If You’re Gonna Succeed, You’re Gonna Need… a Nemesis
Mac has the PC.
Lamborghini has Ferrari.
Batman has the Joker.
Democrats have the Republicans.
Coke has Pepsi.
Whom do you have?
You need a nemesis! Sure, you may be just starting out. Sure, you may have plenty of battles to fight without having to worry about a nemesis. BUT… a nemesis can catapult you towards success (yep, even if you lose the battle). There are five reasons you need to find a nemesis:
Having a Nemesis – Forces You To Stand For Something
Mac stands for clean, simple design. Mac stands for easy user interface. Mac stands for artists, designers, musicians, and creative folks. Sure, I could go into more specifics but you get the point… they stand for things that other competitors don’t.
Standing for something gives people an idea of whether or not they should be “on your side.” The problem is that it’s easy to stand for a lot of different things, which makes it difficult for people to determine if they should join your side. And this is why it’s also important to stand against something.
Having a Nemesis – Forces You To Stand In Opposition To Something
The Republican Party stands in opposition to abortion. The Democratic Party is Pro-Choice. On the other hand, the Democratic party is in opposition to tax cuts for the wealthiest, while the Republicans support lower taxes across the board. Each of these stances makes it easier for you to decide if you’re a Democrat or a Republican.
Regardless of your business (or your niche) you’re going to face a fierce battle from your competition. As you become more successful, the battles waged by your competitors will become more fierce, and they’ll start accusing you of things that may not be true. So go ahead, be brave and draw your line in the sand and take a stand against something (or maybe many things).
Having a Nemesis – Gives Your Critics Permission (and something specific) To Criticize
Once you draw your line in the sand it gives your critics permission to criticize you. They’re going to criticize you anyway, but by taking a stand both for and against certain things, you’re forcing your critics to focus on the things you stand for and the things you stand against.
Having a Nemesis – Allows Your Followers To Defend You
Which do you like better, Lamborghini or Ferrari? For me, I’ve always been infatuated with Lamborghinis. When I was a child I had a huge poster of a Lamborghini Countach hanging on my wall, and ever since I’ve been a defender of Lamborghini. When someone says Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin, or any other brand is better than Lamborghini, I will defend and argue on behalf of Lamborghini. The funny thing is, I’ve never driven or even ridden in a Lamborghini, but yet, I’m convinced they make the best supercars in the world.
To me, Lamborghini stands for speed, style, passion, and success. Sure, the others stand for certain things, but they’re not as good as Lamborghini. When you stand for certain things (whether real or perceived) you give your followers something to defend.
Having a Nemesis – Allows You To Engage Your Audience
What good would Batman be if it weren’t for The Joker? What good would Robin Hood be if it weren’t for the Sheriff of Nottingham? What good is your business if you don’t have something to fight for, and something to fight against? Sure, you can exist without the fight, but the fight is what people enjoy watching and participating in.
In our world of ever-shrinking attention spans, it’s more important than ever to engage your audience. To give them something to talk about, and to participate in. Think about Tom’s Shoes. Did the world really need another shoe company? Nope, the world would have kept on spinning just fine without Tom’s.
Blake Mycoskie, founder of Tom’s Shoes, took a stand. He made a commitment that for every pair of shoes he sold, he would donate an identical pair to needy children in Africa (and elsewhere). His “line in the sand” revolutionized the shoe industry and made him very wealthy. His “giving” approach has drawn its fair share of critics… but has also catapulted him toward success.
If you’re gonna succeed, you’re gonna need a nemesis. If you don’t already have one, decide exactly what you’re going to stand for and what you’re going to stand against, and your nemesis will appear.
“You know you have arrived when your critics do.” – Unknown
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