Competitors or Achievers

Alexa von Tobel founded a company called LearnVest. I heard her tell her story on one of my favorite podcasts “How I Built This” which is recorded on NPR.

She was asked how competition affected her. She made an interesting distinction.

“I think there are two types of people. Some are competitors. Others are achievers.”

She described achievers as people who get up in the morning with a list of things they want to get done. They approach life with high energy with a goal of making a difference with what they do. They stay in their lane.

The competition fuels competitors. What drives them is what is going on around them and what they have to do to beat the competition.

I’m a believer in competition. One of the things I consider about my teammates is their competitive nature. My experience is that if my teammates have tasted success, they want to taste it again. Having battlers on your team works out well.

But, von Tobel’s distinction about achievement rings strong to me. Not everyone has blood in their eye. Not everyone has to distinguish themselves by whether they win or lose. You can be high energy and make a huge difference by making it your intention to make a difference every day and to get better each day.