“When I look at this sofa, at what I’ve made, I’m thinking like wooahhhh, that’s amazing! I mean when I started on this show, I had no idea I could actually make a piece of furniture. I had no idea. And look at it. It’s amazing. So I really don’t care about how its’ judged or where I come. What I’ve managed to do rocks”.
Those were the words of the young man being interviewed on the final night on a New Zealand show, Design Junkies, I watched last night with my Mum. Half a dozen ingenious designers were competing over a period of weeks, after being briefed to create several pieces. It’s sort of like My Kitchen Rules, but with chisels, paintbrushes, and saws.
His self-belief, satisfaction, and confidence were exhilarating.
The transparent and joyful appreciation for his personal progress, his own development was a delight to witness. If there was any comparison, it was only with his increased skills.
He wasn’t looking outwards and asking himself if he was better than his fellow competitors.
Instead, he was looking inwards and asking “am I doing better than when I started? Have I improved? And he was finding great fulfilment in what he found.
He was mastering the art of The Reverse Gap for business growth. And that sense of achievement is formidable future fuel for his next endeavour.
“Rather than comparing yourself with others, compare yourself with who you were last week, last month, last year.”
This is what we need to do.
This is how I would love you to consider yourself and your journey in Your Next Chapter Business. Stay in your lane. Focus on your path. Connect to your vision.
On the show it was actually impossible to compare the work of each person – his or her style and approach was original and uniquely expressed. And the buyers who were attracted to each finished piece were as diverse and individual as the art itself.
And so it is with your business.
Please don’t try and emulate another entrepreneur. By all means, take inspiration from their determination, their creativity, and their desire to contribute.
It’s ok to be motivated by similar ideals and desires. But your business heart, your own mark on the world, needs to be a true reflection of you, for it to be sustainable, long-term. I often tell my clients to “put on their glass blinkers” – that way you can choose to see what’s happening in your market, but you can avoid being hijacked left and right, and stay focused on your own work.
So, take a leaf out of this young fellows book for your own Next Chapter. Step out of The Comparison Trap so you can notice and appreciate how far you have come. Then tune inwards and listen to your own desires and set your goals from there.
That’s the most effective way to grow you and your business.