A local pizza shop owner once declared to me, “Everyone else’s pizza sucks around here.” Now, there’s a recipe for heartburn. How about, instead of disparaging the others (some of whom may actually make a better pie), saying something like, “Sure, they make a good pizza. But, here’s why I think you should try ours…” By doing so, you’ll not only raise your message to more dignified level, you’ll also demonstrate a refreshing air of humility that is often lacking in today’s vernacular.

And, you’ll gain some respect along the way.

While you’re at it, why not visit those other restaurants and try their goods to see what you’re really up against? Isolating yourself in a bubble of self-adulation might make you feel good. But, it doesn’t get you anywhere and, worse yet, it prevents you from uncovering opportunities to distinguish your business from the competition.

Oh, and guess what? Even though that restaurateur makes some of the best white pizza in town, if I want Sicilian, I’m going somewhere else. And, the best plain pie can be found at yet another shop. But, that’s okay. Loyalty only goes so far when it comes to cuisine.

Now, if that proprietor learns from what he does best, improves areas where he falls short, and consistently delivers the goods, I’ll surely go back for seconds.

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