do with them.

Because life has a wicked sense of humor – we were married eight months after our first date and almost a year after that, we welcomed our baby girl into the world.

Often we both look at each other (especially around the time of our anniversary) and say, “Damn, I can’t believe we’re still doing this.”

We smile and we laugh because for two people who were so anti-marriage and kids, we can’t imagine our lives any other way…now.

Go, Life!

 

(3) Trumpet-Blowing Reasons Why the Hubs Rocks My World:

  1. The Next Tesla  

I always say my Hubs is a mix between John Nash and Nikola Tesla because I literally cannot keep up with his mind.

I’ve never met a man with more eloquent intelligence (that sounds pompous doesn’t it?) He’s never boastful and yet I can see steam coming out of his ears sometimes when his gears are turning.

It also helps when I hear a science-y word whilst watching X-Files and look at The Hubs and say, “WTF is Ununpentium?” and he rattles off all things Ununpentium.

 

  1. His Own Kind of Feminist

He took my last name when we married. And no, I did not trick him into that decision.

I told him I was going to keep my last name (and would think about hyphenating it with his, if he really wanted me to).

Since we were thinking about having a kid in the future he wasn’t having that hyphenated business.

He said he would take my last name and so would our future child.

That was that and not once have I ever seen him wince when someone asks why he took my last name.

 

  1. He Knows How to Handle My Crazy Ass

Yo, I can be crazy as all hell. I mean, I upped and moved our family to Santa Barbara, California on a wing and a prayer, literally.

The thing about my Hubs is he knows when to put the foot down with me and when to just let me “spin out” as he puts it.

Because I get in this Tasmanian Devil-style tizzy sometimes, he let’s me just get all sorts of Keli-crazy.

And then, when I’m ready to stop going around in my own damn circle, he’s there. Steady as can be.

God Bless you, My Love — we all need that grounding force.

 

 

Whatever figure you’ve had in your life that helps guide you and shows you the best parts of who you are – thank them today – man or woman…because it takes a village to raise a child, y’all.

 

A massive T-Rex size village.

 

Love + Loving the Men in my Life,

Keli

Should Every Business Have A Blog?

 

I was in high school when I overheard the TV in the background refer to Rosie O’Donnell and her “blog”.

I was like, “What in the hell is a blog? That name already sounds like it’s doomed.”

 

Boy, was I all sorts of wrong on that one.

 

To get all nerdy on you, the term blog was officially coined in 1999 when Programmer Peter Merholz shortened the term “Weblog” to blog. (Feel smarter already, don’t you?)

Cut to 2018 – there are more than 440 million blogs on Tumblr, Squarespace, and WordPress. Now that’s a whole lotta writing on the Interwebs right there.

 

If you’re a business owner, you might have heard everyone and their sweet mother, aunt, and distant cousins tell you that having a blog for your business is  E V E R Y T H I N G  (in their most exaggerated voice of course).

 

So, I bet you’re wondering if they’re right —

should your business have a blog?

 

Asking this question — to me — is like asking if Chris Hemsworth should take his shirt off more (hell yes).

But, that’s only my preference because I have a wild hair for Aussie’s with blue eyes and ripped abs.

Case in point:

 

Chris Hemsworth
Chris Hemsworth

 

Ok, enough drooling over here.

 

Now, it’s not my style to tell people what to do (unless you’re my husband and I’m in major need of dark chocolate).

But, I will point out some highly qualified reasons why a blog could totally benefit your business and let you decide from there.

After all, it’s your business and YOU get to decide how you wanna run the damn thang.

 

 

Should Every Business Have a Blog?

 

Here are four reasons you might want to consider a blog for your business. 

 

 

#1 – You Own the Damn Thing

 

Ever heard of the concept of renting versus owning? (I know you have).

Now, I’m not ALL in favor of strictly owning (I’m a gypsy of sorts, y’all), but when it comes to your online real estate, you better own your shit.

I love me some social media. Get me all up in that Facebook and Instagram and my thumb’s ready to fall off by the end of the day.

But, what happens when Mr. Z (Mark Zuckerberg that is) changes the algorithm (which happens more than us business owners would like)?

That’s right, your organic reach usually goes down and all that time and energy you placed into social media (and not your website or blog) goes up in a cloud of algorithm smoke. Poof!

When you blog on YOUR website, you literally own that piece of online land. You own your website and ALL that goes in it.

Now, I’m not saying throw all of your social media out the window.

Just don’t place every ounce of your content in the house’s that others (like Mr. Z) have built. Spread the love to your website and newsletter as well (the online real estate you actually own). 

 

 

#2 – Your Blog Brings all the Boys to the Yard  

 

You built (and paid a pretty penny) for your beautiful website front, and now, nobody’s looking at it.

What the? Nobody likes the sound of virtual crickets.

Here’s the deal, Google LOVES content-rich websites that are full of answers and solutions and all things a human can Google.

And a blog is super handy for that reason and helps to drive traffic to your website.

The more you blog and build quality content on your website, the more people can find you – organically – through search engines like Google.

The longer your ideal customer stays on your website and gets to know you, and decides they kinda like you, they are more likely to buy from you (milkshakes included). 

 

 

#3 – Get on the Stage

 

Leather pants not required (but could be useful, I mean, look at Jon Bon Jovi).

If being a business owner makes you a rock star than what stage are you going to perform on? Your virtual website stage, of course!

When you consistently blog and create content that is useful for your audience, people get to know you.

They get to know your opinions, your brand voice (how you speak in your writing), how you deliver content – and over time – they get to decide if what they are consuming is something they want to continue doing or not.

By stepping up to your virtual stage, you get to showcase your talents and resources for your audience, and that, is how you get to create groupies and raving fans or those that say, “Nah, not for me” (and that is completely ok because you want an audience that’ll wait in the rain for you, versus a fair-weather fan).

 

 

#4 – A blog solves problems

 

Why do you have a business in the first place? To solve a problem, correct? To help someone achieve or buy something that could benefit them in some way. A blog does the same thing.

If you’re a doctor wanting to build your practice, or a photographer wanting to showcase your mad skills — having a blog to point your patients or customers to is invaluable.

If you’re the doctor, write about the problems your patients come to see you for. If you can, offer a solution or point them in a direction that’s helpful on the blog, and use the blog as a reference for patients with similar problems.

If you’re a photographer, write about the process it took to shoot certain pictures (what camera you used, the angles you chose and why, what homework you did to make that day/shoot happen).

Let people into your world and they might just keep “following” you around.

You don’t have to be an “expert” — just showcase the knowledge you do have and if that can help someone…even better! 

 

 

Things to Ponder Moving Forward

 

  • If I choose to have a business blog, who will write it (Marketing department? Hire a content writer? You’ve been dreaming of writing a blog for your business forever?)

 

  • How often will I blog (Once/day? Once/week? Once/month?)

 

  • And how practical is that number?

 

  • And how will you accomplish this blogging goal?

 

  • What topics will I blog about?

 

  • How will I distribute the blog (Newsletter? Social Media?)

 

  • Are aliens real? 👽Hmmmmmm.

 

 

Whether you decide a blog for your business is worth implementing or not, keep in mind that quality content is better than no content.

 

If you can’t keep a schedule of once a week posting, try bi-weekly or at least once a month to start out with.

Over time, you’ll start to flush out the kinks and get a clearer picture of this whole blogging thing.

 

 

And if you don’t think blogging is right for your business, or you don’t have the time to implement content at this point –

start where you are, keep showing up and know that you are doing a helluva job, my friend! For real. 

 

 

Love + Loving The Word Blog,

Keli Conci

 

 

 

 

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