It’s a lesson everyone needs to learn

My friend James and I decided to take a day-long hike during our vacation in Africa. We had everything we needed in our backpacks and our route was planned. We set off at daybreak.

The hike passed through some amazing scenery and we spotted many animals that we’d never seen. Apart from that, the hike proceeded without much incident.

Then, all of a sudden, James tapped me on the shoulder and whispered that we were being stalked by a lion. James looked terrified.

I took my backpack off my back, opened it, and took out my running shoes. James looked at me as if I'd lost my mind.
As I started putting the running shoes on, James asked if I was so f**cking stupid that I thought I would be able to outrun the lion.
I calmly replied that "no, I'm not that f**king stupid".
"So, why are you putting on your running shoes?" James replied.
What I said next was the last thing I ever said to James.
I said, "James, I don't need to outrun the lion. I only need to outrun you". 

I then got up and ran. I haven’t seen James since that day. I hope he survived.

So, what’s the moral of this story?

It’s that you don’t have to be the best to succeed. You can be 2nd best, 3rd best, or 1,000th best and still be successful.

When I started my ecommerce store, a few people asked how I was planning to beat Amazon. I wasn’t. I didn’t need to.

When I started writing, a few people asked how I could outwrite the likes of Stephen King. I can’t. I don’t need to.

Just like I didn’t need to outrun the lion in Africa, I don’t need to beat every one of my competitors. I’m happy being successful further down the chain.

On Medium, I don’t need to beat Tim Denning. I don’t even need to beat the top 100 writers. I can be successful with a lower ranking.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you need to be Top Dog to succeed. You don’t.

UPDATE: I just got an email from James. He’s safe and sound. Apparently, there was no lion. What he heard was just some rustling leaves. Sometimes that guy lets his imagination run a little too wild.