I'll admit! The comparison game can sometimes get the best me. Because--ya know--competition can feel personal, especially in the creative industry. Is anyone with me? Comparison and competition are different, but they go hand in hand-- you must compare in order to compete and you have to be competing in some way to feel the need to compare. We all do it. Yes! Even YOU reading this. I'm sure. When you're comparing yourself to your competition and realize that you're on the up, it can be encouraging. It's when you feel like you're losing when comparing can get the best of you.
On a personal level I hate the thought of comparing myself/business/dreams/etc. to other people because in some way I feel like it insults my uniqueness. Haha! I should stand on my own and not care about what anyone else is doing. The thought of comparing myself to others challenges my individualism, and that drives me bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S!
Because I cringe at the thought of competition I naturally thought it was a weakness of mine… something I shied away from, ignored, or backed down from. Little did I know that competition was actually a strength of mine. In this past season I have been doing research on my own personality and entrepreneurial strengths, and I was surprise to find that the word "competition" is actually in my top 5 strengths. I never would have guessed. But now that I look back I realize that the reason I feel like shying away from competition is because it strongly effects me….And what I do with that feeling can make all the difference.
So, I thought it would be interesting to facilitate a 5 part conversation around the idea of dealing with competition like a pro. And this is the first installment.
One of the very basics in learning to handle competition like a pro, in my opinion, is just understanding and accepting the idea that:
There is room for you in the world // There is enough work to go around // You are needed.
One of the big fears that creatives have is thinking that they'll be shoved out of their industry due to work being scarce, someone taking their place, or the over-saturation of talent. Well, let me tell you that this is a very big world with lots of people, clients, sectors, genres, demographics, and more. Not one company can get all the jobs, fulfill all the needs, and be everything for everyone. This world is not too small for you. And this world is not too small for your competitors. I have been through numerous bouts of questioning the end of my career due to the plethora of competition in my field, and still every day I wake up with more work than I can handle. My friend, take it from me, even when the competition is high--very high--there is more than enough work to go around! Today, all you have to do is rest assure that YOU ARE NEEDED.
If you're not getting the amount of work that you would like or need, there are a few things to tweak in your brand, business model, or website to create the demand for what you do. We'll talk more about that in the coming blog posts in this series! But for today, know that there is room for you and you are needed.
READ: PART 2