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When I started my consulting business 15 years ago, every other consultant was my competitor. Not just PR consultants, but also consultants in other marketing disciplines, since I had the skill set to write content for a brochure, put together a direct marketing piece or, in a pinch, lay out an ad.
However, for many of these projects, I was simply “good enough.” Not wanting to spend the 10,000 hours you supposedly need to become an expert at any one thing, I needed to figure out how to rise above the competition… and did so through coopetition.
According to Wikipedia:
Coopetition is collaboration between business competitors, in the hope of mutually beneficial results.
I wanted to focus on what I was really good at, and I also knew clients were going to want more than the basic services I could offer.
I wanted to create for each client a dream team with highly specialized skills that doesn’t produce just “good enough” but rather “pretty good” to “darn right amazing” results.
In order to do that, I had to honestly assess my own skill level and look to others to fill the gap in areas where I was lacking.
Suddenly, every competitor became a possible business partner and a previous mindset of scarcity became a mindset based in abundance.