When Justin Hartenstein’s employee stole all his information and opened a competing business literally just down the street, it was practically a blessing in disguise. “That hurt us in many ways, but it also gave me some inspiration, Justin says. “When I felt like I had put in enough time that day, I would keep going, make one last sales call, wondering if he was still working.”

Sales people compete against each other all the time to win sales contests within their own offices, but every sales manager knows if he can get a real rivalry going amongst his staff, the sales people will work twice as hard not just to win, but to also beat their opponent. It’s human nature, students compete against their classmates to see who can get better grades, but they’ll work even harder to beat a student they especially don’t like.

Athletes compete against each other even when they’re on the same team, but they’re much fiercer competitors when they’re trying to beat the opponent who called them some silly name on social media.

If you think about it, every super hero has an arch nemesis:

Superman has Lex Luthor
Neo has Agent Smith (Matrix)
Peter Pan has Captain Hook
Harry Potter has Lord Voldemort
Austin Powers,  that likable time warped oddball has Dr. Evil…

Having a nemesis can be an absolute boon to your success. Did someone say you would never amount to anything? Did someone steal your promotion or your work? Do you have something to prove or someone who you would love to beat at business and success?

I remember way back in the last year of school when I was 16, telling a careers adviser I wanted to be a nurse. He laughed in my face and told me I’d never make it, I was much better suited to either factory or shop work. (Not that there’s anything wrong with those occupations I hasten to add)..

I was furious and determined to prove him wrong. Several months later I’d started a nursing career that has lasted me 40 plus years and took me to the top in my chosen field.

I sometimes think about that careers adviser, wondering how many other dreams he trampled on..

This nemesis can become your greatest asset. For example, maybe you have such a clear memory of  a relative saying you were worthless, you can smell his/her aftershave or perfume and feel their breath on your face.


Now your choice is to either let him/her be right, or to prove them absolutely wrong. It doesn’t even matter if they are alive or dead – just use the memory to fuel your desire for success and you’ll find yourself working hard and longer and getting so darned good at what you do, that you’re not only successful – you’re an absolute sensation.

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