Be honest – do you have internet envy?
Do you get sucked into the social media scroll? Are you checking out everyone else’s highlight reel – comparing their year 5 to your first 12 months; wondering why you’re not farther along or making more money; questioning why you don’t have as many followers or as much engagement?
Do you subscribe to everyone else’s email lists? Download all the freebies? Participate in every 5 day challenge?
And at the end of the day do you feel like you’re doing all the things with no momentum forward? That’s exactly why! That mindset. Comparisonitis is a nasty nasty thing.
Comparison•itis (noun): comparing yourself (and your accomplishments) to another’s to determine your worth.
Comparisonitis sucks you in and causes you to spin your wheels. But if you can stop it, you will rapidly change your mindset and your business.
And these 3 tips will help you do just that.
1. Appreciate YOUR journey.
You have to appreciate where you are, struggles and all.
I recommend that every 3 months you take time to reflect and appreciate how far you’ve come in your business and what you’ve accomplished. That quarterly check-in will help you see that even small steps are movement forward.
While your story may be different than everyone else’s, it’s YOUR story. That’s the magic. And you’re not seeing the years of hard work that went into those “big names” you see plastered all over the internet that you aspire to be.
Case in point:
Rachel Hollis is very vocal about the years she worked as an event planner turned blogger turned speaker/author/personal development guru. It took her over 10 years before her name become well known. 10. Years.
Marie Forleo went through a series of unfulfilling jobs and worked as a bar tender and dance teacher while she built her life coaching business. And I’m sure you’ve heard of B-School. She was featured on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday and has coined the phrase “everything is figureoutable.”
Sara Blakely (the founder of Spanx) is a billionaire. But before she built her company, she sold fax machines door to door. Sara spent years on her hosiery prototype while still working full time. And she put most of her initial investments on her credit card. She’s been named one of the world’s most influential people by Time magazine and one of the most powerful women in Forbes.
These ladies prove that building a business takes time. And the trajectory is anything but linear. At the end of the day, you have to appreciate your journey while being smart about where you focus your energy in order to stop your comparisonitis.
2. Focus your energy elsewhere.
Stop focusing on everyone else! Turn your attention and energy to something useful, like working ON your business, not just IN it.
If you have an idea, a passion, a calling – share. Create content around it.
Creating content actually creates clarity for your brand messaging and ideal client. Share the unique story around you and your business. Work on creating blog posts, social media captions, emails to your list to, or video and podcast recordings.
Draft or Update Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
Whether you’ve hired a few independent contractors or have a full-fledged team, SOPs (aka guides to handle routine tasks in your business) help streamline, eliminate errors, and increase productivity.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to sit down and write a 500 page manual. You can start by simply jotting down notes in a Google Doc about the steps you take while you’re doing a task. You can even record a video in Zoom to show how you perform the task.
I highly recommend you start now even if you’re a solopreneur; it will make hiring a team down the road that much easier.
Get Your Education On
Read, listen to podcasts, watch that course you purchased and haven’t even logged into. The best investment you can make is in yourself.
Your education can be used to build, grow, and scale your business in a way that only you can.
Make some genuine connections with other business owners. Whether you’re part of a formal networking group or schedule virtual coffee chats with other online business owners, relationships are EVERYTHING in business. Yes, even for you fellow introverts.
Work with licensed professionals to make sure you’re legally and financially protected.
In today’s culture of, “just get started and worry about the details later” many business owners have no idea that they’re leaving themselves open to so many different types of legal issues.
Unfortunately, claiming ignorance WON’T cover you if someone decides to take action against you. And the reality is SO many people don’t even think about the legal side of things until they find themselves in hot water! Don’t be one of those people.
If you have no idea where to start, grab An Online Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting a Business.
When all’s said and done, taking action allows you to test and tweak. And maybe fail. But you will learn and grow alongside your business. By focusing your energy elsewhere, you will stop your comparisonitis because imperfect action wins every time.
3. Grace not perfection.
Look, I get it. It can be scary to put yourself out there. But we all have insecurities. You can’t let those insecurities cause paralysis.
It’s time for a little tough love. Someone has probably done what you’re doing already. And someone will always do it better than you. But you will always do it better than someone else too. Welcome to a planet with an estimated 7.8 billion people.
There is someone out there who needs to hear from you. Someone who needs your services or products. Because YOU offer them.
If you’re not putting yourself out there, you’re missing your opportunity to help.
At the end of the day, you have to be willing to have a stinky first draft. Because the only way you’re going to get better is by taking action and just doing the dang thing. Newsflash – everyone’s first draft stinks! It’s part of your journey. Giving yourself some grace and not expecting perfection right out of the gate will help stop your comparisonitis.
If you do these 3 things on a regular basis, you can get yourself out of that comparisonitis suck hole and you will change not only your mindset but your business as well.