Whenever I'm presenting at a conference or being interviewed by the media on some business related topic, the conversation ultimately turns to increasing competition and the challenge that this is becoming for all business owners.

The reality is that if we are concerned about competition now, imagine what it will be like in 3 years time? It's only going to get more competitive, at an exponential rate. And as business owners, we need to come to terms with our relationship with competition.

Personally, I went through various stages where the mere thought of the constantly increasing competition that I was facing sent cold shivers down my spine. How could I keep fighting this rising tide of competitors? Every time I turned around there was someone claiming to do what I do, cheaper and faster. It was a tide that I could never swim against.

So I changed my thinking. Rather than being fearful of my competition, I decided to be a lot more proactive. I realized that my opportunity was to be better than my competition, however I could. I used my competition to bring out my fighting spirit. I used it to push myself that extra mile, to do what I knew my competitors wouldn't do - and that spurred me forever forward and gave me a competitive edge. This has paid off for many years and I'm determined to keep it paying off for many years to come.

If you are living in fear of your competitors increasing, it's time for some tough self-talk. Of course, there will be more of them in the coming years (and I'm only talking about direct competitors, let alone those who are indirect, but trying to lure away your customers hard earned dollars). We all need a line in the sand, and an attitude and a plan designed to make us better than our competitors in every single way that we can.

If you can't do this, and you stay just living in fear, I seriously doubt that the next few years will be particularly kind to you. Find that inner fight, that passion and that hunger and step up. It's time to not just talking about being the best, but to actually be the best, in every single way you can be.