Back when I first started my organizing business, I was always looking to see what other organizers were doing. I thought that comparing myself to others was exactly what I needed to grow my business.
I joined every organization out there to learn more from others. And took classes, workshops, and met up with as many people as I could to get advice or tips.
But shortly after I did all of that, I realized that I was feeling like a failure. A fake. I was questioning why someone would hire me to help them organize their home when there were other organizers out there with more experience.
I felt that I needed to do more in order to feel like I was an actual organizer.
But I was getting clients asking for my services. They were writing reviews stating that I was an amazing organizer.
So I asked myself why I felt like I wasn’t living up to what I was supposed to be doing.
And that is when I realized that I was comparing my business to others in the industry. I was looking at them like they were superior to me. When we are all on the same team…team “get our clients organized”!
What To Do When You Are Comparing Yourself To Others
Have you ever felt that way? Like you are not really a successful business owner. Or that you can’t start your business because you aren’t “ready” yet?
Maybe you see what other business owners are doing and you question what you are doing.
All of those feelings are totally normal. I have felt them countless times. But I have learned a few things to help reduce those feelings so you can actually focus on the things you want for your business.
The Comparison Game
Oh social media. I love you but you are probably the leading cause in businesses comparing themselves to other businesses in their fields.
Ever notice that when you look at what other’s are doing you start comparing what you are doing to them? Then you think you should be doing the same thing, even though you have no interest in it?
Let me tell you a story. A few years ago, I started building my team. And as I was building my team, so was another organizing account.
And with them growing their team, they also were traveling. A.LOT. So I thought I should be traveling too.
I started searching for jobs outside of my area. And I got one. I traveled to do the job. But guess what? I hated every minute of it.
Because I hate sleeping away from my own bed. I hate changing my morning routine. And I need my own coffee to get moving in the morning.
So I decided that I would not travel again for a job because I don’t enjoy it. I like being home with my family at the end of the day. And I need my bed to actually sleep.
Now, whenever I feel myself thinking I should be doing something because someone else is doing it, I check my goals and see if it fits. If it doesn’t, then I am going to forget it. And if it does, then I can make a plan to make it happen.
For me, I use PowerSheets to set my goals so I can stay focused on what actually matters. I have also used the Full Focus Planner for goal setting as well. Just find a system and stick to it for a full year!
Another thing I have done and have seen with business owners do is second guessing decisions.
I think this happens more when you are in the beginning of your business, but I have had a few moments recently where I question myself.
One situation where I have second-guessed myself was early on in my business.
I started out charging what I thought was a fair amount for my services. I was booking jobs, and getting amazing reviews. Another local organizer reached out and wanted to chat.
So I met her for coffee and she told me I wasn’t charging enough. She told me that industry standard was a specific amount and if I didn’t charge that much, I was making the entire industry look bad.
After leaving that coffee meeting, I started second-guessing everything I was doing. Her words got in my head. I started to question my decisions.
Instead of listening to myself, I ended up listening to her. And lost a lot of business because of that.
I have also seen organizers second-guess themselves when they get a negative review or comment on social media.
To combat the second-guessing, I found it helpful to go back to my goals.
Again, that keeps me focused on what I actually set out to do. Another thing I like to do when second-guessing myself is to write down why that second-guessing idea may or may not be a good idea.
I will make a pros and cons list. When I take time to write things down, it helps me process more of what I am thinking, rather than just being reactive to situations.
Overcomplicating Things In Our Business
Ever notice that when you start a project you are not sure about, you start to overcomplicate it?
When I wanted to set up my website to look exactly what I had envisioned in my head, but I was so intimidated to get started.
So I created some really overcomplicated ways to create the vision I wanted for the website. It was taking me so much time and I was getting really discouraged.
Then my husband saw what I was doing and told me there was an easier way to do what I wanted to do. Once he showed me, I realized that I did overcomplicate the entire process.
I think we overcomplicate things because we get overwhelmed and our brains aren’t sure how to proceed. Just like our clients, we get paralyzed with the piles of stuff in front of us.
To combat the overcomplicated tasks, I do invest in hiring people to help. I found that when things are getting too “complicated” for me, it may be time to let someone else do it.
Just like my clients hire me to help them with their complicated organizing tasks, I can find someone to help with my complicated tasks as well.
When I first was starting out, I didn’t have a ton of money to invest in help. So I would trade services with people to help me with things.
I started keeping track of how long a specific area of a home took, and would barter with someone for things like photography or copywriting based on hours of work. It felt like a more effective way to trade services.
But as my business grew, I am able to invest in hiring others to take those tasks I am overcomplicating. This way I am saving myself time and stress on things that I find overwhelming.
The Stories We Tell Ourselves
Whenever I talk about this one to my coaching clients, I find that they may not notice the stories they are telling themselves.
The stories we tell ourselves are our inner voice. The one that either cheers you on, or that tears you down. Those voices tell yourself a story. One where you are a successful organizer. Or one where you fail miserably.
Listen to yourself talk about things that are challenging. What do you say to yourself?
I noticed that I was using a lot of negative self-talk when I first started my business. I didn’t believe in myself.
So I started reading a lot of books on the topic of self-help and self-talk. I replaced the negative self-talk with words of affirmation. And I write in my gratitude journal daily.
When I focus on the positive and the ways I have overcome challenges in a useful way, I am more likely to try new things and test out different approaches.
Comparing Yourself To Others
I hope you found some of these strategies helpful when I notice I am comparing my business to others.
For me, hearing what other’s have gone through has helped me feel more in line with what I am doing. Because knowing that I am not alone in feeling this way, has been so helpful.
My goal is to inspire you to focus on what you love to do. And help as many people are you dream!