Why Would Anybody Want to Be in a Fair Fight? Create your own advantage

If you have trouble discovering an innate advantage—or if what you find doesn’t seem advantageous enough—you create an advantage. The top 1 percent we surveyed and studied did not always have size, beauty, or remarkable demeanors (some were downright obnoxious and a bit hard on the eye), but they all had advantages they used to help them be successful. These advantages were often not innate but things a lot of people might have. The top performers just identified the potential advantages and, if they did not have what they needed to create them, went out and got it.

Creating an advantage is not easy, especially if you have no talent, but it is always possible. Just think about people you’ve worked with over the years: unimpressive, untalented, and eventually in charge. As you read this, look around you. What does success look like? What do those successful people have that you don’t (other than success, obviously)? Chances are they have more than innate advantages. Try to discover some learnable behaviors or positioning strategies that you could duplicate. Is there an education level that can’t be maneuvered around? Is there training or certification needed?

As you look around, remember that it’s important to know the business culture you’re operating in. You must see business for what it really is: a place where fairness falters, where even the seemingly undeserving win. The terms “fair fight” and “level playing field” have little business in the business world. The bottom line in the real business world is that fairness rarely raises its ugly head. A fair fight means you are unprepared. Heck, I could lose a fair fight. I personally like my fights lopsided in my favor and my opponents minimally skilled and easily defeated.

Let’s be really honest: You want a fair fight only if you believe that equality is more important than personal success or if you are bored with how easily you’ve been winning your fights. When I first started to hear the advantages of the most successful, it did not seem right that they were successful regardless of talent, skill, or education. But I realized that the people who are willing to overcome everything in their path (like a giant lack of talent) because of their desire for their goal were as deserving as anyone else.

Viewing business this way requires a willingness to step away from traditional norms of fairness—to understand that “unfair” fighting does not mean unscrupulous or dishonorable. It means thinking critically about some business practice, personality trait, or personal strategy and then methodically employing it to your advantage so you stand out from others and win. Creating a phony Facebook account for a person who is competing with you for a promotion that clearly states his dedication to Hitler is definitely unscrupulous. However, making sure you discuss your love of the History Channel in the interview with your Nazi-crazed future boss is not. You knew what he valued and got excited about his favorite subject. And you used your thought-to-be-useless knowledge of World War II to get the promotion.

A fair fight is for the unprepared.
Getting ready for an unfair fight does not mean that you’ll be doing something dishonest or unscrupulous. It means looking for the advantages you have and being willing to use them to win. Plain and simple, life is not fair. The same goes for the business world. We need every advantage we can get to guarantee success. Being prepared is the basic ingredient to improving your chance of success in any endeavor.


21 Responses to Why Would Anybody Want to Be in a Fair Fight? Create your own advantage

  1. pratik bluez says:

    Thanx……That was an awesome article which inspired me…..and i m sure that will inspire the one who reads……….

  2. Jump Higher says:

    Hey Garrison, Great post I live in the UK and for all fairness and the post war “welfare state” were seen as pinnacles of society – there legacy is a growing underclass of entitlement!

    We give people houses, money free health-care – even a DVD player is consdered essential – How can that motivate people to get out and compete in the job market.

    This seems to be the natural evolution of society – group together, 20% begin to work different and adding value thus creating wealth, the majority begin to resent them and demand rights for all – entitlement reins and societ crumbles.

    The truth is that life and nature isn’t fair — If you want to get on you’ve got to get in the game. Identify your strengths, train hard and choose a game that suits your strengths.

    You can bet that the people in the growing economies of the far east aren’t going to play fair over the coming decades – C’mon guys and gals wake up and get inthe game before it’s too late.


  3. Matheus says:

    Great Post Garrison,

    it is very important to know the business you geting in to, even more if you doing an online bussiness, couse you have to study everything about search engines, and then use that as your tool to success.

    I have just started something new, but i studied all friends that work in the same area as mine asking question about it, searching online, and finally now i think i have the right clues to make it work.

    I think the secret is to know exactly everything about your business.

  4. Great post!I have heard people make comments about
    people getting a job or raise without being the
    most qualified. Sometimes, it’s not about the most qualified
    but how well you sell it.

  5. What a good article. This article I’ve read a lot and I really liked.

  6. Bücher kaufen says:

    Yeah right. This article is really informative. I was shocked in the sentence “A fair fight is for the unprepared”. this was really right.

  7. The reality of this economy and what you’ve wrote is 100% correct. Fighting fairly at this point will not take you anywhere, except to the diving point of your misery. Use words and play rough to succeed. Many who have succeeded have not played fair.

  8. First great article I really liked it. Fair fight is if you want to prove something, but wont provide you with money, as Karshua is saying “Many who have succeeded have not played fair.”

  9. You are absolutely right. Making advantage for yourself is the key. Sometimes others see it as ruthless or unethical but I think its just the way of life. Some people need to be at the right place at the right time or even have to work smart not hard. Others see it as being unethical but who really cares? We all are unique and have our own way of acheiving our own goals. Thanks for the post.

  10. The strongest will survive. In other words: Think out of the box and beat your competitors. I think that’s a fair advantage 😉

  11. A fair fight in business is what everybody should do. I’ve seen others do cut corners and make advantage of the situation. We have a wholesale clothing business and we see those people around us. I agree we need to have the advantage to be successful in pursuing our business goals. I remember somebody said to me that “If you’re confident about how good you are, you dont have to put down your competitors or enemy”

  12. harsh says:

    Its truth the strongest will survive but you should fight till the end.:)

  13. This is a fantastic article which brought to the surface another very important consideration everyone should keep in mind. The playing field is not always level. Not withstanding natural talent, education, skill, diligence, persistence and luck; the reality is that there is a lot of what I like to call corporate nepotism in the real world.

    It’s hard to fight when your hands are forcibly tied behind your back and two people are holding you down. Of course this is no excuse to give up, and my counsel is to never quit.Get up, start punching and you’ll find your way out.

  14. Arvin Alon says:

    fighting fairly with respect that the best fight.

  15. I agree 100% with you we have to use every tool at our disposal to guarantee our success, business competition is not easy but you still have to be honest in all your dealings.

    The best deals in electronics.

  16. Great articles is this. i agree and impress with your article .business competition is not easy way , but you worked hard then you reached their. thanks a lot ..

  17. Ronan Troy says:

    “You want a fair fight only if you believe that equality is more important than personal success or if you are bored with how easily you’ve been winning your fights.” – true that

  18. Budy says:

    i agreed A fair fight is for the unprepared.

  19. Honda Fury says:

    I am absolutely agreed, today we are living in a competitive era, we have to fight against our competitors but same time we should be honest in our field.

  20. Tero Nykanen says:

    Thank you, this was very inspiring point of view. I have had this kind of thoughts before also but this article sayis it in a way that touched me.

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