You’re so friggin’ good at….
Trader Joes just opened in my town. There was literally a line around the block the whole day and police to manage the crowd. Wow, I had no idea how excited people would be for cheap recycled toilet paper and organic nuts. That company must be killing it.
At the same time there’s an online entrepreneur, Marie Forleo, that is launching her amazing program, B-school and it feels like everyone I know that has an online business is talking about it and encouraging people to sign up to do the program. She is totally rocking it.
The success of these two businesses is fantastic, they are making money, employing people, and helping their customers. And though they are doing this in totally different ways, the founders of these companies should be proud of themselves for what they’ve created.
However, during this time I have had a lot of friends come to me to work through feelings of being “less than,” comparing themselves and their “progress” in a disparaging way.
I tell them “you don’t know where to get cheap nuts my friend, so you’re going to have to just do your own thing.”
I’m kidding. Not one person has come to me comparing themselves to Joe.
However many, many people find themselves comparing themselves to Marie. Why? Because that’s how she’s built her business – with the promise that if you do what she does you can have her level of success. You can be like her. Joe doesn’t care if you’re like him, he doesn’t make promises that if you eat their food you’ll be any different than satiated and perhaps with a few more dollars in your pocket.
And yet, being the founder of Trader Joes would be a lot more lucrative – so why aren’t we mentally torturing ourselves with the fact that we are not at the same level as Joe? Is it because it feels unattainable? Or because he’s not famous? Because he’s not making a huge difference in the world?
Whether you agree with all the politics of Trader Joes or not, he definitely has the ability to make a huge impact on the world. Which is something that most of us want to be able to do.
The truth is, you can’t be Marie, and you can’t be Joe. And you wouldn’t want to be.
Even if you do B-school (which I highly encourage if you want to learn about online marketing in a non-sleezy way), you’ll never be Marie. You won’t create what she creates, you won’t have her innovations or ideas, and that’s a good thing. Cause she’s got being ‘Marie’ down, really well. Even if you open Trader Sarah’s or Trader Paul’s with all the same deals – you’ll never be Joe. And that’s a good thing – cause Joe is already doing ‘Joe’ really well.
You know who you can be really well? YOU!
And that’s the best news ever because it’s the number one thing you’ve got going for you. Noone else can do you as well as you do – so focus on how well you can do it. How you can you be?
I know that for me, I can fall into comparison despair when I am looking out into the world and seeing how friggin’ fantastic people are at creating their empires, or healing the world, or creating community. But, when I process through those moments of heaviness, I find that what I truly want is the permission from myself to really let me shine. To let me fully bring it.
And then I can find inspiration in the places where I was feeling jealous. Inspiration to live my life in a way that fully expresses who I AM. Just like they are living their lives to fully express who they are. This changes my experience from one of wishing I was more like “them” into an experience of working to be more and more me.
I know it can be hard to flip that switch, so here are 3 things that I do when I’m in that space:
- Don’t indulge. You have to be a fierce advocate for your mental health – and when you start going into comparison, tell yourself “I don’t compare myself to others.” And stop it.
- Make a list of all the parts of your life that are wonderful and that you would never want to live without. Your partner, your family, your pets, your ability to sing…whatever it is for you. Then review this list and realize that if you were anyone but you, you wouldn’t have those things.
- Take steps in the direction of your own dream. Find clarity around exactly what you want and what it will look like and start hustlin’. You can have your life however you want, in fact you could even start an online marketing school or a hip grocery store.
Be you. ‘Cause you’re rad. – tweet it
Even if you have no idea who Marie Forleo is and you don’t have a Trader Joe’s in your town, we all go through comparison despair sometimes. Next time you feel yourself going down that road, implement the above steps – then leave me a comment and tell me about it.