First Year in Business Wisdom: Lesson 4
Hi my sweet friends! I hope everyone is having a great start to their week (or whenever you read this).
Some of you may know I just got back from my husband's business trip in Maui that we extended out a few extra days. I mean, f you're gonna go all that way, you might at well stay a while and take advantage, right?!
Confession: I was really stressed about going on this trip.
I know, "wahh." Of course I was excited and incredibly thankful for the opportunity to visit a beautiful place I've never been before, and I was especially looking forward to having fun and spending quality time with Chris. But as many of you all know, work does not stop or slow down when you are on vacation. This truth is amplified when you don't have any employees to handle things when you're gone.
To put it simply, there was A LOT to take care of before I left town to ensure things ran smoothly for my clients while I unplugged and relaxed for a few days.
But long story short, it all worked out great. I scheduled out all my work ahead of time and we were able to have an absolute blast- guilt free!
Now I've got a tan (in February-whaaat!), I feel rejuvenated, and I am so happy to be home and back to bustlin' and a buzzin' with ya'll.
So, without further ado, let's get to the reason why you're so graciously here...
Lesson #4: Stop the negative comparisons
This lesson is soooo much easier said than done, at least in my personal experience!
By now I think it's safe to say we can all agree social media is a double-edged sword, in that it's an incredible tool, but if you're not careful it can run your life. This applies to anyone, not just entrepreneurs.
Social media can run your life in different ways- one being, the amount of time you spend on it. But for now I'm referring to how easy it is to compare your reality with someone else's highlight-reel. (I don't know who came up with that phrase but I love it because it's truth bomb dot com)
I follow a lot of small business and entrepreneur accounts because, most of the time, their success motivates me and their content serves what it is I'm trying to accomplish.
Other times, if I'm not careful, an Instagram picture of someone in a cute outfit working in their pristine office, will send me into self-doubting downward spiral!
I realize that may sound a bit dramatic, but I hope someone can relate with me here, because I'm being completely honest right now.
I'll look at myself, a complete mess still wearing my pjs well past noon, working in my office with two days- okay three days- worth of dirty coffee mugs sitting off to the side, and wonder why I can't get it together like Miss Thang I just scrolled past.
And that's a more trivial example that often doesn't carry much weight!
The point at which I know I'm letting comparisons go too far is when I'm a) considering a decision that makes zero sense for my current situation, because it's what someone else is doing at the time.
Like the time I seriously looked at podcast equipment because of this sound reasoning:
"I love podcasts. Some of the entrepreneurs I look up to have great podcasts. So maybe I should start a podcast!" What? At that point, I could barely find the time to post consistently to my blog and social media, and then all of a sudden I wanted to take on another more difficult form of content sharing?? No ma'am. *face palm*
Or, even worse, b) when I let someone else's success discourage me or minimize my own efforts, because it seemed like I was no where close to the level that person was on. I was literally comparing my few months of hard work to someone else's few years of hard work. That's just asking for it!
Here's the thing, it's impossible to avoid comparing ourselves to someone else.
We are always going to do it in one way or another.
And it's not always a bad thing if we can channel the envy we feel at the time into something positive, like motivation.
What is possible is to remember is the golden rule:
"Not everything you see on the internet is true." - Abraham Lincoln
Social media is a bunch of highlight reels, remember?
You aren't seeing pictures of messy desks and bank accounts in the red, because they aren't sexy and motivating.
That surely doesn't mean they aren't there in the background or haven't been there at some point before the success portrayed on social media.
This sounds obvious, but it's worth reminding ourselves sometimes that we only see what people want us to see- a fraction of their reality. And thankfully that goes both ways for us, too! We allll do it.
So next time you're scrolling mindlessly and something catches your eye that makes you doubt or feel bad about yourself, let that feeling do nothing more than light a fire under your butt to work harder and stay focused on YOUR goals, not theirs.
Fact: There is no substitute for hard work and sweet, sweet time.
If you do the work, put in the time, and stay in your lane, you'll soon be the next Miss Thang in the cute outfit and pristine office, making us all envious (in a good way!) on the 'gram.