Comparing ourselves to others is natural and normal. You likely have a number of ways you could fill in the blank line above here. Everyone is happy, wealthy, or wise. Everyone has a better car, a bigger house, better shoes. Everyone seems to have more luck, more opportunity, just more.
Or you may see it as the glass is half full. Everyone is struggling more than me; everyone is wishing they had a life as great as mine.
Either way, it is comparing. STOP IT!
When you compare your life, your successes, your failures, your business to everyone around you, it becomes an excuse that holds you back.
When your internal conversations begin with I can’t, I should, or I don’t have, you are limiting yourself.
In the world we live in, yes even in 2020, anything is possible, and you have everything you need to be right where you want to be. You have to make it happen.
Here’s what I hear business owners say when making comparisons that limit their ability to grow by giving them excuses not to change.
Service businesses are easier than product-based businesses - Product-based businesses are easier than service businesses
Of course, they have it easier they have a team – They don’t have a team to worry about
They must have an investor bankrolling their growth – They don’t have to worry about the investors.
They are a new business, so they have all the fresh energy – They are an established business, so they have the experience to work from.
When you catch yourself making these comparisons, remember you cannot see their business from the inside. Every business has challenges. It is how you handle those challenges that make all the difference.
Stop Comparing. Start Innovating
How to handle the challenges that seem to be unfairly centered on your business
1. Identify the challenge and look for what inside the business is causing or allowing this challenge. There may be real outside forces involved, but you must start on the inside first. Be honest about what you are doing and what you are not doing. You often will know what you need to do differently, you may need some help to figure out "the how. "
2. Do your research. This is different than comparing. Find out what your competition is doing differently than you that may solve the challenge. You don’t have to copy them directly, but you do have to learn from them. And you will be surprised how willing others are to tell you what they are doing. An abundance mindset will serve you well here.
3. Innovate. Try new things. Keep doing what you have always done and expect different results, is the definition of insanity in business. This does not mean to throw out everything you have been doing and start again. It means pivot. Choose one or two things to shift and see what results you get. Innovation is essential especially when everything around us is changing so quickly. Hold on to the core of why you do what you do and find better ways to do it. Better ways to serve your ideal market. Better ways to solve a problem.
The comparison problem can work against you in other ways too.
My business is doing better than those around me, so I don’t need to innovate - Less than 4% of business make it 10 years. Of those that do, many are not making a true profit for the owner.
My team loves me, so I don’t have to worry about them leaving - 68% of employees are open to a job offer, even if not actively looking.
My customers have been here forever, so they aren’t going anywhere - 76% of customers will leave if they do not believe their business matters to you
With everything around you shifting, innovation is essential to hold your ground.
Stop comparing your business, and yourself, to others. No business is exactly what it appears. Compare yourself to whom you want to be.
I have had a peek into thousands of businesses, they all have challenges. It is how they handle those challenges that makes a difference in their success. Compare your business to your dreams and keep moving.
Focus on what you want for your business, get a plan, and get it done one step at a time.
Here is a great old skit that I think hits home on my main point about comparisons. Enjoy!