The Spirit Of Competition 3-18-16

Many years ago I asked a client how he felt about competition. This client owned and still owns a wonderful restaurant that in my opinion depicts fine dining at its very best. The restaurant offers a classic cuisine with a modern twist. It also offers an ambiance not like any other in a small, local community. But even more, this restaurant is owned by a man who exhibits a character whose attributes should be modeled by many.  He’s an inspiration to me. 

A new restaurant had opened up years ago and was very similar to my clients restaurant. In addition it was creating some competition that my client had never experienced. It prompted me to ask how he felt about the competition. I will never forget what his reply was. He answered “I welcome the competition. Competition gives me the insentive to work harder. It also offers another alternative for patrons in our community to choose from and it offers growth in the community I love so much. I would like to see my competitor succeed and will do what it takes to support them”. His reply showed the true character of a person facing competition unlike the character his competitor displayed.  In my opininion my clients character was one that I would like to model in my own life. 

Since my return I have witnessed some character attacks on a new boutique that opened here in Moses Lake. This boutique is a wonderful new addition to the community and offers a unique style. It also offers competition for another boutique who is very similar. This equates to another choice for area shoppers. Like my client many years ago, one would think this would be good news not only for the other business but good news for the community. Any new business means growth. 

These two businesses are very similar  but very different and unique in many ways. What they share in common is an alternative for the community to shop local. Recently, I’ve seen some attacks on social media by the other business which in my opinion has been in bad taste. I have not only witnessed character bashing by the owner but by the employees also. I love both boutiques however, the character of the other business has had me asking myself “is that a business I would like to support?”  A business that attacks a competitor in such a negative way makes me wonder how how they treat the customers the minute their back is turned. If the daggers go up at the slightest competition and is displayed so publicly on social media, I can only wonder how they behave behind closed doors. 

Recently I saw a post about a local sushi restaurant that treats their employees unfairly. It left a bad taste in my mouth. I will never eat at that restaurant again. The same goes for the boutique who feels the need to behave so badly towards a competitor. Despite having a wonderful place to shop, I will never shop there again. I for one don’t want to support vindictive behavior. It’s called respect not only for myself but for the business at the receiving end of such negative and volatile behavior. 

Like my client so many years ago, he chose to take the high road despite the negative comments and actions from his competitor. In the end his competitor failed and today I’m happy to report my client, who I hold in such high regard, went on to open two additional restaurants. They are all unique and very different. They offer a choice for this wonderful community he has always loved so much. What all three restaurants have in common is they are owned by the same man who exhibits class and the true meaning of how to treat others.  Even in the midst of competition. 

The moral of this story is how you treat others, especially your competitors, shows who you really are. I support those who take the high road and continue to do the right thing. Displaying bad behavior on social media against a competitor shows who you really are.  I’m not perfect. I am guilty of behaving in a negative fashion myself on social media but today I’d like all of us, including myself, to take a lesson from my former client. Now his attributes and character are how we should really model our own life, especially in the midst of competition. 



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