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.
Claire Mitchell is a best-selling author of the Awesome Marketing Planner and founder of The Girls Mean Business, a mum and business owner. She has been featured in Marie-Claire, The Guardian, Closer Magazine, Essentials, The Huffington Post and on the BBC.