It is the fantasy of most businesspeople to develop a product that is so unique, or a patent that is so ironclad, that we end up with a 100% market share – with, in effect, a monopoly.
But if you look at the history of monopolies, they've ended up being decadent and remarkably non-innovative. Customers have paid the price, by getting stuck with obsolete products, and the monopolists, themselves, could have fared better by pushing themselves to invent yet the next, big thing.
Without vibrant competition, unfortunately, we stagnate.
Recently, I was reading an ezine author who lamented that he was, by far, the most prolific writer on the web. He asked, in so many words, "Is there no one out there, to challenge me?"
At first, this sounds arrogant and self-congratulatory, but if you take a closer look, he's onto something really important. All of us do better when we have rivals who drive us forward.
Remember, was it Alexander The Great, who reportedly, "Wept, because there were no more worlds to conquer"?
As a sales manager, and now as a sales coach and consultant, I know that every crew needs to have two top producers, who nudge or push each other. The best thing for the entire team is to be part of an ongoing rivalry, because it infuses life and builds new peaks of performance.
If you're a solo practitioner, you are a "one-man band," it's tougher on you to grow and to develop, because there's nobody next to you, clamoring for success.
But don't accept this as being normal or desirable.
Create competition by outdoing your personal best. Go to conferences, search the web to find others who are more advanced than you are.
Use them as new benchmarks of achievement.
And this way, you'll be able smile, knowing there are yet more worlds to conquer!