If you are a small business owner you can’t help but compare your business to all the others you bump up against each day.
Twitter, Facebook, Google +, it’s endless. You are aware of each and every move your competition makes. Is it driving you crazy? It was me.
When I was first starting out I remember having such an exciting day. My Alexa score was climbing, a big JV partner had just gotten back to me with a yes, and I had booked a client. Pretty awesome day for a brand new business, right? Then I take a quick look at facebook just to post my happy news and there it was. One of the big fish in my field had posted that she had just started her launch today and within 10 minutes already had 2,000 people signed up for her free webinar. Oh, and she was being interviewed on the Today Show later this week. Seriously, I could hear the loud wah, wah, waaaaa. I sat there stunned. and then it started that horrible flood of “I’m never going to get there.” “I can’t stand her.” When the reality is I worship the ground this woman walks on.
We all compare ourselves to other people at one time or another. We look at other entrepreneur’s web-sites, JV partners, Webinars, podcasts, everything. Then in our minds we measure ourselves up to what we see in them. Usually taking note of all of our own shortcomings.
You may have had the best day in your business, even had a chance to book a new client. Followed by a great testimonial from a past client. Then you see über small business owner, she is smart, connected, earning tons of cash, her readers can’t get enough of her, she is gracious, has a perfect family life, and is absolutely stunning.
Great, you think to yourself. I was having a great day until THAT happened. And what was that exactly? No, it’s not her that you have the problem with, it’s that you, in the blink of an eye, saw in her everything you think you should be and aren’t.
Why do we do this to ourselves? It does nothing but tear us down and diminish any kind of successes or happiness we may have. And as long as we are putting one foot in front of the other and finding joy along the way, we ARE successful. Isn’t that the point? Sit with your feelings of success and joy, they are yours and you have earned them.
Here are three steps to help you appreciate where you are now in your business.
- Admitting it is half the battle. We all have our struggles and just because it seems like honey and sprinkles in fiefdom of the internet, remember you are basing this on what you see on the outside. When you find yourself comparing just stop for a second and acknowledge that that is what you are doing. Say in your mind, “oops I’m comparing again… what do I need to learn from this?” Then move on. No really. Just give it a shot.
- Turn comparison into inspiration. If you find yourself always focusing on someone else’s website or content, it’s a sign that this is something that you want and that YOU CAN DO IT TOO. Use their success as motivation that you can do it as well. Is she well connected with adoring fans? What makes you think that, just happened? It has probably taken her years of networking and writing page after page of content. To Quote John Acuff, “Never compare your beginning to somebody else’s middle.”
- Take Notes. Learn from people who have what you desire. Start chatting with her on twitter, ask her how she did it, what she recommends. Instead of running from her success learn from it. Modeling is the best way to learn a new skill so, find a mentor, or a coach to help you reach your goals.
Life is about learning and enjoying the steps along the way. Sometime’s it hard to enjoy those little steps, especially in the beginning, but the more you listen to what life is trying to teach you the more fulfillment you will find. Stop fighting and struggling, lean into it and learn! That, is when the magic happens.
About the author
Sarah Finks, MSN, helps entrepreneurs turn their “hot mess” into meaningful work, a relaxing home life, and great relationships. She teaches her clients how to create success in their business and make beautifully simple decisions so that they can have the business and life they want (but aren’t sure how to get). Come learn more at SarahFinks.com.