You've probably heard that comparison is the thief of joy. I agree (for the most part... but we'll get to that in a few sentences). Spending your time and (more importantly) energy feeling inferior or superior to someone else is draining. I mean seriously! Are you really enjoying the blessings at your fingertips if you're always looking away, wishing for someone else's highlight reel?! I will confidently answer for you: no.
To be completely transparent, I've found myself comparing a lot lately. More specifically, comparing our business to others. Ohhhh what a dangerous game that is. How dare I take our precious little 10-month old company and compare it's successes to a company with four more years of experience? That's like having two kids and wondering why your 10-month old can't speak with the same intellect as your almost 5-year-old. LORD HELP ME. That's terrible.
Do you personally know the other company? The inner most personal thoughts of their leadership? The trials and tribulations they endured to get to where they're at? I will now confidently answer for myself: no.
So how is it fair to compare?
Look, I'm the first to admit that I'm a flawed human. I know I will keep comparing even after writing this blog; but you bet your ass I'm also going to keep calling myself out and holding myself accountable for being NICER TO OUR BABY BUSINESS. Poor little MCREY didn't ask for this.
Sorry, got a little carried away there... but I feel like most of you are still with me. I also feel like some of you might not be with me in 15 more seconds.
Wait for it...
Wait for it...
When used correctly, comparison can be powerful, effective and positive. Say whaaattt?! I know, but just hear me out.
As a young child you looked up to someone, right? A famous motocross racer, singer, chef, musician—insert whatever revs your engine here and this applies to you. You watched them; you studied their every move. You were aware of their failures, but focused on their successes. You learned from them to help make yourself better. In a sense, would you say that you compared your current reality to theirs? Then set a goal to work really hard and match or exceed said reality? See—comparison can be powerful, effective and positive.
Did you pick up on a few key things I mentioned?
“You were aware of their failures, but focused on their successes.” In order to have a healthy relationship with comparison, you must be (at least somewhat) aware of the failures, trials, and tribulations of the person or object you are comparing against. This helps set your expectations for your own experience and shape your overall attitude. This is why I love Guy Raz's podcast, How I Built This, hosted on NPR. CEOs and Founders share their stories—the good, bad and ugly. After listening to an episode, I suddenly feel so much better about making mistakes and literally having no idea what I'm doing or how to run a business... because so many of the greats were once in my shoes, and they successfully figured it out!
“You compared your current reality to theirs.” Reality vs. reality, not reality vs. highlight reel. Especially in an era of social media dominance, this is crucial. Y'all, did you know there are apps to change an entire person's appearance, the background of a picture, and add fake comments/likes/followers. WHAT?! I feel like I distrust more than trust what I see on social media... how sad.
This is why Kelly and I try so hard to be our most authentic selves on social media, without filters or someone else creating our content. We want you to be able to tell who is posting what. We want you to get to know who we are as people, sisters, and business owners. Because ultimately, that's the MCREY brand—and that’s why we started this blog. We want you to have a front row seat to our struggles as much as our successes.
So if I lost you, did I get you back? And if I had you in the beginning, hopefully I kept you... Comparison can be healthy (when used correctly in minimal doses). I know that I will always compare to some degree (I'm not one for setting unachievable goals... like cutting dairy out of my diet) so I am simply trying to be more cognizant of how I compare MCREY to other businesses:
- What are they doing that we should strive for?
- What type of leadership and team building techniques do I want to implement?
- Is there something we can borrow from their business model that will help us be more successful?
- What will MCREY never do?
I'm not arguing that comparison isn't the thief of joy. I still think too much time comparing yourself to others (positive and negative) takes away from your present—who you are, where you're at, and what you're working on. You will never grow if you're spending your time and energy trying to be somebody else. All I'm saying is that I'm working on a healthy relationship with comparison to help our business reach it's highest potential.