There’s a guy in my field who is very good and successful.
Of course I watch what he’s doing. You always need to know what is going on in your world.
Here’s the lesson:
Couple years ago he got big doing what he was doing. He had “made it.”
So being an entrepreneur he went looking for the next thing which is understandable.
I watched him go into business with the wrong guy. At this point this is known only to me but I am never wrong with this kind of gut instinct.
Anyway Mr. Success and Mr. Wrong have been building a couple products that are non-starters.
And they are the worst kind of non-starters – because these products are selling. So it appears like it’s a good idea. It is giving them a false sense of confidence.
There is no chance these products are going to have the kind of success these guys think they will. And what’s odd is that Mr. Wrong is acting as Pied Piper here and leading Mr. Success astray.
But Mr. Success is savvy enough to have held onto his core business.
When Mr. Wrong blows up, Mr. Success will have that to fall back on. He will be okay.
Mr. Wrong will go on to his next bad idea.
In the meantime I am playing my own game. I have learned a lot from Mr. Success over the years – using his material that he designed to teach the audience.
But this is a lesson Mr. Success is teaching by accident. And I am also learning from that.
I do not wish him ill. If this bad idea turns out okay (he might get a financial exit) I will be happy for him.
But I am certain I am right that he is making a mistake.
Along the way he is wasting years of effort and a lot of capital.
Again, he’ll be okay and will look back on it as a “valuable lesson” which is what we tell ourselves to feel better.
But I am learning from him for free.
There are examples in your field, in every field. We watched a competitor in another business of ours basically give up their market advantage.
In that case, one of direct, local market competition, we worked our butts off while they were sleeping.
Every couple of days we’d ask ourselves, “what are they doing?”
“Do they not see what’s happening?” Etc.
We took over the market in that case right under their sleeping noses. We are now the dominant player and are working to strengthen our advantage.
So sometimes you can learn from a competitor’s mistake and sometime you can profit.
Always you should be on the lookout, if only to know what not to do.
And keep on doing the right things that you know to be right and thinking, really thinking, about what the next right move for you is going to be.