Too many leaders make the mistake of over-analyzing the competition and tweaking their own business to fit what everyone else is doing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to understand the competition and know who your competitors are. But, the more you obsess over the competition, the less innovative you’ll become. Think about it this way: If you change aspects of your company only to align yourself with the competition, you’ll simply become a copy of everyone else. If every business copied another, no one would make any real progress.

Be confident in your ability to make your own decisions. It can be nerve-racking to witness a competitor come up with an idea that works really well. Imagine if a competitor company re-vamped its website to a completely new design. Perhaps the first thing you’d want to do is re-design your website as well. It’s only human nature to feel the desire to copy the ideas that work – it’s survival (in the business world). But to break from the cycle of following the old, you’ll have to innovate.

Innovation is the introduction of something new – come up with your own ideas. One of the best traits of the greatest leader is an innovative thought process. While it’s necessary to know your competition, you will never create anything new if you continue to focus on what other people are doing.

Never let the actions of your competitors become the driving force behind the choices you make for your business. Regardless of how similar they may appear, no two business are the same – nor do they draw in the same customers. Changing to be more similar to the competition takes away what sets you apart and makes your business more appealing to your audience.

Resist the temptation to look to the competition when making your own business decisions. Trust your methods and innovate by brainstorming rather than simply copying. Your business has grown due to your choices – keep making your own.