I’m sure 80% of you just cringed while reading that subject line, and probably only clicked on this blog to hate me. It’s a bold statement, especially coming from a Cardinals fan, but I fully stand by my statement: It’s time to stop hating the Chicago Cubs – because it will help your business.

Now, why on Earth would I be telling you to stop hating the 2016 World Series Champions? Because it’s important to love your “enemy” (or competition). There’s a reason Cardinals fans have such strong feelings in regards to the Cubs, and it’s because we see them as competitors, threats or we’re just downright jealous. But when it comes down to it, you need to love or embrace them, in order to be successful.

Success Breeds Hate.
The more successful a person, company, brand  or team becomes, the more attention is brought to them, and therefore, you love to hate them. But there is a reason that they have become successful, and rather than hating them or writing them off completely, watch them. Take notes on what it is they’re doing and see how you can utilize it for your company. What are their tricks, what makes them so special and how can that be you? I’m not saying to stalk them, copy what they’re doing or to go all “Mean Girls” and befriend them to learn their secrets and take them down, but study them. Chances are, you’ll learn how you can differentiate your brand or tell your brand story better. You’ll identify their strengths and uncover where their gaps are. They are not your enemy. They will make you stronger.

If You’re Not Making Someone Mad, You Probably Aren’t Doing Anything Important.
I stumbled across this article by Oliver Emberton and it immediately clicked. If you’re sitting back, doing the bare minimum and hoping for the best, you won’t see results. Your competition won’t be talking about you, and neither will the public. If it’s your goal to be a successful brand or a company that people talk about, whether it’s through love or hate, it’s time to do something important. Make a stand, make a splash, stand up for what you believe in and do something awesome. No, I don’t think it’s always necessary to make someone angry and I wouldn’t recommend it in most cases, but your competition will certainly not be pleased if your sales are climbing through the roof and the attention is no longer on them.

You Hate In Others What You Hate About Yourself.
Famous German novelist, Hermann Hesse, once said, “If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.”

Think about the times you’ve been judgmental of someone. In reality, you’re judging yourself. Carl Jung said, “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”  Take a step back and think about either the people or brands that you might “hate” or consider competition. What are the things that stand out about them that you dislike? If you take some time to think through how  you’re feeling and what makes you feel that way, you have extremely powerful information in your hands. Once you pinpoint these characteristics or qualities that you hate in others, you can finally accept them and work on improvements. You can use this info to better yourself, your company and become the success you desire.

My advice for you is to go forth and love. Love your competition, love those you previously found flaws in and love the Cubs. See how this new found way of thinking will improve your business and make you more successful. Watch as you grow and those you previously deemed as your enemy start looking like a distant memory (But still cheer for the Cardinals. I fully support that.)

 

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account manager/social media strategist/Harry Potter magic wielder