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.
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!