Comparison in Business
Comparison in business is the internal and silent ugly disease that can eat away at the joys of being a small business owner. We seldom talk about it but man do we feel it eating through our core like a hungry worm through an apple. We all deal with it and to say we don’t is a lie. I had the joy of working with three lovely new business owners this past weekend and I loved what one of them said. “Don’t compare your chapter one to someone else’s chapter ten.” She completely hit the nail on the head. My journey and purpose in life will not mirror someone else’s journey and it shouldn’t. Goals are great but comparison is not. I have to be honest with them and those out in internet world. I feel it to . . there have been seasons in my life where comparison has nearly eaten me alive and it wasn’t healthy. It might have looked like I had it together on the outside but the reality was my insides were just a rotten as that apple. So how do we deal with that comparison and surgically remove it? Today, I want to share with you my five favorite ways of combating this silent business killer.
Have a Person
I love Grey’s Anatomy and still watch it in the background while I am working through my to do lists. They had their person, the one they could go to when things got gnarly. Have a person, a mentor, a friend who understands the seasons of life you are in in your business. Whether this is a spouse or fellow friend in the creative industry, have a person. My husband has been my person for a long time. I am blessed to have someone who in many ways is the opposite of me. He is systems and processes and I am arts and whimsy. He reminds me to get out of my box. He holds me accountable and I am blessed because of it.
Turn off the Social Media
How many times have you found yourself aimlessly scrolling through social media only to look up at the clock and realize half the day is gone. Not only can it be a huge time waster but looking at all the good things others are experiencing can make your chapter one feel like a chapter zero. If you find yourself feeling that way take a social media fast or at least limit when and why you will be on there. This is a huge one for me. If I am on there, it is because I am answering a question or responding to something. It wasn’t always that way and if I am really tired I find that I fall back into that pattern again.
I am not someone who is blessed to be able to operate on less than six hours of sleep. My husband is but I am not. I know that I can’t provide the best experience to my brides if I don’t get my self to bed at a decent time and this goes hand in hand with taking care of myself. I make myself go to the gym and while I would really prefer to make a fool of myself attempting to dance in Zumba, I head over to the weight machines instead. Comparison creeps in more readily when we don’t look after our bodies, our minds, and our souls. How are you addressing these three areas in order to provide a better service to your family, friends, and clients?
Read a Book
Turn off the electronics and just read. Pick up a book about the business world outside of your industry. Don’t know where to start? Pick up Lara Casey’s Make It Happen. I love what she says about “choosing purpose over perfect.” When we choose our purpose over perfection there is no more room for comparison. When we focus on what we are put on this earth to do, we become more driven and less concerned with being like someone else. Books are powerful and life altering. Take time each day to turn off all the noise and just read.
I was incredibly embarrassed to admit that I have outsourced certain things in our lives until recently. I felt like it didn’t make me a good enough mom and wife if I couldn’t do it all. That giant internal disease of comparison came rushing in like a storm. I was an exhausted mom with a brand new baby and a preschooler attempting to run a photography business that was growing beyond what I could handle at the time and I think sweet Gina Zeidler could see it written all over my face as she started to take our family photos. She whispered that one heavenly word to me “Outsource” and it was such a blessing to take that plunge! In the years since that has happened I have looked to outsource things I hated doing so that I could spend more time with my family and less time letting my business run me. Make a list of the things you like least and find a way to hire an expert to do it for you. Here are a few things that I don’t do during wedding season if I can help it!
Above all else know that your book will be completely different than mine. Your chapter one may look glorious to how my chapter one was. There is no comparison of the journey though because each will be different but each will be just as beautiful and special because it is your chapter, your book, your story. Stop comparing what your journey looks like and start simply enjoying it.