I want to help you build a sustainable, profitable handmade business that makes you consistent income and sales. I only ever teach or recommend marketing, social media, pricing, production and branding tips that I’ve personally used successfully in my own 7-figure handmade businesses.
I'm Mei, from Los Angeles!
starting a business
get more traffic
running a business
make more sales
growing a business
mindset & productivity
pricing & money
selling on etsy
selling on amazon
Sound familiar? If you’re a business owner, especially if you’re just starting out, you may be feeling like you just aren’t good enough compared to other shop owners in the same niche.
Comparing ourselves to other people kind of just naturally happens, and some healthy comparison doesn’t hurt.
But when comparisons are no longer healthy and we find ourselves paralyzed by it, that’s when we know we’ve fallen victim to comparisonitis.
So how can we put a stop to it?
In today’s video, I want to talk about something that a lot of us go through as business owners that can be a bit tricky to navigate sometimes, and that’s comparisonitis.
It’s a made-up word that defines when you compare yourself to other people selling similar products, leaving you feeling inadequate and not good enough if your business isn’t at the same level as theirs yet.
If you’re going through it right now, please know you’re not alone, and that there isn’t anything wrong with you.
Comparisonitis is fairly common, and I hope that reading this blog will help you through it.
So why do we compare?
I’ve been thinking about that for a while, and I think it boils down to this: We’ve been told that in order to be relevant, to stay on top of things, and to stay competitive as business owners, we need to figure out what’s trending and research our competitors and stay up to date with what they’re doing and what new products they’re making.
For me personally, when I check out my competition, I want to see what they’re doing to maybe follow in their footsteps and kind of gain ideas and inspiration from their strategies.
The intention is not to copy what they’re doing at all, or to use their content word for word, but rather to see how I can implement strategies that are working for them for my own business as well.
For example, if they’re doing really well on Facebook, then maybe my business will do well on Facebook, too.
But the downside to this is that it can become a really slippery slope for any of us to get on because this can very quickly backfire on you.
So when does that even happen?
Well, when you start internalizing it and feeling bad about yourself, you feel like everything you’re doing isn’t good enough.
You start feeling like all of the hard work and effort you put into your business day in and day out just isn’t paying off. You’re doing a bunch of marketing but wonder why nothing seems to work, or why it’s taking so long.
You probably often ask yourself, “why am I not there yet?” or “what’s the point?”
But that’s just because you’re comparing yourself to other people who are 10 steps ahead of you who are more established than you are at the moment.
What really hurts even more, is seeing someone who started at the same time as you, but they seem to be doing so much better than you right now.
You may be viewing them as just simply more successful than you, or better than you, which makes you wonder, “what am I doing wrong?” “What’s wrong with me?”, when there really isn’t anything wrong with you at all.
But those are the thoughts that make us feel really insecure about our business and our abilities, and that’s what’s truly damaging.
So let me tell you a little bit about one of my own experiences with this, of which I’ve had many, believe me.
When I started Creative Hive back around 2014, the space was already so competitive.
There were so many coaches and consultants and teachers and gurus out there and other people were making more money than I was.
Other people had larger Facebook groups and bigger email lists and more customers.
And everyone was always talking about how they just had a six-figure launch or a five-figure 24-hour sale.
And that truly discouraged me because no one knew who I was.
I couldn’t even get people to retweet my posts on Twitter.
And I remember a time when I was just lying in bed, feeling really bad about myself, thinking about how I didn’t want to get up and go back to work because, what’s the point, I wasn’t going anywhere?
I should just quit right now.
This was a problem for me for months.
I was, I would say, mildly depressed because my business was so new and I was so impatient.
I wanted it to be a full-time income already.
Other people could do it.
So why couldn’t I?
I decided to keep going, to take it one step at a time.
Every night I would go to bed reassuring myself that I did everything I could that day to get myself closer to my goal, and would wake up the next day with a fresh set of eyes, a fresh mind, and renewed motivation and persistence.
I kept putting myself out there.
I kept acting like I was already successful.
You’ve heard the saying, “fake it till you make it,” right?
This is actually a very good strategy that you can use for yourself.
Even Olympic swimmers use it.
They wake up every morning and tell themselves that they’ve already won.
This is more powerful than you know.
So this is what I did: I completely stopped checking out other people’s businesses and just focused on mine.
You know, like the blinders that horses wear by their eyes to keep them focused on moving forward and not get freaked out by disruptions.
I essentially blocked out distractions that triggered my comparisonitis, and I encourage you to do the same.
Just focus on your own work and not on other people, because what good can that do for you anyway?
Sure, maybe you might learn a little bit from comparing your business to other people’s, but not a whole lot.
A lot of growing your business has to do with your own ideas and trial and error.
And not feeling bad about where you stand at the moment compared to someone else is crucial.
Feeling bad will only slow you down.
So I suggest you do what I did: stop following your competitors on social media.
Every time I caught myself typing in their website URL in my browser because curiosity almost got the better of me, I would take a beat and delete what I was typing because I didn’t even want to go there.
I didn’t want to fall back into the trap and mind tricks caused by comparisonitis. I want you to do the same.
It is so important that if you are prone to comparisonitis and if you’re prone to falling down this spiraling death trap of depression, that you protect yourself.
Protect your heart, your mind, and your energy from any of that negativity.
Because, trust me, the moment you start to feel depressed about yourself and your business, you’re dangerously close to giving up.
That’s why so many business owners and businesses fail; because they didn’t try for long enough.
They didn’t push past that mental barrier.
And that would do both you and others a disservice.
Whether you know it yet or not, what you have to offer is exactly what someone out there wants, needs, and is searching for.
So the takeaway here is to just never give up and to not put yourself in that position where you feel like giving up.
Now I just focus on me and how I can help you in my own unique way without trying to be like my competitors.
I just keep working on my own marketing and have stopped doing all of this “research.”
I’ve realized that you don’t ever really know how much, or on the flip side, how little work other shop owners put into their businesses.
They may have worked around the clock for years to get to where they are now.
And you’re over here at step one comparing yourself to their step 100.
So that’s not fair to you or to them, right?
It’s like you’re comparing a baby’s ability to walk to an adult’s.
Everyone starts out slow and wobbly, but with time and effort, we learn, grow, and become more stable.
Now there are certainly business owners out there that got super lucky and did the right thing and the right time.
The 1% who have maybe gotten lucky have fallen in a space or a niche where there was just an opportunity waiting for them.
Or maybe they just knew a friend of a friend who got them on a magazine cover or on Good Morning America that got them tens of thousands of sales practically instantly.
But luck, unfortunately, cannot be generated on command.
So stop relying on luck.
As for the rest of us, the 99%, we just have to keep doing the hard and smart work, stop comparing ourselves to others, and most importantly, we can never give up.
I hope this was helpful for you!
Let me know in the comments how you deal with comparisonitis.
If you enjoyed today’s topic, don’t forget to hit the like button and subscribe to my channel.
Stay tuned for the next video for more handmade business tips!
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