I’m going to give you one key to succeeding at work or with your own business. Stop comparing what you do to what other people or other businesses are doing.
It’s human nature to want to look at what someone else is doing and have that be a determiner for where you’re at, STOP DOING IT.
I have been blessed to have owned a relatively successful business for the last ten years. Ten years ago I was delivering bread to grocery stores and stocking their shelves for a major bread company. It was a regular nine-to-five job and it never occurred to me to try self employment. As I stocked bread and bagels in the same grocery stores everyday, I would talk to most of the same vendors, one of which was a bread guy who was self employed.
His business was like a franchise, he got paid 20% of the gross sales of all the bread he delivered. In order to own a route, you would purchase a specific territory and any stores in that territory were yours. You are paid 20% of the sales but you’re responsible for all your own expenses. This guy that I talked to everyday told me of a need that the other independent operators had – they didn’t have anyone reliable to cover for them while they went on vacation.
When individuals purchased these routes they paid as much as $200,000 for the territory, so you can imagine they have trust issues with any random person driving their truck and delivering their bread. The guy I talked to everyday had asked around about me and was convinced I was their guy. He told me the ins and outs and showed me the opportunity to create a solid business. As is common, many friends of mine said I couldn’t have a self-supporting business. I went ahead anyway and ten years later, the business is funding the steps to my dream work.
To make a long story short, other people started to take notice of how successful I was and wanted in on the action. I remember a few guys putting out fliers to try and take some of my business and I was freaking out. I went to my close friend (Chaka) and told him what was going on. He gave me some advice that has stuck with me until this day, he said: “don’t worry about what they’re doing or how they’re doing it, you just continue to do a good job and provide great service, and your customers won’t go anywhere.”
He spoke the truth!
Message to business owners:
When you own a business, the natural tendency is to worry about what your competition is doing and how much they’re charging. This is the old model; I want you to try something radically different. Instead of worrying about lowering your prices to match theirs, improve your customer service, make your place of business so welcoming and friendly people won’t want to leave. Your competition may lower their price and yes, they may get a few of your customers, but building a business is about finding those quality customers that aren’t only focused on price but on the whole experience. Those customers that leave you and go to the cheaper business will leave that cheaper business for another cheaper business that has even lower prices than them. While you’ll still be here with those loyal customers that you’ll have for life because of how well you have taken care of them: stop looking at your competition, look at your business.
Message to employees:
Do you feel like every day you’re in competition with other employees at your job? Do you constantly watch how they’re doing certain tasks and try to be better than them? STOP DOING IT! If you think that all you have to do is be better than that person and you’ll be fine, you’re sadly mistaken and you might as well start looking for a different job right now. With the economy the way it is, companies have the option to be picky now. If you want to keep your job, if you want to get promoted at your job, you have to stick out from everyone else. Stop looking at your coworkers and just focus on being the best employee at that company! Great work and hard workers will always get noticed and promoted.
Message for those chasing their dreams:
When you’re following the path to your dreams you always wonder how you’re doing. Usually you gauge your progress by looking at what other people who are on the path as you are doing. Do you have a friend who wants to do the same thing or something similar as you? You guys are friends but let’s be honest, deep down there’s a little competition, it’s our nature. When that friend comes to you and says “I just did this…” outwardly you say “great buddy” but inside you kind of feel like you’re failing, STOPPING DOING THIS! Be genuinely happy for your friend and look at their progress as motivation for you to get your butt into gear. It doesn’t have to be a friend, it could be a random person you know, what they are doing has nothing to do with you. Stop looking at other dreamers! Instead focus on pushing as hard as you can on your dreams, not giving in to your feelings.
What other people are doing and what they accomplish is not an indicator of your success or failure. Even if you made more progress than someone else it doesn’t matter – stop looking at others and push even farther. We spend so much time and energy comparing ourselves and our progress when that time could be spent getting to the next level of our dreams.
We all have been guilty of this at one point or another, let’s stop this together!
Have you been guilty of looking at other people or comparing your progress to theirs? Let us know in the comments: