OK admit it – how many times lately have you looked at someone else’s website, or products, or business card or shopfront and thought to yourself, with a heavy heart ‘she’s better than me’?
And how often have you thought about doing something new or different and then thought ‘I can’t do that because…I’m not clever / businesslike / techie / young enough?’ (delete as appropriate)
OK we need to talk.
I was chatting to a lady in one of my Facebook groups recently and she admitted that the BIGGEST THING holding her back was that she kept comparing herself to other people and coming up short.
In fact she was really hard on herself.
- She would browse competitors’ websites and pick faults with her own.
- She would look on Pinterest and see a hundred beautifully shot products that were ‘better’ than hers.
- She’d find herself trawling Facebook looking to see who was making what, how much they were charging and whether she thought she was as good as them.
- If it wasn’t the products she felt inferior about, it was their marketing, their copywriting, their design work.
When I asked her how often she found herself checking out other people’s stuff, she said ‘I do it every day’.
When we chatted about it, it turned out she was spending at least half an hour (that she would admit to) and probably more that she was in denial about, EVERY DAY measuring herself against other businesses and people and feeling fed up.
Let’s do some maths – 30 minutes every day, for 5 days per week is 2.5 hours per week (and let’s be honest, it was probably WAY more than that). That’s 10 hours per month. That’s 120 hours per year. That’s 5 DAYS A YEAR!
5 days a year NOT working on her business. 5 days a year NOT having a rest. 5 days a year NOT doing something that made her feel good or helped her build her business. 5 days a year beating herself up.
Makes you think, doesn’t it?
When we put it in perspective like this, she went very quiet and then got quite upset.
She realised she was wasting time and not JUST wasting it, actually spending time on things that were harming her business because that’s exactly what was happening.
When you spend time measuring yourself against other people or feeling you’re not good enough that’s you’re choosing to spend making yourself feel bad.
When you get obsessed with what your competitors are doing, thats time and energy you’re not spending on YOUR business.
When you waste 5 days a year dragging yourself down and feeling inferior, that’s not healthy and it doesn’t make you happy. And it all starts with spending half an hour a day ‘just checking’ what everyone else is doing. Before you know it, it becomes a habit. Then it turns into a little obsession. Then it turns into 5 days a year of self-sabotage.
So, I want to ask YOU something. Are YOU guilty of this? Are YOU falling into a habit of ‘just checking’ other people’s stuff and wishing you were them?
If so, I want to challenge you. Ready?
I want you to spend HALF AN HOUR PER DAY working ON your business or ON yourself – making yourself feel great and helping your business to grow. No checking competitors (it doesn’t matter what they are doing), no beating yourself up.
If you spend 30 minutes every day on POSITIVE things rather than NEGATIVE things, you’ll see a BIG CHANGE in your business and your life, very quickly.
Are you up for the challenge?
You know how it is; you’re pootling along quite nicely in your business and then all of a sudden, out of the blue, BAM!
You’re stopped in your tracks and your perfectly HAPPY day becomes a BAD DAY.
More often than not, it’s something as simple as a snarky comment on your Facebook page or an email from a grumpy person or a snidey mum at the school gates.
It doesn’t take much to send your mood plummeting and send your mojo running to the hills.
The trouble is, once you’re on that slippery slope it’s really hard to climb back up to ‘happy’. Once you’ve decided today is a BAD DAY, your whole energy shifts.Things that wouldn’t have bothered you yesterday are BIG DEALS today.
And, ironically you’ll probably attract MORE bad things because those mind monkeys in your brain will be on a ‘BAD DAY’ spotting mission, looking for more evidence to prove that today is REALLY BAD.
So what do you do, when you’re in this situation? How do you stop a BAD DAY turning into a BAD WEEK?
1. Remember This Awesome Quote
Well, you can begin by printing off this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
Isn’t that great? In other words LET IT GO! Leave today behind as soon as it has finished and start again with a fresh outlook and fresh attitude and fresh energy tomorrow.
That’s a GREAT attitude to have! And it’s exciting! You get a fresh start and a fresh chance every single day! Yay!
2. Put It In Perspective
The other thing that really helps when you are having a bad day is to think “will this matter in 5 days or in 5 weeks, 5 months or 5 years’ time?” Is it a life changing bad day? Or is it just a little bad day?
Even though it feels like the end of the world today, there’s a really big chance you’ll barely remember it in a couple of weeks. Life goes on.
3. Take Control & STAY PROFESSIONAL
When you’re having a bad day it’s really easy to react emotionally.
Your instinct is to get back at the person who’s causing your bad day and SORT THEM OUT, but if you deal with them NOW, when you’re hurt and angry, that’s really not going to help and could cause all sorts of trouble in the future.
Let THEM rant. Let THEM look like a DRAMA LLAMA
STAY PROFESSIONAL AT ALL TIMES.
Be strong and silent in public. Don’t rant on your Facebook page. Don’t leave nasty messages on THEIR Facebook page. Don’t fire off angry replies to their emails. However angry you are right now, however much you want to give your side of the story, don’t. Stay strong and professional.
If it’s a customer sending furious messages to your FB page, reply saying you’re looking into the situation and will come back to them privately (ideally at a specific time, then keep in touch with them).
Do not rise to THEIR emotion. Do what you can to sort out the issue – stick to the facts and do whatever feather smoothing you need. Don’t take it personally.
Not only will this approach stop the issue spiralling out of control, nobody can ever come back to you and say you handled it badly. If you stay professional, it will earn you respect. People watch these things – potential customers on your page will be watching to see how you handle it and that will determine whether or not they buy from you.
4. Create A Book Of Awesome
Take all the nice things people have said to you about your business, nice Facebook posts, nice emails, nice feedback and put them all together in one lovely special notebook. This will become your Book of Awesome.
Whenever you have a bad day you can dig out your Book of Awesome and see how much people love you and your business. It’s there, in black and white!
You can’t argue with the evidence. It will shut up those mind monkeys who tell you you’re no good and can’t do this – they LOVE bad days. Bad days are when you listen to those pesky monkeys even more closely.
So, there you have it. Once you realise you’re ‘having a BAD DAY’ do your best to snap out of it – don’t let it have any power over you and do your best to shut up the mind monkeys. The sooner you move on, the sooner you can get back to being happy and building your awesome business.
Today I’m going to share something really personal and it’s not pretty, so I feel a little nervous!
But I know if I felt like this then you might too, just don’t judge me!!
Have you ever had a competitor drive you crazy?
You know what I mean, right? They seem to be EVERYWHERE – in the papers, all over social media, everywhere you look, they’re there. It’s infuriating!!
In the early days of my business there was one lady who used to frustrate the heck out of me. She was everywhere. People were talking about her and singing her praises and everyone (it seemed) LOVED her and her business.
I hate to admit it, but I was really jealous. This woman brought out the worst in me – somehow her success was pushing all my buttons and making me feel inferior, envious and MAD!
One day, when I found myself muttering about her again, I had a big wake up call.
All of a sudden I realised that I’d just spent most of the morning obsessing over this woman’s business instead of working on my own. I should have written my newsletter but I’d got distracted by something *she* had done and I had lost track of time.
That’s when I knew it had to stop.
I had to get a grip and LOSE this jealousy.
I had to focus on MY business.
Immediately I decided that, the energy inside me shifted.
I banned myself from looking at her stuff or mentioning her name for 2 weeks, so I could break my bad habit.
Then I started to look at her stuff again to see if I could work out why it affected me so much.
And I realised a LOT of things.
1. Her success was down to lots of hard work on her part.She didn’t just get her huge following by accident, she had WORKED at it and she deserves her success. She had ploughed a lot of time, money and energy into her business and now she was reaping the rewards. She was (and is) pretty awesome, really.
2. In my head, her success somehow made me feel inferior. Now, you’ll probably be nodding and saying to yourself ‘ah, that’s all about YOU, Claire and nothing to do with her’ and you’d be right. My own insecurities and lack of confidence at that time had made me jealous of her – totally irrational, I know. It was a big lesson for me and was the beginning of me learning a lot about myself – it’s been an interesting journey!
3. Also in my head (damn those Mind Monkeys) I felt that if people loved her, they wouldn’t choose me. How silly is THAT?? We’re like chalk and cheese. Apples and pears. We’re nothing alike and we BOTH brought really valuable things to the world. Her stuff was GREAT for HER crowd. They loved her. But some of them loved me too. Which is FAB. There was definitely room for us both.
These days I think very differently.
When I see someone else in my field being super-awesome, I know how much effort that’s taken. There is no magic pill. They have put a LOT of work in to be shining so brightly. I am secretly (and sometimes openly) in admiration of them. I might be a bit envious too, but in a ‘Darn it! I wish I’D thought of that’ kind of way.
And these days I shine a lot brighter, myself.
I’ve accumulated a few haters and copycats along the way but that’s par for the course for any successful business owner. The main thing is that I MIND MY OWN BUSINESS. I focus on what I’M doing, on what MY customers and clients need, on what I ENJOY doing.
And I have no idea what my competitors are doing but I’m hoping they’re doing the same.
If this hit a nerve then that’s good. Because, it means you can do something about it. Also, you might enjoy this blog.
Are Your Competitors Freaking You Out?
While I was on holiday, a couple of time people asked me what did I do for a living, and it reminded me of you. You need to be able to explain what you do in a way anyone can understand.
Listen to the Episode Below (07:35)
As you may know, I have just been away on holiday for a week. I planned to not work during this time, but I am a bit of a work-a-holic and it’s hard not working on my business. However, this holiday has taught me a lesson.
Listen to the Episode Below (09:30)