People often underestimate the competition, and if they don't like them personally, they even tend to write off everything they do. They also often tend to overestimate their own ability to hold an objective view of their own business and the marketplace.
This bias leads to projection: what's happening to my business is industry-wide. Everyone else's business is experiencing the same things mine is going through.
One size fits all is never the case and "I don't see it" when someone mentions a problem area is not a valid response. Blind spots are called that for a reason -- we can't see them ourselves. Ask someone you trust, and someone who is willing to tell you what you may not want to hear, to point out any business blind spots you may have.
Then, the hard part: doing the work to change what you couldn't see.
Originally published January 2012