Jealousy: The #1 Business Killer

September 10, 2014

Okay, this title may not be 100% accurate but, at least in my book, jealousy will without a doubt kill your business. It’s that creeping kind of poison that sneaks up on you, slowly crippling you and robbing you of joy until one day you’ve lost everything. And to make matters worse, jealousy doesn’t always look like the hideous green-eyed monster our moms warned us about when we were littles. Instead, jealously can look a lot like comparison at first. What starts as innocently comparing your work to another’s, wishing for your friend’s social media following, or longing after someone else’s success can quickly grow into deep-seated jealousy that hides in the caverns and crevices of your heart.

jealousy blog post graphic

In the beginning, I think a lot of us start off seeing someone or some product we admire and asking ourselves, “how do I get there?” It’s perfectly natural to ask, “how do I make ___ happen?” but those questions can quickly turn into a subtle fixation, taking away your valuable time and energy from your own endeavors. Comparison is easy. Jealousy comes second nature to us as imperfect humans. But we have to embrace a life full of the uncomfortable, the difficult things if we are to succeed and move forward as individuals and as business owners.

Whenever you’re tempted to lust after your competitor’s product line or magazine-worthy photos, remember that behind those beautiful products and services is a person who hustled. They put hard work, lots of time and tons of thought into their projects, crafting them from scratch until they were left with something they could be proud of. Those social media moguls with 15,000 Instagram followers? They started with one follower once upon a time, just like you did. Those Pinterest geniuses who share the most pin-able, breathing photos? They were once photography beginners who struggled through terms like ISO, exposure and aperture.

Jealousy will only derail you, throwing you off track as you strive to make your own progress. Instead of longing for what some one has, choose to admire their hard work and put your nose right back down to the grindstone. You’d be amazed at how much of your time jealousy will steal if you let it, time that could easily be dedicated to learning, striving and creating your own wins.

So instead of staring off wistfully after so-and-so who has/does whatever it is you want, choose to be that person. Choose to work hard and appreciate other people’s hard work, to keep learning, keep asking for help and keep learning from your mistakes. Choose to build a business from the ground up that fulfills your passion and is the perfect image of what you consider a success. You can do it, friend. I believe in you!

  1. Faith

    September 10th, 2014 at 9:42 am

    This is exactly what I needed today. I text my husband just yesterday saying that I was suffering from jealously and not sure how to move on. Thank you for writing the words that I need to hear!

  2. Cassandra

    September 10th, 2014 at 11:32 am

    This is my new favourite post from you! I’ve seen this situation happen to so many bloggers, Etsyers, etc. Instead of finding their own voice they begin copying the competitor in an attempt to emulate and “keep up with the Jones”.

    This post is great, it addresses an emotion that not too many people want to admit they have when building their brand/business. Thanks #bosslady!

  3. Bonnie Bakhtiari

    September 22nd, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Thanks for your sweet comment, Cassandra! I’m so glad to hear this post really resonated with you. Such an important truth to reminds ourselves of!

  4. Emily Petellat

    September 10th, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Yes, yes, and yes!! I needed this SO badly today! Thank you for the words of wisdom!

  5. Bonnie Bakhtiari

    September 22nd, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    You’re so welcome. I’m glad to hear it was an encouragement!

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I'm Bonnie -- a designer, brand designer + strategist, writer, wife, and pet parent to the most rambunctious golden retriever this side of the Mason-Dixon! I'm passionate about building authentic brands, encouraging small business owners to chase their dreams, and spreading joy through design. It's a delight to have you here, lovely! Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a comfy chair and stay a while, won't you?

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