You’ve taken the leap into entrepreneurship and now you’re navigating through the terrain. Marketing, branding, managing a website, signing clients, doing the work. Somewhere along the way, you start to feel something is...off. There’s an unsettling feeling of disappointment and discouragement, but with all your amazing progress, it’s hard to put your finger on why.
Comparison: no matter where we are on our business journey, we’re all susceptible to it. Social media allows us to reach people like never before, but it also allows us to consume. So. Much. Naturally, we start to wonder whether we measure up. Before long, there’s that familiar sinking feeling.
The next time you feel deflated because you’ve compared your business to someone else’s and found it lacking, consider these three takeaways.
Entrepreneurship is a very personal journey
You started from the ground up to build your business, which requires a ton of personal growth. So comparing your reality to what you think someone else is doing is too superficial for you, lady. It doesn’t serve you. Social media shows us everyone else’s highlight reel - not the sleepless nights, long hours, self doubt, uncertainty, confusion, overwhelm or fear that comes up for everyone at some point. Those real, gritty moments are often left out of Instagram stories. What we see isn’t the whole story - it’s an illusion. Don’t compare your amazing reality to an illusion. You have no idea what someone else’s journey is really about. And you will never measure up to a standard that doesn’t exist. So drop that mind drama.
Self improvement is the goal
There’s a great Steve Young quote that says, “The principle is competing against yourself. It’s about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before.” Entrepreneurship has an incredible way of transforming our lives. It requires that we ask ourselves all kinds of hard questions: Can I become a new version of myself? Can I do something I’ve never done before? Can I develop a growth mindset to carry me through it all? Comparison has no place in the scope of self improvement because your goals have nothing to do with anyone but yourself.
Comparison is a trap for insecurities
Entrepreneurship journeys will always be an ongoing challenge, but worthy of the effort. There’s no reason to add unnecessary struggle to that bus. But the trap of scarcity-based thinking is that it feels true - “Someone else got there first,” “they’re doing it better than I am,” or “too many people are doing what I want to do” are classic examples of the limiting beliefs we hold about ourselves. A belief is a thought you’ve had repeatedly, so to change your limiting beliefs, you have to change your thoughts. Comparison hinders you from doing that. Its only purpose is to keep you small and stuck, and who can you serve and inspire when you feel like that?
It’s completely human to notice comparisons between your entrepreneurial journey and another’s. Despite our brain’s best efforts to help us succeed, comparison doesn’t help us find solutions. It just creates more problems. What we can do instead is recognize and understand our self-limiting beliefs, work to cultivate thoughts that serve and inspire us, and have our own backs about what we offer the world. Entrepreneurship is more than just a business. It’s personal.