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Creating your own moat

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The job market is a gladiatorial arena for some in which you have to deploy the best weapons to outperform your opponents. Why not flee the competition? Why not apply the Blue Ocean strategy?

When you face a competitor there are three main strategies for defeating them: engage in a head-on, merciless head-to-head battle, dissuade them from fighting, or take them to another level that prevents them from facing us.

According to Sun Tzu, the best way to win a battle is to win without fighting. Using these two books: The Art of War and Blue Ocean Strategy by Renée Mauborgne and W.Chan Kim we can outline the best strategy for individuals and companies who wish to outperform their competitors.

For people to refuse to compete with you, you have to be twice as good.

In a street fight, what deters a fighter from fighting? Most often it is either that his opponent is twice as big (or tall), twice as technical, twice as fast, twice as experienced etc. or that he decides not to fight fair by getting help from a fellow fighter (twice as many).

The same goes for professional competition. If you have stored twice as much knowledge, skill or ability in one area, you will create the same effect with potential competitors: they will not dare to enter the race.

You can also apply the Blue Ocean tip. Instead of being the best, which comes at the cost of bloody struggles, you can simply be different. Be so different that no one can compare to you. To do this you must tap into your essence, only you can be the best at being yourself.

Observe, study all the metrics of excellence in your industry. Review all these criteria in relation to your own situation and evaluate yourself objectively. Then see how you can create a criterion that doesn’t exist yet and that could be very relevant to your differentiation. Then, try to be the best in the new criterion you create while maintaining an acceptable level in the conventional criteria so that you don’t get disqualified. Once you have developed the new “recipe” for yourself or your business, you can compete against the competition that will not be able to match you because they will try to compete against you on irrelevant criteria. Try to keep this unique comparative advantage secret in order to remain different from others for as long as possible.

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