Making Comparisons: A Lethal Action For You and Your Business

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 for 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.


Photo attributed to Live Life Happy

We all compare ourselves to other people at one time or another. We look at other entrepreneurs 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.

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.

Here are three steps to help you appreciate where you are now in your business.

1. 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.

2.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.”

3. 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.

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.

Life is about learning and enjoying the steps along the way. Sometimes it’s 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.

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Sarah FinksSarah Finks transforms busy, overwhelmed career moms into confident, healthy, energetic women ready to reach their wildest dreams and aspirations.  When she’s not changing the world one mommy at a time, she is wrangling her three crazy boys, a giant Bernese Mountain dog Harry, and driving her husband crazy with all of her big ideas.  Learn more about Sarah, and her mom transformation project, leadership school at sarahfinks.com

Comments

  1. Love this article, thanks for writing it. I think we all need this sort of reminder to keep us fueled to move ahead. I’ve been here before, and it’s a sure way to put your own success on hold.

  2. This happens oftentimes because of the availability bias. It’s the same reason that makes us buy a lottery ticket – we only see the winners advertised. Therefore, we find the winners in our life and see the success stories and only compare ourselves to those success stories rather than comparing ourselves to the overall population. If you’ve made strides, made a sale, had a success, you’re well ahead of the overall average. It’s like trying to compare your workout on the treadmill to the Boston Marathon. Unless you want to become an elite marathon runner, the comparisons don’t work.

  3. Sarah, this is an honest and important message. We don’t like to think we’re capable of jealousy, but if we’re straight with ourselves (and we should always be!), that green monster can creep in when we least expect it. Thanks for offering suggestions for rechanneling the destructive emotions into constructive action!