There is no doubt that having a competitive spirit can be both a blessing and a curse. Being too competitive can damage relationships and lead to failure in both personal and professional spheres. Avoiding competition, however, can hinder your ability to succeed in life. While you may be able to avoid being too competitive by working for someone else, a competitive spirit is critical for entrepreneurial success. Here are three reasons you need a competitive spirit to succeed as an entrepreneur.

Competitors see challenges as opportunities to get stronger

Starting a business is a long, involved process that will include many obstacles and hurdles to overcome. Strong competitors, however, understand that these obstacles and challenges only serve to make them stronger.

The same way a weightlifter only becomes stronger by consistently increasing the weight they attempt to lift, entrepreneurs grow stronger by overcoming greater and greater challenges. Even though these challenges can seem never-ending at times, true competitors see them as opportunities for growth; competitive entrepreneurs often have a growth mindset which prompts them to never settle and instead to seek opportunities for growth, development, and improvement.

Competitors don’t quit

Strong competitors see life as a long competition. While this view can sometimes have some negative impacts when it spills over into personal relationships, competitive entrepreneurs are more likely to take failures in stride and accept defeats as they come without giving up. While a competitive athlete obviously strives to win every game or every competition, they also realize that even a winning season is filled with both wins and losses. Even the greatest champions have their fair share of losing seasons under their belt. This attitude doesn’t mean they enjoy losing or simply take it in stride; it simply means a single loss or failure or even a losing season doesn’t derail them.

Entrepreneurs with this competitive spirit see things in a similar way. Rather than getting discouraged by failure, they understand that they can’t expect to be successful 100% of the time. This mindset is beneficial for entrepreneurs as there are numerous challenges they will face as they start a new business.

Competitors respect the rules of the game

There is no doubt that the most competitive participants in any field are always looking for a way to gain a competitive advantage. The ones that have the best long-term success, however, are also painfully aware of the necessity of operating within certain critical boundaries. While most competitors long to leave a lasting legacy, they prefer to leave one that is untainted by scandal. In truth, most highly successful individuals may always be surrounded by a certain level of controversy of some kind, but there is a vast difference between the somewhat demanding nature Steve Jobs may always be remembered for and the actions Bernie Madoff will forever be tied to.

Entrepreneurs are true competitors in the sense that they will not resort to easy success in order to establish their brands. Adhering to established rules and regulations helps them innovate and compete without risking their reputations.

Originally published on DestryWitt.net.