This post may contain affiliate links.
“Stop comparing your beginning to someone else’s middle. You’re just a few weeks, months, or years behind their current spot.” – Megan Purnell, entrepreneur and money-management guru (check her site out here).
This time of year, a lot of people get down to goal setting. If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I set my goals twice a year (on my birthday, which happens to fall in January, and 6 months later).
Isn’t it so easy to compare yourself to others around you, and wonder if you’re missing the mark? When setting goals, it’s important to keep that comparison mentality in check. Are you comparing apples to oranges, as they say, or apples to broccoli or something that makes a whole lot less sense? As cliche as that last line is, think about the category of what you’re comparing.
I’ve spent the last 18 months immersed in the latest free business training, webinars, and seminars from online gurus, doing my best to launch and run The Teaching Cove (which is just over 1 year old now, by the way!)
However, taking all these free webinars (and a few paid courses) from Blogger Heroes (as I like to call them) does really make you question if you’re making the mark compare to all these super successful entrepreneurs.
I’ve learned 2 key points:
One, everyone started from the bottom. Sometimes, their income is based on consulting or design services, and not only affiliate marketing and ad revenue. Some spent years of free hours in “trial-and-error” before launching something succcessful.
Two, be sure to compare like with like.
Why We Compare To Others
Personally, I think comparison happens for a few reasons:
- Social Pressure – We often want what others have, because we see it in front of us on display. Sometimes there’s a lot of social pressure to “be like everyone else”. Luckily, conformity has never been on my list of desires, but I do understand the pressure is there for some.
- Stress we put on ourselves – In this fast-paced world, there is often such a desire to achieve that we forget to take breaks, to slow down, or to pace ourselves. So, when we’re looking to compare, we choose the person closest to our goal to compare to, not the person closest to our current position.
- It Looks Easy – If you read my last motivational post, you know my thoughts on being “an overnight success”; the truth is that all of those people worked their butts off and spend years trying to be where they are now. Sometimes, they simply don’t talk about it!
What Are Good Benchmarks to Use to Compare?
Well, Megan Purnell has it right when she says “you may be weeks, months, or years from [a current idol’s] spot. When you look for your “Heroes” as I like to call them, be sure you read their whole story.
I’ve recently realized that it took most of my Blogger Heroes and average of four years to reach the point I’m aiming to get to myself. To “hit it big” if you will. Now, they had different reasons for this, but all of them started their blogs/ventures while working full-time for someone else and worked their blog as a second part-time or full time job to dedicate enough time to learning about blogging.
That’s not easy.
Some had another full-time person (a Virtual Assistant, a life partner, or a business partner) helping them out; some did not. So, simply looking at someone you admire doesn’t work; you need to look at how their journey compares to yours.
So, how can you compare to yourself? Well, all you really have to do is track your progress. Focus on your own goals, your own accomplishments, and making a timeline that you really believe you can stick to.
I’m not the only one who loves creating timelines and schedules. In fact, motivational blogger James Clear talks about how important it is to set a schedule, not simply a deadline
There are two reasons to do this:
First, without a schedule, you don’t have a plan. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone accomplish their goals without a solid plan. You need to have the WHAT, the WHY, but also the HOW. If you know what you want, truly believe in the reason you want it, but don’t have a plan, it won’t work.
Second, you don’t have an outlined commitment. I’m sure you know that I’m obsessed with Google Calendar and schedule in every bit of my day. Even if you choose to only schedule in a few items, having this solid commitment in front of you helps.
In case you haven’t had a chance to check out my post on How To Set Goals (one of my first ones on this blog!), or my post on 5 Goal Setting Facts you should know before you start, feel free to give them a read before you set your goals!
What goals do you have for 2018? How do you plan to keep on track and measure your goals? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. I read and respond to every comment 🙂
Have a lovely (and festive!) Monday!
P.S. Photo fans, the photo for today’s post (and poster!) is one I took right here in Barcelona during a photoshoot last year.
Grab Your Free Motivational Posters!
Want ready-to-print motivational posters delivered to your inbox every Monday? Join and you'll also get my no-fail Goal Setting Template. Access to a library of free teaching, organizational and motivational printables is included, too!