It goes without saying that to dominate and succeed in business, you must be highly competitive. Everyone has some degree of competition in them, but it takes a different shape in each person: it can be a source of motivation, a single driving force or utterly unimportant.
But, one common denominator among all Elite men is how similar their spirit of competition is.
Those rare breed of conquerors who essentially succeed in any industry are competitors to the highest degree, but material wealth is not enough to motivate them to success. What is a strong enough source is the gratification that comes with winning.
Some of the Elite experienced this quality at a young age playing sports, while just as many only experienced this quality when playing the greatest game of all: business, a game where only the strongest survive and you only eat what you kill.
This extreme competitiveness often translates into an incomparable ambition, which is the most valuable symptom of this distinguishable quality. Elite men not just want to win – establishing themselves as the best and most successful – but they have to win. There is no other alternative.
The desire and feeling of being number one is a feeling like nothing else to the Elite man. In fact, it is like a drug. So much so that they will do anything to retain it, which is why in business these conquerors do not only establish themselves as market leaders, but they will completely obliterate the competition with absolute merciless force.
Essentially, that translates to a monopoly. Look at Rockefeller, Ford, Carnegie and Firestone; in the early 20th century these men ruled over their respective industries with absolute force. Even FDR was one of these disruptive competitors, as he was successfully elected as President of the United States for four straight terms. FDR was so successful in his quest to obliterate the competition that Congress passed legislation to limit the number of terms allowed to only two.
In the '70s and '80s, the Elite conquerors flocked to the world of High-Finance, which at the time was at the peak of its glory. Needing to compete at the highest level will take the Elite conqueror to the most lucrative industries. And in this era, high-finance involved leveraged buyouts, corporate takeovers and shorting stock.
In other words, these disruptors not only established themselves and became filthy rich from their exploits, but they dismantled any company not fit enough to compete at their level. To better understand these competitors, remember Gordon Gekko’s quote in the first Wall Street installment:
Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind.”
Now, in 2012, these disruptive conquerors have flocked to the world of entrepreneurship, as – once again – this is the highest level of competition. The game, however, has not changed. To destroy the competition, the Elite entrepreneur must innovate systems, products and lifestyles.
They must disrupt the status quo, making what was once new seem outdated. They must create the best at all times, and that alone is enough to establish them as the victor. Today, the market forces of the consumer can establish the winner at the snap of a finger. So to please them – while improving their existence – is to win.
Elite competitors cannot be beaten. And while they can be knocked down, they will always find a way to get back up and win – one way or another. So, the real question is, are you an elite competitor?
It's not a question of enough, pal. It's a zero sum game, somebody wins, somebody loses. Money itself isn't lost or made, it's simply transferred from one perception to another. – Gordon Gekko