Why comparison is killing your business and how to avoid it
The Goodness Squad Podcast Episode #23
If you don’t stand out online you will blend in – which means no success. But how do you stand out without comparing yourself to others? This is an essential skill because comparison is like kryptonite to your business. I have 2 tips for you today.
Resources mentioned in episode:
Kristen Walker Smith – RubyGirl
Camille – cknscratch.com
Sarah Allred – Sarah Grace Live (affiliate link)
Joan – Bitsy Creations
Food Storage Made Easy
Ask Me Anything
The Goodness Squad
The Goodness Squad on Facebook
Good Start Game Plan
Welcome to episode #23 of The Goodness Squad podcast. I want you to imagine with me for just a moment that you have just spent 18 months and tens of thousands of dollars creating an e-course. You have put your entire heart and soul into this e-course. Prayer, tears, wanting to quit, pushing through those barriers to create a beautiful, incredible in-depth, extremely helpful e-course for your people. You are the only person in your industry who has ever created an e-course (that you know of) and you are so excited.
You are about a month or so from releasing and you go online one Friday afternoon and you see that somebody else in your industry has just released an e-course on the same topic. And not only has somebody else released it, but this person also has more followers, significantly more followers, than you do.
How do you feel? I really want you to think about that for a moment. We’re going to touch on the feelings that that type of situation creates in our businesses.
Goodness squad Highlight – Kristen Walker Smith
All right, before I jump into today’s episode, I wanted to tell you a little bit about my friend, Kristin from Kristen Walker Smith. Kristin is a Latter-day Saint woman, and she is spreading goodness and light online. You can also find her at @KristenWalkerSmith on Instagram.
She is also the person behind the One Minute Scripture Study podcast, which is fantastic for teenagers or even pre-teens, like my kids, who have short attention spans, but we want to really dig deep into scriptures. Kristin is fantastic at this.
Kristen is part of my Ask Me Anything group as well as one of the founders for Tech School. I have gotten to know her over the past few months, I have truly come to love her generous spirit, her hardworking attitude, her contagious smile. She is an incredible woman and I highly encourage you to follow her.
She also listens to The Goodness Squad podcast and she says that her very favorite thing about the podcast is that “the takeaways are simple and relatively easy to implement.” Thank you for that review, Kristen.
I would love to hear what your thoughts are about The Goodness Squad podcast. How has it helped you? Has it changed your business? What has been your favorite episode? Leave me a review. I am going to start highlighting you members of The Goodness Squad. Those of you who are out spreading goodness and light online, who are working hard to use your superpowers to build businesses that bless the lives of other people.
Stop letting comparison paralyze you
The story I told you at the very beginning was actually something that happened to me, back when I had my business around simple emergency preparedness. I created an e-course, no one in the entire emergency preparedness industry had an e-course. E-courses were just gaining popularity in lots of industries at the time, but no one had picked up on that in the emergency preparedness industry yet. And I was so excited to be the first one to have this completely original product that I was selling.
As I got really close to launching, somebody else beat me to it. Now, one lesson to learn from that is that I took away too long and done is better than perfect. It should not have taken me 18 months, but that is an episode for a different time.
In this episode, I want to talk about how I felt as I compared myself to this other woman. She had more followers than I did and I was devastated. I was frozen. I was stopped in my tracks. I struggled to move forward. I felt despondent and hopeless. I felt angry and jealous and I no longer wanted to publish my e-course. I thought, “well, what’s the point? Somebody else has already done it.”
Luckily, I have a fantastic husband who walked me through some of that. But I want to talk about what those negative emotions do to our businesses.
First of all, they have a direct effect on our health. Anxiety, frustration, jealousy, anger – those have a direct effect on our health. Which, for me, then creates an effect on my family. When my health suffers, my family suffers as well.
In addition, it causes us to waste time. I felt like I was stopped in my tracks and I spent so much time, weeks, thinking about this whole issue instead of solving it. I just felt hopeless. I had angry thoughts and I had frustrated thoughts and I had depressed thoughts and I had hopeless thoughts and none of those were productive. I was wasting time in my life and in my business.
I wasn’t helping or supporting this other woman. She was doing something I felt was truly important. She was helping others, the same people I wanted to help. I was unable to support her in that because of my judgment and my fear.
In addition, it was disempowering. I suddenly lost self-confidence. I knew I had been inspired to create that e-course. I felt so guided as I walked through the process of creating it. And yet suddenly, with one flip of a switch, I was completely disempowered and I had no self-confidence and I no longer wanted to publish it. That’s huge. Right?
The world needs your light and goodness
If you have listened to my very first podcast episode, I touch on the idea of comparison. And one thing I talk about in there is the Avengers. I have watched every single Avengers movie. If one of those Avengers, if Ironman or Captain America or whoever, decided that they wanted to be someone else, that they wished they were the Hulk, then the Avengers as a whole would suffer.
The world needed both those e-courses. The preparedness world needed and benefited from both of those e-courses. And if I had chosen not to move forward, I would have done a disservice to those that I was eventually able to serve.
But, there is a problem that we face in our businesses and it’s this:
if you don’t stand out online, then you will blend in.
If somebody is doing the same thing as us, how do we stand out? How do we get over that comparison? How do we push through being stopped in our tracks? How do we push through that disempowerment that comparison can create and still get our stuff out there into the world? I have two suggestions for you today.
Two ways you can stand out online
#1 – Use your superpower
Again, go back and listen to episode #1 if you have not yet because I dive into what your superpower is there. But here’s the issue. There are very few new ideas out there. Truly.
Chocolate chip cookies. How many chocolate chip cookie recipes are out there? Hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, the idea of a chocolate chip cookie is not new. When I create a new chocolate chip cookie recipe, I’m not creating a new type of cookie. The idea to create a cookie with chocolate chips in it already exists.
I can put my own personal twist on that. My friend and I, who both released e-courses around the same time – Hers was not linear. Hers was a whole bunch of different topics that were not presented in a linear way. There were people who loved that, they wanted to be able to go in and handpick just the pieces they needed to learn.
My course, on the other hand, was linear. It started with what you needed to know first and went through what you needed to know last. There were people who loved that.
But guess what? We were teaching the same things. The idea itself wasn’t new, but how we presented it and the way in which we used our superpowers was. So we were able to help different people.
Let me give you another example. Let’s say you are a piano teacher. Teaching piano is not new, right? But one piano teacher, your competitor, is extremely strict and you are extremely patient. There are students who will do better with a strict teacher. And there are other students who will do better with a patient teacher.
If you decide “she’s already teaching piano lessons in our neighborhood,” and you decide not to teach piano, you are hurting the people who would do better with a patient piano teacher. And if she decides not to teach, because you’re already teaching, she’s hurting the people who would do better with a strict piano teacher.
So, I want you to focus on not what you’re creating, not what your ideas are, but how your superpower allows people to understand and learn those ideas. People that might not be able to if you weren’t out there in the industry.
#2 – Start collaborating with people that you are jealous of
Crazy? Not really, but yeah, it sounds a little crazy. So when I very, very, very first started in emergency preparedness, I learned a lot from a website called Food Storage Made Easy. The owners of that website were named Jody and Julie and I learned a lot from them. They were way ahead of me in the game, as far as early emergency preparedness, as well as online marketing.
But I was also jealous of them and I was intimidated by them. I didn’t want to meet them. I didn’t want to get to know them. I didn’t want to be friends with them because we were competitors. I just wanted to be better than them, if I’m completely honest.
But guess what? I went to a conference, and guess who was there! Jody and Jolie. And guess who sat down at a table with me and told me that they knew about my website? Oh my goodness. I almost peed my pants. These two women, who I admire so much and who were so far ahead of me, knew about my website. And they told me things they had learned from me. Crazy right?
They had learned something from me and we began to create a very deep friendship. I am good friends with these women to this day and we were able to then collaborate and better use our unique superpowers to serve our combined audience. Because we became friends, because I learned what their superpowers were and weren’t, and they learned what mine were.
There are a couple of surprise benefits to doing this. We were talking about this concept in my Facebook group recently, The Goodness Squad, and a couple of people jumped on the thread and said some very interesting things.
The first was from, Camille from CKNScratch.com. She says this, “I have to say sometimes it has actually been quite the relief. I don’t have to do it all. I can just refer them to somebody else who does it already.”
Think about that. Are you trying to do everything in your business? Here’s one example. Do I know about funnels? Yeah, I do. I have built funnels. I have used funnels. I know about funnels. Do I know them as well as Sarah Allred from Sarah Grace Live? Nope. Not even close. Do I know more than the average person? Yes.
In my business, that’s one of the things I felt like I would eventually need to get to is teaching people how to funnel. Guess what? Now I just refer them to Sarah and I am able to focus on the things that I am better at than funnels. That really creates relief in our business. And guess what? I’m even an affiliate for Sarah. So when I send you over to Sarah, and I say, “learn about funnels from her because she’s better at it than me,” I can still earn money.
We can create these types of collaborations in our business that better serve our audiences because really, you are better off learning about funnels from her than you are from me. So I can be honest and authentic in that, by collaborating with her, referring you to her. I still earn money and you get the better end of the deal and I don’t have to create anything about funnels. It is a win, win, win situation.
Joan from BitsyCreations.com says this, she said “One of my best work contacts is definitely a competitor. But becoming friends with her has helped my business because we see differences in our styles and are able to share struggles with each other.”
One of the biggest struggles I think we face as entrepreneurs is feeling alone. Especially for online entrepreneurs. Our real-life friends don’t get it. They have no idea what it really means to run a business online. The exhaustion, the time, the frustrations – they don’t understand it. And it can be really hard to talk to them about that.
Even talking to someone like me, who generally gets it, is very, very different than talking to someone in your specific industry. You need that support and it is a huge benefit, to learning, to collaborate.
4 steps to collaborating instead of comparison
I have four steps for you today for how to collaborate.
FIRST – Be their biggest cheerleader. Comment on their blog posts, leave a review on their podcast, send them a message link to one of their articles in your own blog post. Find ways to be their biggest supporter.
One of the things I did when I first found out about Sarah Allred from Sarah Grace Live, well the very first thing I did was panic. But, what I decided to do was become her biggest cheerleader because she was helping people I truly wanted to help and I knew she could help them. And so if I was going to be honest and authentic, then why wouldn’t I tell my followers about her?
I posted in my Facebook group, I said, “I found out about this fantastic new person, and I want you to go follow her.” A lot of my followers joined her Facebook group. That also allowed her to gain some trust in me instead of me just being on a Facebook group and randomly trying to say, “Hey guys, want to collaborate?” I supported her first.
SECOND – Once you have become a cheerleader, reach out for some sort of a small collaboration. Maybe a joint giveaway, maybe a roundup blog post where you’re creating a blog post that highlights tips from multiple different people and you include her in there. You create some sort of an actual collaboration where the two of you have to talk to each other, but it’s small. There’s no real risk.
THIRD – Once that goes well, you can then have longer discussions, something like Marco Polo or Voxer if you don’t live near this person, and reach out, tell them personally something you loved that they did, and then start a conversation about how you can better serve your joint audience.
This is how the idea for Tech School came about. As I talked to Sarah and got to know her and realized what her strengths were and vice versa, I realized that I could help her people by creating a Tech School. Tech isn’t something she loves, but her people need tech help and so do mine.
FOURTH – So could I create that and fill that need? And we can then serve our joint audience better as a whole. That allows you to then create bigger collaborations that do exactly that, they serve your joint audience better.
The Good Start Game Plan
If you would like help figuring out what your superpower is so that you know what you need to focus on, I would invite you once again to enroll in the Good Start Game Plan.
One entire module in this e-course digs really deep into figuring out and embracing your superpower. The price for this course goes up to $249 on July 10th, but it is currently $149. I would love to have you snag that lower price and join me inside that e-course where you can dig deep into your superpower, amongst many other things that you will get out of that course.
Your challenge today is to choose at least one of the two things that we have talked about. If you do not yet know and truly embrace what your superpower is, I want you to figure that out. Join me in the Good Start Game Plan, or listen to the very first podcast episode where I talk about that superpower and figure out what yours is.
Number two, I want you to collaborate with someone else, once you know what that superpower is. Reach out to them using those four steps that I gave you today.
- Becoming their biggest cheerleader
- Reaching out for a small collaboration
- Having longer discussions
- Creating a larger collaboration.
Thank you again for being here today, you truly are incredible. I love that you show up here, that you listen, and that you implement. Make sure that you hit subscribe because, in the next episode, I am going to be sharing my favorite analogy for building a website.
I think we get it really confused. I know I was for a long time about what it actually takes to build a website. What all those tech pieces look like. This analogy is going to simplify all things tech for you because you are going to understand better why each piece of tech is needed and what its purpose is. I cannot wait to virtually see you there.
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