Yes, this is something we tell our children all the time, especially the ones old enough to be on social media. But it is a message worth repeating and considering how it applies to our businesses.
We all have competitors. Competition is a good thing. It makes us work hard to differentiate our businesses. But it gets unhealthy when we become obsessed with our competition, especially when what we are comparing ourselves to is not necessarily the full truth.
AND IT DOESN’T STOP THERE. EVEN IF THEY AREN’T COMPETITORS, WE COMPARE OURSELVES TO OTHER BUSINESS OWNERS ALL THE TIME.
That one seems to be killing it on Instagram. This one just won a huge industry award. Another one sends out the most perfect newsletter every damn week.
Remember, for the most part you are only seeing what that business owner is choosing for you to see. You aren’t hearing about her unhappy customers or her difficult vendor or the employee who just can’t meet deadlines.
The reality is you have no idea what is really going on in anyone else’s company.
At the same time, you know the intimate details of every wart on your own business. You know that your conversion rate isn’t what you want it to be, you know you are spending way too much on advertising, and you know that sometimes you are Just. So. Tired.
I’m not saying you should air your dirty laundry. Not at all. But I am saying you should remember that nobody else is doing that either. Stop beating yourself up about what you think is going on at another company. The chances are pretty good that things aren’t quite as rosy as you think.
Stay focused on your goals, on your priorities, on your team, and on your company. That is the only thing you have control over.