Everyone tells you to stop comparing, stop looking at the competition.
Don’t fall into the comparison trap.
It only gets you down and gets in the way of your own biz growth. But it’s so easy. We want to get inspired, we want to connect with other people in our industry. We can’t just simply put our blinkers on and get on with our own thing.
So how do we actually deal with the comparison trap, stop the negative feelings and even turn it around to our advantage?
Analyze your competitors.
When you come across someone else’s business, and catch yourself comparing, question yourself for a moment. What specific thing about them you are feeling envious about? Usually, we don’t just think ‘gee whiz they are the the totally bomb in every way and I can never measure up‘.
There tends to be a certain aspect/s in particular that we admire. For example, it could be their social media following, their skill set, their style, their confidence online, their epic blog posts. What exactly are you envious of, once you pin point it, then consider why you feel that way, and what you can do about it.
You obviously feel a lacking in that area of your biz, so don’t just mope about it, take some action to feel better about it. Maybe take a course in that area of business or read a really good book on the subject or take a chunk of time to focus on improving on that area in your own business. Analyse your envy and turn it into inspired action to make improvements in your own business. But avoid the trap of continuing to compare yourself to them, just stop, analyse, take action, then focus on your own journey and improvements.
Remember Your Niche.
So you come across someone who does the most gorgeous calligraphy, but your hand lettering skills barely exist. So what? They have niched their skills in that area, studied it hard and perfected it. You, however, may be an awesome photographer and have spent your countless hours perfecting skills in your own niche. Just think, yes they are good at that, but I am good at this. Do I really want to be a hand letterer, or am I just envious of their skill? If it does interest you, go learn it, if not just admire it and move on to your thing. Just because you are creative, does not mean you need to be good at all creative skills (and yes I am telling myself this). Even if you find someone with a similar niche to you, is exactly the same? Do they use different equipment, have a different style or topic, do they work for a different kind of client or focus? Remember they have focused their attention on this.
Just because you are creative, does not mean you need to be good at all creative skills .
Learn from them
So they have a super gorgeous Instagram account with a big following, and you struggle with yours. What can you learn from them? How often are they posting, what do they post, how do they engage with others, what hashtags are they using, do they take their own photos or stock images, what kind of styling and layouts do they use? What can you learn from all this?
Obviously, dont copy them, but learn from how they are gaining their success and how you can make changes to better yourself.
Put it in Context
Are you a brand new business, but are enviously eyeing someone who has been in the industry 10 years? Do they have some in-house experience with big companies, have they travelled the world or done big courses with amazing mentors or coaches?
We often just think ‘urg they are so much better than me‘ but do we consider their advantage, and what helped them get to where they are. Turn the jealousy into hope. Find out more about them, and it may inspire you to gain further experiences, and gives you hope, that as you go on your journey you can get to that stage one day, they are just further along than you. It’s not a race.
Make friends with them
Seriously! Surround yourself with people who build you up, inspire you and make your strive to do better. If you surround yourself with people that just make you feel better about yourself because they aren’t as good as you, you are doing yourself a disservice. Yes, you can mentor and help those people, but you want to really hang out and be close to those who totally inspire you, and make you dream bigger, it will make you humble, make you grow, make you strive and make you better. Plus you will probably learn heaps from them too. Think Masterminds, mentors and accountability partners.
Surround yourself with people who build you up, inspire you and make your strive to do better.
Focus on your own uniqueness.
You are not them but that doesn’t make you any less awesome in your own right. Write down all the things about you and what you do that makes you unique and awesome. How is your brand different, how are you unique, what are your strenghts, what is your purpose and mission. Take the focus away from others and reflect back on yourself. Stay true to your brand identity, purpose and mission.
Don’t be like the old me who every time I came across a website I loved and fell in total love with the fonts they use, went and changed my own website fonts. (I had a font problem!)
Be grateful and enjoy the process
Business is a process, and creativity is a life long journey. If you are only in it to pursue an end result, you have a much higher chance of giving up or failing, because you are forgeting to enjoy the journey, and have passion for the process. You may not be where someone else is at just yet, but if you take the time to be greatful for where you have been and how far you have come, what is going well, what you are acheiving and even your failures, because each failure teaches you something and makes you better, then you will grow, find contentment everyday and find joy at every stage of your progress.
Even if the end goal seems so far away, just focusing on each step, one step at a time, we will keep getting closer to that dream.
Do what you can with what you have, where you are right now, and let the journey unfold.
Business is a process, and creativity is a life long journey.
Bonus Tip – Celebrate Others Successes.
Celebrate others. Build others up. Send people comments or emails telling them how much you admire what they do and build them up. You may think they get plenty of this, or already know how awesome they are, but you would be amazed how good it makes a person feel to receive kind words about their work and business. I know personally how happy it makes me. This helps turn your negative feelings of jelously into good feelings, of building others up. It’ll give you those warm and fuzzies, knowing you made another talented creative feel good about themselves.