3 Ways to Overcome Comparison and Use It To Grow Your Business

That was one heck of a title, huh? There may be a better one out there but it was important to me to be concise when titling this entry. Speaking of words…..

I posted an Instagram entry a few days ago that sparked a fire in many of it’s readers. There are so many of us that want to break free from the trend, yet can’t quite get behind our own individual tastes just because it’s not the majority. We strongly believe in what we believe, but if it’s not on trend, we just don’t share. Or if we do, it’s very subtle and not a bold voice in the crowd.

I’ll use myself as an example. Chipotle is the thing in millennial culture, y’all. Has been for around 5 or so years. I’ve actually had Chipotle tacos a few times this month because hello, it’s me you’re talking to. But to be honest, I prefer Moe’s over Chipotle. If I were to rave about how I love Moe’s, I probably wouldn’t get as many likes had I posted that I was obsessed with Chipotle. Same with guac. If you’re not part of the guac club, you’re not cool. (I say that sarcastically, btw). But i’m still developing a taste for it. I’ll choose queso and salsa over guac any day. La Croix leads the way, but I’ll gladly take my own stroll with my Blood Orange San Pellegrino. Slap the filter on your photo that gives the Cali, PNW, Vancouver feel, I’ll take PEI, Paris, Italy and Iceland. I think you catch my drift.

One of the trends these days is to adopt vague phrases that can be used in a wide array of situations. Essentially, it’s lazy communication camouflaged by trendiness. Your friend got dumped by her boyfriend? “You do you, girl.” Your buddy fail a class or didn't get the job they want? “You’re perfect just the way you are.” These are a few of many phrases that get thrown around on a daily basis and I’m not so sure they are received with the same enthusiasm in which they are given. They honestly don’t help at all. LOL.

So in an effort to perhaps start a revival or fire in the hearts of my peers, I typed out some words in the form of an instagram post that represent what we really are trying to say when we resort to these vague phrases. Our words have such power, so I wouldn’t be as opposed if there was some truth to these words, but the real truth is……..there is none. No one is perfect and bulldozing your way through the advice, experience, teachings, and support of others isn’t wise. Every inventor, innovator, and influential person had advisors, friends, mentors, and supporters. So nothing important in the world ever happened at the hands of one person completely alone. We need others. It’s the way we are built.

So, this little post encouraged folks to speak truthfully and thoughtfully to others AND THEMSELVES.

You can read the post HERE

So, yeah, you wrote an opinionated post, Kailee. So what? What’s new? Well, nothing really. I”m one person and though I can impact the world as much as I want to, I can’t change anything by myself.

But I wanted to write this post to supplement a little encouragement video I uploaded to my IGTV Channel. I don’t believe in just throwing things out into the world with no follow-up and hope that your life is changed. It doesn’t work that way. I’ve listed below a few actionable tips that you can do today to let go of jealousy and step into confidence. I’m mostly speaking to new business owners here, but these principles apply to people of every age, occupation, race, gender, ect, ect. So, how do we prevent from getting discouraged every time we scroll the ‘gram or Pinterest? Here’s what I’ve got for you:

  1. Protect Your Creativity By Only Allowing In What Will Help You Grow. I had no idea what this was but it has changed my life. When you first start out as a business owner, you are tempted to binge follow and scroll all day long getting inspiration for your next shoot and beyond. Girl, don’t do it!! I believe in you! When we overload ourselves with information and inspiration, we become overwhelmed. Overwhelm leads to feeling out of control, and feeling out of control leads to feeling inadequate, and when you feel inadequate, you feel unworthy. No, thanks. Healthy boundaries are good. Use your drive to gather information wisely by choosing 5 other photographers/entrepreneurs. ONLY 5. I suggest Katelyn James, Jasmine Star, Julie Paisley, Hope Taylor, and Jenna Kutcher. Other Picks would be Jordan and Amy Demos, Caroline Logan, Annamarie Akins + Caroline Logan’s L&A Group, Jordan Brittley, Jose Villa, Elizabeth Messina, and D’Arcy Benincosa. Choose wisely and then add on more accounts to follow when your seasons begin to shift. Or keep it at 5 or so. Your choice!

  2. Stop Feeling Like A Fraud. Sometimes our biggest obstacles are ourselves. We have to break out of our comfort zone and own our title even though we are starting out. Bake shops in their first year of business are still bake shops. Doctors in their first year of residency are still doctors. Teachers in their final internship or first day of teaching are still teachers. Even in the early days of your business when you’re struggling to find things to do or projects to start, give all your tasks a name. I say this because it will feel like the right thing to do to not adopt our title until we’ve reached Point B. Not true. If this is going to be your business and what you will be devoting your time and money to, it’s time to take it seriously. Even if you’re just watching webinars all the day long or taking photos of your cat until you get another photoshoot, it’s called professional development. Building a website, developing email templates, writing blogs, answering emails, creating collateral and a brand, it all falls under Business Tasks and Administration. Photoshoots and meetings, projects, and content creation for the week/month all are their own category. If you start building systems now, you’ll have healthy parameters to work in and you’ll be razor focused on what’s in front of you. Here’s some examples of how I schedule things in my calendar. I use a written calendar to keep track of important dates and master task lists, but my online calendar (Google Cal + iCal) is how I schedule my days and reference my framework for the day, week, and month. Wanna see my Calendar? Let me know in the comments below!

  3. Make A Plan And Stick To It. Block off 90 minutes in your calendar today or this week and brainstorm hard about your goals. Keep it simple at first and envision where you want to be a year from now. Try writing down three things you want accomplished by this time next year. Examples are: I want to book x weddings. I want to acquire lenses a and b. I want to book x senior sessions. I want to attend this workshop. Now break those down into quarterly goals and then monthly goals. Figure out or learn from someone else how to acquire those goals step by step. Then commit to them. Work on them every day. If one way doesn’t work, try something new. The value of having a plan is otherworldly. When you have a plan you are committed to, you stay on the path you’ve set upon and are less likely to rabbit trail into things that waste your time. I’m not just talking about daily time suckers like social media or YouTube, but also big picture things, like starting a futile project when you’ve already got two in the works. Or offering a new type of session and advertising it in a way that breaks up your consistency with the type of sessions you already offer. If you are on task and on the right path, your consistency will show and people will begin to trust you! Win-Win!!

I hope these tips helped you with your journey to overcome jealousy and be driven to your goals! Social Media was created with people in mind and a desire to connect! I’m in your corner cheering for you! As always, I’m here to help!