Building Success By Turning Your Competition Into Community

WITH Heather Zara


I used to look at my competition and feel fear and inadequacy. But as I started to grow into my own identity as a business owner, I began looking at it differently. Now I see other similar businesses as sources of motivation. They’ve gone from being my competitors to part of my community. Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing one of them.

Key Takeaways

Don’t be afraid to get in touch with other similar businesses in your area. This has the possibility of opening up all sorts of new opportunities.

It’s not enough to just be good at something. You need to enjoy it as well or else it’s not truly a strength.

About Heather Zara

Heather Zara is the owner and CEO of Zara Creative, a Detroit-based video production studio that helps forward-thinking brands make meaningful connections with their audiences.

As an observer of the human experience, Heather has built her career upon the pillars of creativity and communication while letting her passions and curiosity lead the way. With over 22 years of experience, this award-winning storyteller has interviewed inspiring humans like Martha Stewart, Kobe Bryant, Michael Strahan, John Varvatos, LeBron James, and more. Stories have the power to heal, shape, and transform our lives, and Heather has made it her life’s work to tell those stories.

The Transformative Nature of Building Community

A lot happens when you stop viewing other video businesses as competition and start to see them as other members of your community. Envy turns into inspiration. You become clearer on what you want from your own business. You also find people to share information, knowledge, and referrals with. Ultimately, the work becomes more fulfilling this way.

It’s All About Mindset

Heather and I have both found that this is only possible with self-reflection. You need to take the time to look back on your journey, understand where you’ve come from, and evaluate what you’ve learned along the way. This takes a certain amount of humility. It also requires that you be kind to yourself. This is a learning process for everybody. Fortunately, when you have a community that you can turn to, there’s no need to go through it alone.

Could your business benefit from having community or competition? How have you learned humility as a business owner? Leave a comment below!

In this Episode

  • Finding inspiration from your community [6:00]
  • How to reach out to other video companies [14:20]
  • Understanding growth through transformation [18:50]
  • Finding joy through creating meaningful work [27:45]
  • Lessons learned through refining your hiring process [32:25]
  • The two most important qualities of strength [42:20]


8:20“It is so much more freeing when you can look at your community as a catalyst to help you grow.”
13:27“Any time you feel envy, it’s information. It’s information of the direction you actually want to be going.”
42:21“I think that being a business owner requires a lot of humility.”
46:26“Be yourself as much as you possibly can. If being yourself means wearing a leather jacket and ripped jeans in a meeting, great! Go be yourself. Don’t change yourself to fit into this role that you’re telling yourself society needs you to show up as.”



Ryan Koral

Ryan Koral is an entrepreneur, producer and business strategist from Tell Studios, a video production agency with a big heart for authentic stories that build brands and inspire action. He’s a husband (mostly happily for like 16+ years), has 3 kiddos, and has an annoying – but infectious – laugh.

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