Gratitude for Opposition

By John R. Aberle | Passion & Purpose

Nov 24
Meme using picture of John Aberle with turkey on Thanksgiving 2016 plus a gratitude quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I write this, today is Thanksgiving in America, my favorite holiday because I love all it stands for: gratitude for the blessings of life and the gifts of spirit during the past year, gratitude for family and friends who enrich our lives by their presence, and even gratitude for our opponents, whether enemies, competitors or just those who believe differently than us. This may seem strange to be grateful for our opponents; I know it was a lesson hard come by for me.

But think about what life would be without opposition: boring. Most of the products we know and love in our lives right now would probably not exist were there not competition driving companies to constantly improve their products.

Examples of Opposition Leading to Better Products

I know, for instance, that the American cars I love today were horribly unreliable until the Japanese showed us that cars can be built with greater reliability. And we owe our gratitude also to the consumer watchdog organizations, like Ralph Nadar's.

Windows doubtless would not be as powerful and useful today were it not for the opposition of Apple’s McIntosh. Apple’s iPhones would likely be far less without Android and Samsung driving them with new developments to compete against the lead the iPhones have in the marketplace.

How Opposition Makes Us Better

Smart marketers know that the existence of competition proves that there is a demand for what we want to sell. Many companies have gone broke trying to create a market from scratch. Educating the public was time consuming and expensive. Ironically, once they made the investment, someone else often was able to step in and reap the benefits.

One sharp book marketing technique is to look at similar books to what you want to write and read the reviews. Look for what customers like in these books but don’t stop there. Look for what they don’t like as that is where the opportunity lies for you.

While I am grateful for the competition, those same smart marketers and authors look for a niche that is not overwhelmed with major names because getting recognized and finding customers is expensive and time consuming in those areas with exceptionally well-known writers.

The other place that we benefit significantly is in refining our opinions and arguments. A strong opponent will force us to find the weak areas of our thinking. Then we either find an improved position or discard it.

So, Happy Thanksgiving to all. My warmest thanks and gratitude to family and friends for how much you have brightened my life. Thanks to clients and customers throughout the years. And thank you too to all my opposition throughout my life for making me stronger, requiring me to search deeper, ensuring that I give you my best.

Open your heart in selling,

John's signature in Rage Italic script

John R. Aberle, Aberle Enterprises


Thanks to all of those of you who love your customers and prospects like I do, who want long-term business connections with your customers. If you already purchased my Amazon Kindle eBook, How Relationship Selling Rewards Small Businesses, thank you. If not, please take this opportunity to buy your copy. And I would love a review to hear how you feel about it.

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About the Author

I have a strong love for small businesses, especially brick and mortar companies. After an 18-year career in sales and marketing, I started my own service company, which I grew in both sales and profits for the first five years. In my sixth year, the bottom dropped out of the printer market such that it made more sense to sell my assets and return to Southern California. There I went to work for an international small business consulting company. I spent over three years on the road with them helping small businesses to become more profitable and better managed. I then started my own company specializing in sales and marketing consulting, coaching and training. My emphasis is on heart-centered, relationship selling that empowers prospects to make their own choices.