Its not your business, I said to her, and actually its also none of your business.
Oh - she said.
A client rang me to ask my opinion on a couple of things. In a nutshell she wanted to help all retailers around her and take on the council in the city she lived in. She had a willing group who also were championing the cause - and they were doing it with the best of intentions. Things weren't happening for them in the way they believed they should, so they thought they would take matters into their own hands and try and make a difference - wars have been fought on less, and people have died for noble causes such as these - they perhaps weren't willing to lay down their lives - but they were willing to fight for their livelihoods. Noble.
Except I said its none of your business. Don't get me wrong, I believe in championing for what is right - just ask anyone who knows me, but only when the energy expanded is worth it.
I look at it like this - every day you have $20 worth of energy to spend - you can spend it anywhere you choose - do you throw $5 at the imbecile at the roundabout because they don't know how to drive? Do you spend $15 fighting a council when the difference you can make is miniscule - or is that $15 best spent inside your business?? Rhetorical question.
You are better spending the time getting to know what you want to achieve, who your market is and making sure everything you do lines up with that - and what the fellow retailer is doing beside you is not your business. It is not your responsibility how their business goes. Ifyou get to know your business, find out who your people are and talk to them authentically and often you will build your tribe of customers, they will be loyal and best of all they will shout about you from the rooftops - And whether the market is slow or not or whether people are choosing to shop in malls instead of coming into your area is not going to worry you because your people will be beating a path to your door. Spend your energy where it matters and where you can make the most difference. That's your business.