Have you ever found yourself scrolling through social media and spending far too long looking at a competitor's feed and feeling bad? We hear too many stories like this! Join our MD, Stephen Paul who believes you could be doing yourself a great disservice by comparing your business to others and what he recommends you should be focusing on instead, to build the business you really want.
What is the Comparison Trap for our generation of business owners?
“Since Covid a lot of business owners I’ve spoken to have felt like they are failures. Failure is a massive word. Fully loaded. And why are we feeling like that? Is it because Covid shut our business over the last 20 months, or is it because we are saturated with social feeds that project success as having this, or having that, and the view of people living ‘their best lives’? I think social media has a lot to do with it.” ~ Stephen Paul, quote from the recorded live session.
Let’s ask ourselves. How many of us open apps like Instagram, or Facebook every morning, or several times a day and think, “I’d love a bigger car like..., or a beach holiday, like…”?
It is a huge comparison trap we are falling into, without realising it and it impacts our mood, and clouds our judgement. It’s a negative impact that can easily spiral out of control, if we aren’t careful.
The same is true of our mindset as a business owner. How many of us compare our businesses to competitors and ask, “I’d love to win that award, like… did, or I’d love to make as much money as… or I’d love to be speaking on that industry leader webinar, like...”?
How many of those competitors do we know for a fact, are more successful than us, or is there an element of illusion in their projection that we are not seeing?
“I always remember a client I met with, about 5 years ago now and they said, “I spoke to all my competitors and they said that they are doing really, really badly, so the market must be really down.” I replied, “You do realise your sales are up 47% this year, so the reason why your competitors are feeling the pinch, is because you are doing really well! So stop speaking to your competitors, because it is bringing you down. Instead focus on what you are good at and do more of it.” ~ Stephen Paul, quote from the recorded live session.
“How many of us do that. We are focusing so much on what everyone else is doing that we don’t always realise how well we are doing, or how well we could be doing, if we just focused on running our own race.” ~ Jo Micheal, Executive Assistant to Stephen. Quote from the recorded live session.
Sometimes we have to step back as a generation and realise that we are using media and social media in a way not previously available to earlier generations of business owners and we don’t yet fully realise the impact to our well-being of the bombardment of other people’s projections of success. Is there room for discussion about our digital time vs. human interactions? We think so.
Are we forgetting how to be human, as our thumbs scroll? Are we chasing instant gratification (that thumbs up, or that heart on social media) over relationship building? Quiet possibly.
“We have to remember that each and every one of us is who we are and we ARE enough. We don’t need to compare ourselves, or be like someone else. We NEED to be us. We NEED to learn to be ourselves.” ~ Jo Micheal, quote from the recorded live session.
The comparison trap is a one way ticket to losing confidence in ourselves and ultimately burning out.
6 simple tips to avoid that comparison trap and building your confidence
- Understand what your WHY (your purpose) truly is - Missed our previous session, where we talked about “Finding you WHY as a business owner? We really recommend you give it a watch. When you know what it is you're trying to achieve, you realise what you need to do to get there. It might not be the bigger car, or the beach holiday and that is ok. Having that focus gives us the right mental drive to make real change in our lives and our businesses, coming away feeling positive and successful in achieving the right goals for us.
- Swap comparing yourself to the wrong benchmarks - Instead of comparing our success to where we think we want to be in 10 years time, we should focus on today’s success compared to yesterday’s success. Think small steps, or 1% growth and incrementally you will see a bigger change over just a month or two. It’s a mindset shift and an important one.
- Realise how social media and the media is affecting your life and your moods - There’s a secret power in that ‘Unfollow’ button. It helps you strip away what, or who has a negative effect on your well-being (even as unintentional as it is). Take some time, press that button! Keep and seek accounts and people who inspire you, or help you, those who lift you up and allow you to feel you are the best version of yourself, and who mean something to you.
- Realise how the press affects your moods and behaviour - Going back to the ‘fuel shortage’ a few weeks ago, there are many people who say that scary story came from the press and what did we see? We suddenly saw large numbers of people queuing for fuel that in most cases was enough to go around. Reactionary headlines are often meant to elicit shock and horror, we have to recognise that and read between the lines before we act.
- Practise gratitude - Be grateful for what you have today. The act of daily gratitude has a huge impact on the positivity in your life. Being grateful for what you already have shows you the abundance you are surrounded with, that you may be overlooking. It might be that you are more successful than you imagine you are.
- Focus on what you really want - This goes back to our last live session. Being in a position of understanding what you want and what you need, allows you a focus point. That link, essentially, is your guide and remains a beacon to your own success, once you have cut out the negativity. That’s true in both your business life and your personal life.
What’s the one thing you really need to do today
Falling into the comparison trap can be harmful to your business. It stops you from standing out, because you aren’t aligning with your true purpose, or allowing yourself to be creative enough. This ultimately doesn’t help your clients either.
A great example of comparison hindering business growth is Microsoft and Google. Whilst they focused on beating each other and offering very similar services, Apple released some of their most iconic work, by concentrating on creative design innovation and customer value. Staying true to the Apple ethos and leading from the top, Apple became the go-to brand in many smart tech areas.
Cut out the fluff and follow your own beacon.
“Follow on from your business purpose, get focused and live your own life. Shut out the negativity bringing you down.” ~ Stephen Paul, quote from the recorded live session.
This one step will see you leap towards what truly matters.
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