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How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

July 26, 2013

Today’s tip is about the advantages that come with accepting, and starting, where you are.

Don’t you find it a bit frustrating when you see an author or blogger have almost instant success? You know, like a guy who starts a blog as a hobby and, within a few weeks or months, is making a full-time income with it…

I believe in the abundance of success. Your success doesn’t take away from the success of somebody else. And I believe other people having success within the same market you’re in will actually help you because it will expand the market.

Still, it’s easy to get jealous, be intimidated, or find yourself frustrated when the notoriety, money, and success that others seems to be attracting so easily don’t happen for you in the same way.

Here’s something that I hope makes you feel better…

Somebody with seemingly instant success, in many ways, is like the jock in high school who never had a pimple and could date any girl he wanted.

At the time, everybody thinks, “I’d love to be that guy!”

But what happens to those dudes after high school? How long were they able to stay on top of things?

We all know the answer, don’t we?

Knowing that, why do we get jealous when we see somebody have “instant success” with a book or blog? Why can’t we see that easy success is a double-edged sword?

Forget trying to start at the top. Embrace the bottom and work your way up.

Most of us would think it’s ridiculous for an out-of-shape kid to try to lift as much weight an adult, yet we do similar things in our own lives and businesses every day when we overestimate our ability to do things or compare ourselves to others who have different abilities we may or may not know about. This ends up costing us.

start small

If you jump into something too quick and take on more than you’re ready for, you’ll end up frustrated. And you’ll be more likely to quit entirely.

I like thinking big. I feel it’s necessary to take risks in both life and business. But it’s not really “thinking big” if you don’t have any idea about what you’re getting into — it’s ignorance.

For example, I’ve often heard musicians say something like this…

“We pressed 10,000 CDs (instead of the standard 1000) because the per unit cost was a lot less.”

It’s great to keep costs down, but if you can’t sell 10,000 CDs, you’re not doing that, regardless of your per unit cost.

I’ve seen this happen in all industries… I know authors who have a garage full of books and Amway (or other network marketing company) distributors with boxes of pills, potions, and lotions.

Ever bought a product via Groupon? Somebody making this exact mistake is the reason you got such a deep discount.

You don’t want to be in this position with your business.

A much better approach is to start with something you can easily manage and expand on it. That will keep you from blowing everything out right away and having to quit. And since you’ll be able to return the next day, you’ll be more likely to be successful in the long run.

Need another reason to start at the bottom?

This is how you really learn the business. It’s the reason companies hire from within.

How can you manage your team on the street if you’ve never worked the street yourself? How can you navigate a big company through a recession or change in the market if you’ve never experienced lean times on a smaller scale?

The stereotypical “high school jock” never learned the intricacies that come when you experience early failure and rejection. Although these things can be frustrating when you experience them, they’re also going to be the reason your book, blog, or other creative endeavor ultimately succeeds.

If you’re on the “bottom” now, trying to work yourself up, you will have the necessary skills to maintain your success once you get there.

ABOUT THIS SERIES: Every Friday, I give tips on how to build the foundation needed to have a successful business and platformSee other posts in this series here and, if you have a request for me to cover something specific, let me know via Twitter.

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