Episode #34: How Comparison Hinders Potential Growth (Stalled Business Growth Mini-Series, Part 1)

DRIVEN: A podcast for modern entrepreneurs. How Comparison Hinders Potential Growth (Stalled Business Growth Mini-Series, Part 1)

In today’s episode, we’re kicking off a new mini all about how to get out of a business growth rut. Today’s episode is all about how comparison is ROBBING you of your growth potential. We’ll finish the episode with a weekly actionable tip.


Diane Sanfilippo: When we’re leading our own business; right, which is what we’re doing. We have to be somebody who is willing to sit and think sort of quietly, creatively; think ahead to what we want and what we want to create. Because if you’re constantly comparing and you’re sort of in lockstep with what someone else is doing, you’re contributing to growing the thing that they have decided to grow when it might not be what you wanted to do.

Welcome to Driven; a show about business, life, and wellness from two confident, curious women who are pulling back the curtain on what it’s like being an entrepreneur. Each week, join hosts Diane Sanfilippo and Cassy Joy Garcia talk about being your best, showing up for your dreams, and kicking self-doubt to the curb.

Diane is a business whisperer, best-selling author, and plant-hobbyist based in San Francisco. Cassy Joy is the founder of www.FedandFit.com, best-selling author, and casserole enthusiast. She calls San Antonio, Texas, home.

Cassy Joy: In today’s episode, we’re kicking off a new miniseries about how to get out of a business growth rut. Today’s episode, we’re going to zero in on how comparison is robbing you of your growth potential.

Topics:

  1. What’s on my plate [1:21]
  2. Shop Talk: Healthy Comparison [17:55]
  3. Unhealthy Comparison [23:53]
  4. Getting back on track [37:10]
  5. Tip of The Week: [51:33]

1.  What’s on my plate [1:21]

Diane Sanfilippo: What’s on My Plate. In this segment, we talk about what’s happening in our businesses, and in our lives for the week. So Cassy, what’s going on?

Cassy Joy: {laughs} Well, you know this occurred to me that this was an update worth giving, but I hadn’t thought about it. Because you know, there’s just so much you do and you don’t think about it. Right? When your spouse gets home, it’s not like you tell them; oh, by the way, I did XYZ around the house. Its just done.

But it’s good to make note; you said something about how; I think you were updating fonts or something with regards to Balanced Bites on the last episode. Or a recent one. And it reminded me that we’re actually doing that. We just relaunched www.FedandFit.com, what, just a few months ago. Six months ago? And it was a huge process. And we started this design discussion a good year and a half ago. And we have found a great designer. Her name is Blake, and she’s been working with us and doing a wonderful job. and like any wonderful, wonderful person that you’re working with, they also look at the rest of your body of work and they say; have you ever thought about elevating or updating XYZ?

And she peeked at our website and said; have y’all thought about updating these pieces? And essentially waved her magic wand; her design wand. That’s how I view design; graphic design. Is the waving of a magic wand. {laughs} because I don’t really understand it. But she waved her magic wand and came up with an iteration of our website. And as close as we got to www.FedandFit.com being exactly what we all wanted 6 months ago when we launched it, when she sent us that design file with a slightly different font, slightly different colors, a slight rearrangement of some of the concepts, I was like; oh my goodness. We are finally there. This is what we have been moving towards. But we never would have gotten to that iteration if we hadn’t just published the one that was good enough. You know?

So, it’s just exciting.

Diane Sanfilippo: Totally. I love that.

Cassy Joy: Yeah. I’m really grateful to have somebody with such a sharp eye as a part of the team who really gets what we’re doing from a brand and a content perspective. But, I’m also just; I’m grateful too, not that the first iteration was a mistake. But I’m really glad that we put it out there. Because if we hadn’t published it; if we kept waiting and noodling on it, we never would have had all the information to really make it what it’s going to be. So that will be coming soon.

And then this is just a really fun local thing, but I think it’s worth mentioning. I found out the San Antonio magazine is actually a local; San Antonio is such an interesting big city. It’s one of the top 10 cities in terms of population in the United States. It’s massive. But it has this small town feel. And there are so many things that are specific to San Antonio that we are just very proud of. And one of them is the San Antonio magazine. And folks buy this magazine. It has really impressive circulation.

And over the years, I’ve have great relationships with some of their editors. They’ll write up pieces; I did this one article years ago. Do you remember that picture of Gus and I sitting at the dining room table?

Diane Sanfilippo: I do. And we weren’t friends yet, and I was like; that’s weird.

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: But now I don’t think that, of course. It makes perfect sense. But at the time I was like; wow, this girl is really into her dog.

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s honestly; I didn’t know.

Cassy Joy: I’m good with it. I’m totally good with it. But that’s what it is. Gus; in case you don’t know, is our Great Pyrenees. And he’s enormous. And for this photoshoot; it was just a quick little feature. This was years ago, but we were like; wouldn’t it be so fun if Gus sat next to me at the dining room table with his bowl of kibble, and me and my plate.

Anyway, I just found out; they do an annual best of San Antonio awards. And all of the local businesses really like to participate. People really get motivated. And I got the surprise editor pick for best local, I think, dinner inspiration. And then my sister, Samantha, who owns and started Tall Poppy Florals, she won best florist in San Antonio. So it’s just so dang neat!

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s so fun! I love that.

Cassy Joy: I know. It’s so fun. So we’re going to go to a banquet together this Friday. I invited my whole Fed and Fit team. I don’t know; Fed and Fit is definitely a national brand, but I can’t lie that part of my motivation for moving back to San Antonio; I left Austin when I decided I wanted to start Fed and Fit. Because I thought; my hometown. This is where I’m needed most. Austin is going to be just fine. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: And side note; your husband’s name is also Austin, but you did not leave him. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: Thank you for making that note. No, correct. Austin, husband, lived in Waco. {laughing} And it got really confusing when I was commuting back and forth between all the cities.

Diane Sanfilippo: That would get confusing.

Cassy Joy: What do you have going on?

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, goodness. I had a heavy load of business updates last week, so I think I’m going to give some personal updates this week just to balance it all out. So Scott and I started watching Love is Blind; have you watched it?

Cassy Joy: I’m two episodes in.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok. I think we’re just a bit into the third episode. Because we can’t do the cliffhanger. We’re like; I need to see the next 10 minutes. I need to know what happens.

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: And then it just drags on a little bit. So we’re into that. We end up sort of cringe screaming at the TV.

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: And the pets freak out.

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Mason runs from wherever he was sitting between us. And Harper gets up like; what? What are we doing? What happened?

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: She’s; I think Harper is definitely a 6. She’s cautious in all that she does. So {laughs} that’s my Enneagram typing of our pets. But yes. She hears the loud noise, she’s like; what emergency do I need to prepare for right now.

Anyway, we’re having fun watching that. I did not think I would get my husband to want to watch it. But because of sort of the cultural phenomenon that it’s become, I think a lot of his patients are talking about it, and he’s like; I think I need to watch it. I need to know what they’re talking about. So I was like; yes! We’re watching this together.

This is a constant debate; we can’t find a show to watch together that we will both enjoy and be into. We’ve been watching Silicone Valley, and he is just not that into it. He’s like; ok, we’ll plug away at that today. I’m like; that’s the spirit.

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Type 1 vibes, right?

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: I can see Cassy’s face is like; hmm, sounds like something Austin would say.

Cassy Joy: It does.

Diane Sanfilippo: We’ll plug away at that today. Chip away a little more at that thing that I’m not so much enjoying, but I said I would do it.

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: Anyway. A little update on the coffee consumption; I had about a week where I was scaling back trying to see if that would help my sleep. And it turns out that it didn’t make that much of a difference, so I’m back to my normal amount in the morning. But the thing that I am going to be really aware of and tuning into is if I do decide to have; {laughs} a spot of coffee. Sometimes around 2 or 3 o’clock in the afternoon, after lunch, when I just look at my to-do list. I’m like; ugh, there’s so much! And I’m going to sit at my desk and power through it. Emotionally, I think I want the coffee. Because I’m like; this will help me get through it. I will have some enjoyment from it, and a little pep in my finger-typing step. And I’ll just get through it.

So, I’m going to pay attention to how that affects my sleep. It’s not the falling asleep, it’s the staying asleep. So I’ve been a little more consistent. I feel like this is something I can’t control while it’s happening, so I have to look at what are the factors the rest of the day. And this is a super important topic for those of us who are running a business. because our sleep is so important, because we are the company. You know? We have to be operating at our best when we can. Taking care of our immune health, taking care of our sleep, etc.

So anyway, that’s why I always talk about this. And I know coffee is always such a hot topic.

Cassy Joy: I’m curious. I have a question for you on that. Have you ever noticed theobromine; which is the kind of caffeine like substance in chocolate. I’m extraordinarily sensitive right now. I think probably just because I’m very pregnant, and I’ve reduced my caffeine intake. But I have noticed that at about 2 o’clock when I have two squares of dark chocolate, my body has a very similar reaction to if I did have, let’s say, an iced decaf americano, which is my go-to afternoon usual coffee drink, because it still has a little bit of caffeine in it. But I still have a hard time falling asleep with the chocolate. I’m just curious; have you ever played around with that.

Diane Sanfilippo: I haven’t noticed that. I haven’t eaten a ton of chocolate lately, aside from when we were in Portland. So I’m not sure. But I will pay attention to it, when and if I do have some chocolate.

Cassy Joy: {laughs} Ok.

Diane Sanfilippo: Again; I don’t know. I go in waves. I don’t; chocolate is not at the top of my list right now, which is very strange to me. And then the last thing I want to update on that is business related is; I’m doing something. I basically have tried before have not wanted to do but I gave myself a whole new point of view on it and I’m recommitting to doing it to see what happens. We’ll give it a go for a while, and if it seems to help and people like it, then great.

So, I have, in the past, done a monthly call with my Beautycounter team. So it’s several hundred women who could show up to it or not. At one point, we divided it up and made it like; we have a leader’s call, and a newer consultant call, and tried to really support people separately. Because there are some separate concerns that people have questions and support needed. But I could never get really consistent with it. I definitely feel affected typically by the fact that people may or may not show up on time, or to the live call. If it’s always the same people, it felt a little like; eyeroll. Ok, it’s the same people all the time, and they’re already doing pretty well and it’s not the people who really need it who are showing up.

Well, I also hit this point where I was like; I think there’s something that is valuable that can be shared from the team. It’s not always going to be from me. And I can look at this in a way; we used to do a lot more posting on Facebook. And people would go live for 5 or 10 minutes and share an experience. And instead of doing it that way where it’s kind of haphazard just on Facebook, it’s going to be more organized and done in this format.

So we’re taking that same kind of idea where if somebody had a great win that week, or the week before or whatever. Some experience. Some practice that they’re putting into place, etc. And just sharing it with the team. We have tons of resources across our larger team and across what HQ provides. But I do still think that there’s something within the community that sharing a story and hearing from somebody who is a peer is always really helpful.

So I’m going to give a whirl. So what I did was I reached out to a peer/colleague of mine who is in a different direct sales business, and I asked her. Because I know she has calls every single week. I was like; tell me everything about your calls. Well, not everything. She didn’t tell me what they talk about or anything of that. But just; how do you structure it. How do you get it to be consistent? So she gave me some tips.

So it’s going to be the same time ever week. It’s not going to move. If for some reason I can’t be on it, one of my other leaders will be there to lead the call. And it’s not going to be all about me presenting the information and leading the call. I will always be featuring someone else as well, so that they can share something that happened. And I’m using a format that’s pretty concise where I’m asking 3 to 5 questions that I give to the person ahead of time. And I’m also just doing a quick update for the week. Like, hey this new product is out, don’t forget. Or there’s a presale. Or whatever it’s going to be.

And then I think we’re going to do once a month, maybe a product highlight where we talk about a certain product and get people to be very well educated on that product and how to talk about it, etc. Obviously, if there’s a new product that month, we can talk about that if we have it. And then possibly once a month, an open Q&A. But I will probably still have a topic.

So what I’ve done is shared a graphic to my team; here are the calls for the month. Here are the topics. Here’s who the guest is going to be; almost podcast style. So it’s more organized. For me, I don’t really love being scheduled. I don’t love having calls. But I do love the consistency of knowing if I’m going to have them, this is when I show up. And I like looking back and being like; yeah, this is what I have. This is the resource. If someone asks me a question about getting started with live events, I can point them back to it. Just like we do with the podcast, where we know what was talked about that day, where can I point them, and it’s saved and archived. And it’s just there.

Cassy Joy: I like that, Diane!

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m hopeful.

Cassy Joy: You sent me a Voxer the other day, and you were like; I’ve decided I’m going to do weekly calls. I was like; blech! {laughs} But your recap and your overview of it just now; thinking of it as the podcast and resource building.

Diane Sanfilippo: Did I sell it to you? I think I sold it to you.

Cassy Joy: You sold it to me!

Diane Sanfilippo: And they’re 30 minutes. They are 30 minutes, and I am sticking to it. I think we got to 32 or 35 this week the first one; and I was like, this is not happening. It will be 30 minutes. Consistently, and we’re hanging up.

Cassy Joy: I like it, and I have tried weekly calls in the past with my Beautycounter team, and it was a similar experience. It was kind of a flop. Because so many of our consultants; sorry to go off on this tangent, but I feel like there might be a good group of Beautycounter consultants listening. Or other direct sales companies. But I feel like there are so many consultants that have 30 minutes a day to spend on this business. And I didn’t want them cashing in that time on what felt like work to them, but it was really just an excuse to sit down and not actually work.

Because there’s so much training. There’s an abundance of training available. But, I do think that it’s a good way to reach folks that you can’t reach otherwise.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. And the thing that I realized is; it’s a time and point of connection. And I’m not somebody who is always looking for that. I can have one or two friends that I connect with over it. But we’ve got folks who are in our organization who might not speak to us very often, because they’re kind of further away in the organization. Or perhaps we don’t even know them, or whatever the case may be. And I think that having a place for them to connect and have that community and get to know each other is extremely valuable.

Cassy Joy: Ok.

Diane Sanfilippo: So we’ll see. I mean, I will report back. It just started this week. I can give you a review in another few weeks. But I can tell that you’re like; I’m scheduling the call right now.

Cassy Joy: Can you tell? {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. She’s like, here’s what we’re going to do. And yeah, 30 minutes. We’re doing them Tuesday evenings at 5 o’clock pacific, 8 p.m. eastern. Which it’s great to start it now, especially in the spring. Because it is lighter longer. So that 8 p.m. on the East Coast doesn’t feel quite as difficult. And I know that people; there are going to be some people that are like; this entire season I cannot make it live. It is what it is. That’s the time it happens and it’s going to stay there, so that people know, as they go through. They can always tell people; this is when the call happens, and you can always catch the replay.

And I’ll probably download them and upload them to Facebook so they are archived. Like; here’s our March calls. So that people can always know where to find them. So that’s kind of a big deal for me. That’s a commitment. But I think it’s important in terms of being able to connect with this many people in a more personal way than a Voxer thread that’s a broadcast thread. Or even just a Facebook group. Because I’ve not been using my Facebook group very much, because I just can’t get stuck in there. That’s the update.

Cassy Joy: {laughs} Good update.

Diane Sanfilippo: That was a lot.

2.  Shop Talk: Healthy Comparison [17:55]

Diane Sanfilippo: Shop Talk. In this segment, we talk about topics that are on both our minds and yours. We’ll cover all sides of the issue, and hopefully land somewhere concise, actionable, and helpful. Cassy, why don’t you kick us off. You’ve got a little quote here?

Cassy Joy: I do. I didn’t mean to put that right at the very top, but I think it’s so fitting! Ok, so I like this quote. Today we’re going to talk shop about comparison. We’re going to cover when it’s healthy. We’re going to cover when it’s unhealthy, because we want to show both sides of the coin. And we’re going to navigate how to know when you’ve dipped into that unhealthy. Because sometimes it’s hard to be really self aware when you might be cycling between those two. And then what you can do to get back on track so that your business can actually get back to growing.

There was this quote; I use this to-do list app on Chrome; Google Chrome that I really enjoy. It’s called Momentum. It’s free. It’s a quick install. And when you open up a new tab in Google Chrome, it automatically populates with the time, your main focus for the day, and a to-do list, and a quote, and a beautiful photo from somewhere across the world. I love it.

And, this one showed up on Momentum not too long; I think it was yesterday, actually, when Diane and I were chatting about comparison in other settings. And I love this. It’s by Carlos Castaneda. And he said, “We either make ourselves miserable. Or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” And I think that’s so fitting for this conversation. Because we can spend so much time comparing ourselves to others, and making ourselves miserable over the differences. Or we can spend our time focused on actually building our businesses, making ourselves strong. And the amount of time and the energy required to do either one of those scenarios is essentially identical.

So you choose. Which one do you want? Do you want a floundering business that makes you miserable because you’re spending all of your time and energy on comparing yourself to others? Or do you want a thriving, successful business that helps you feel fulfilled and it’s taking the same amount of time. Which path would you choose? It’s an obvious choice, right? But so many of us fall into that first category.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, totally.

Cassy Joy: To kick the conversation off; Diane. I would love to know. I actually wrote this bullet point down, and I was like; I don’t actually know how I would expand on it yet. So I’m hoping Diane has some points. {laughs} Because I’m sure there’s a thought process here. But when would you say comparison to others could be a healthy thing to do?

Diane Sanfilippo: Ooof.

Cassy Joy: I want to start; I want to get the low-hanging fruit of the pros out of the way so we can really zero in on the unhealthy behavior here.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm. So immediately the analogy that came to mind is; basically, you know how in the nutrition space we often talk about counting versus not counting. Or weighing and measuring versus not weighing and measuring your food. I think that if you can look around and get a gauge without allowing it to put you in the trap of; I’m not good enough, or I don’t do this as well. Or I can’t do this, or I can’t this, I can’t that. Perhaps it’s ok.

I think there’s a certain amount of it that we can’t really avoid. So I think it’s a natural thing to compare. How can we not? Right? We’re humans. When we grow and develop, we’re constantly modeling what’s being shown to us. So I think that comparison is natural. And I think that our perception and our level of self-confidence, and what we’re all about, and our self-audit of what we are very highly skilled at; all of those things can feed into comparison, creating a healthy or unhealthy response.

Cassy Joy: So what if I put the label inspiration on it? I feel like a healthy comparison is if you compare yourself to somebody else, and you see a difference, and you acknowledge a difference, and instead of walking away and feeling less than, you walk away feeling inspired by.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes. I would say that is often what happens for me. And I would say; this is what got me to write Practical Paleo. I saw a book come out and I was like; oh, I think I can do that. Unfortunately for me, I sometimes have this hold back where until I compare myself to someone else maybe. Or until somebody else who I would consider a peer, or maybe a couple of steps ahead of me. Whatever that means in a career and life, etc. Until someone else is doing something, sometimes I don’t realize I have permission to do those things too.

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: So for me, that comparison often opens a door. That doesn’t mean that I then don’t sometimes get this gut punch of; when I do feel like I finally had an idea that was maybe going to happen first, and then someone else also does it. And I’m like; Uh! Like totally deflating because I went and was curious about what someone else was doing, and then it just makes me feel like; wow. I thought I had this cool new idea, but I guess I didn’t. You know? So sometimes it can do that.

But I would say, for the most part, I find that it gives me more permission than anything else. So that’s part of it.

Cassy Joy: I love that. When we’re seeking inspiration, permission to break the mold that maybe we’ve set for ourselves; I think those are great reasons to…

Diane Sanfilippo: Look around.

3. Unhealthy Comparison [23:53]

Cassy Joy: Yeah! In a healthy way, look around. Now, what we’re going to spend the majority of our conversation here is on the other side of that coin, when comparison becomes unhealthy. And an unhealthy comparison; the analogy that comes to my mind is picking a scab. It’s when you come across; is that too crude? {laughs}

You come across something. you know it’s not good for you. You know it’s not good; let’s say somebody has a similar business model as you. Maybe it’s a friend. Someone you know personally. Maybe it’s a peer. And you’ve been watching them. And your perception is; their business success is greater than yours. And so you almost obsessively start watching and consuming their content in a way to compare yourself. Your success or what you perceive as your lack of success to what you perceive as their abundant success.

And we keep revisiting these same wounds. We keep picking at it. And we know it’s not good for us. But what it winds up doing is stealing all of our time. And like Diane said; I’ve definitely been there, also. I have been in these seasons where I have compared myself, and it was a gut punch to other folks. Where I thought; why is it not working as well when I’m doing this thing? and it can derail me entirely. When what I’m doing, I probably wasn’t giving myself enough credit, usually in those seasons.

Anyway. That’s really where I think we want to zero in today. Because what this is doing is this is robbing you of business growth. And that’s what we want to talk about in this miniseries. Because if you find that you are not growing in your desired avenue of business; whatever it is. Whatever you’ve chosen that you’re going to build as your main hustle, or your side hustle, or whatever it is. If it’s not growing, there are probably some very commonalities, some low-hanging things that we can course correct, identify, and move past that will hopefully release this block for you so that you can really get back on the path to pursuing things.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. And a lot of it will have to do with your mindset and your point of view. And then a lot of it as to do with practical, how you’re spending your time. Because your mindset will affect how you’re spending your time, and vice versa.

So I think one of the things that can happen that when we get into the comparison place and it causes a negative response is self-sabotage. So this person has this; here’s one really tricky thing about comparison, especially with social media. Especially with strangers on the internet. I think sometimes people are comparing themselves to people that they should not be comparing themselves to. Because you don’t know the background. You don’t know how long they worked at that thing. you don’t know all the times they failed. You don’t know where they’re coming from, how they got there. You just don’t know the backstory. You really don’t.

Cassy Joy: It’s hardly ever apples to apples.

Diane Sanfilippo: Exactly. Even if it seems that way. Even if you and I had a book coming out the same day. You know? It’s like; it’s never the same. It’s always different. There’s always something really different about it. And we know how hard it is to not just compare when social media makes it feel like; well, we all have these 9 squares. We all have this many clips. This many seconds we can share something. the sameness of what social media creates as a place for us to compare ourselves makes things seem a lot more even across the board. Like, well if she started with zero followers this day, and so did I, but she got to this. You just don’t know.

So here’s an example that’s maybe a little bit out there. And I’m starting to talk about self sabotage, but I think this is important to not. There are a lot of folks who literally will start an Instagram account. {laughs} And we talked about Jennifer Aniston one day on this show. But, even someone like Marie Forleo, who really didn’t use Instagram several years ago. I remember being like; what is she doing? Why is she not on Instagram? We’re all here! You know, get over here.

And then pretty quickly, the following grows. And somebody who didn’t know who she was might be like; well how did that happen? And it’s like, you didn’t know that she’s got this YouTube channel for a decade. Just because you didn’t know that that work existed, or that time put into building something existed, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

So, I think that’s something that’s really important to remember. We just don’t know. It’s even hitting me now. Some of what’s out there where it seems like; wow. How is that happening so quickly? It’s not. It’s never happening quickly. Even if there’s this exponential, perhaps, growth spurt for someone. If that makes sense.

Cassy Joy: It makes a lot of sense. And that’s such a really, really good point. So Marie Forleo, she’s got an obvious differentiator. She has this wildly successful YouTube channel; this business school that she’s launched. She has a lot of notoriety and a lot of authority in the industry. Those are noticeable variables.

But even on a microscale, there may be somebody. Let’s say if you are in a smaller company, you’re a consultant for a direct retail company out there. And you, and what you might consider a peer in the industry, maybe you think you have very similar social circles. You have very similar approaches to business. But something is working really well for that person, and maybe you don’t feel like you’re getting the same amount of traction. I think the important thing to remember here is that there are always going to be unknown variables at play.

And if you approach that comparison from a lack mindset, from a; “Why can’t I have what she has?” you’re giving up. That mindset that you’ve just essentially bestowed over that comparison is that you’re losing. She’s winning, and you’re losing. Or he’s winning and you’re losing. Right?

And to get back into a comparison model that could be healthy would be to say; what can I learn here? What can I learn from this person? I think that we’re very similar. And what a great opportunity! If you are very similar, and you don’t have a massive differentiated, like Marie Forleo with her wildly successful career before Instagram; lucky you! Lucky you, you have somebody so close to home that you can seek inspiration from.

And what I encourage you do is I encourage you to swallow your pride. Say; I can do this too. I need to just figure out what’s in my blind spot. And it takes a big person to do that. So this is a huge leap, but if you look at it and don’t say; I can’t have that because she has it. It’s not me versus that person.

And Diane and I both understand this. And I think we both have; it’s something that maybe; I take for granted as my growth mindset, and I know you have one as well. It’s not a matter of; we’re all fighting over a larger piece of a pie. Diane and I operate from a very sincere place of; we’ll just grow the pie bigger. And if you get to that point that you are not borrowing work from each other; she’s not taking your followers on Instagram. She’s not taking your business. She’s not taking your enrollments in a nutrition program. They’re not taking your sales for this direct retail company. What’s happening is that you’re part of a similar pool. You can learn from each other. And you go out and get your own clients.

Diane Sanfilippo: I was just laughing when you said something about; make the pie bigger. I was thinking, when we hosted that event over the summer, and it was like; we just went out and got more avocados. We’re just going to make more guacamole. We think we need more; we’re just going to make more. It’s fine. Did we run out of lemonade at my lemonade stand when I was 7? We’ll just make some more.

Cassy Joy: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think people assume that there are so many finite resources, and truthfully, pretty much our only finite resource is time. I don’t know what else is finite in this moment.

Cassy Joy: Depends on who you ask. Somebody might say money. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t believe that.

Cassy Joy: The one I’m married to would say that. {laughing} Just kidding.

Diane Sanfilippo: Good thing you married them.

Cassy Joy: I’m halfway kidding. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I really don’t think it is.

Cassy Joy: It’s not.

Diane Sanfilippo: And because my practice has been; I mean, that’s a little, I know tongue in cheek or whatever. But I have a really, I think I have a strange money philosophy. Anyway. I feel like it has a boomerang effect sometimes. Like, I’ll give it away and it comes back.

Cassy Joy: I agree.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think it’s energetic. I think it’s just energetic. But I think you hit the nail on the head with something you said about; if there is a massive differentiator that you may or may not even know is there. And I think that happens a lot. And I think that we see this happen sometimes in the business that we’re in as Beautycounter consultants. It’s part of what we do. And we may have people who come join our teams, and they’re actually very aware of that massive differentiator. So they come onto the team, and they don’t have an assumption that they’re going to build a business that’s exactly the same as what we’ve built. Because they know the differentiator. Because it’s kind of why they got here. Why they decided; hey, I want to work with you.

But I think there can be people who maybe peers in this space and not have any clue what’s behind door number two. So even though we might be peers here, they might have a huge network of people that they’re friends with, and this whole other life that could help them to get where they are in this way, and I have no idea about that and they have no idea about what I’ve done of what you’ve done.

So I do think that part, while we can’t always know it, I think knowing that it often exists is really helpful. Knowing that there is some kind of big ball of wax that you don’t know about. It could also be a moment of magic.

Cassy Joy: It could be.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m just going to put this out there. So with Practical Paleo, when it came out in 2012, it was there through 2014, obviously because it came out in 2012. In 2014, there was a huge boom in the paleo movement. There were lots more books out, etc. I could never tell someone; here’s what you do to have the same success with a book as I had with that book. To sell as many copies as I did over that amount of time. To be on the New York Times’ list for however long. It was a moment of magic. I happen to be someone who created a great resource at the right time, the right place. All of that stuff combined.

There was something that was this differentiator that I did not control. So I think that’s also important. I think it’s just important to know that that exists, even if you don’t know what it is for someone else. Because it can take the pressure off. And one mindset or way of looking at things that I want to present. And I don’t know if you’re going to think that this is a little bit crazy but when you get into a space of comparison, and you feel like someone else has something that you don’t, and you’re envious. Because that’s the problem with comparison; it creates envy. It paralyzes you. You feel like self-sabotage. I’m not going to do anything because she’s already doing it, and better, whatever it is.

I wonder; what is it that you have that that person doesn’t? And not in a nasty way. Just in a; well, what makes me me? What’s different about me that I can lean into that I can talk about and be proud of and share with people.

Because I think what we find when we’re looking at our businesses is, the more authentic we can be, the better. The problem with authenticity is when you’re trying to do authenticity, you’re not being authentic. Right? You can’t try at it. You just have to be you. But somehow, we’re looking at these formulas of what works for other people thinking; well that should work for me, too. But you’re not them. So while there may be a common thread of; let’s not post the worst lit, worst plated photos on Instagram and expect them to do well. Well, if you’re Martha Stewart you can because it’s freaking hilarious.

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t know if she still does that, but when she first went on Instagram, her content was so hilarious, because she would post the worst lit, worst plated photo. And we’re like; that’s amazing. Right?

Cassy Joy: {laughing} Yes!

4. Getting back on track [37:10]

Diane Sanfilippo: But we can’t do that and get engagement on those photos. Anyway. I think those are just some perspectives to keep into it. So how do people know if they’ve really gone too far into that unhealthy place, and how do we get back on track?

Cassy Joy: Ok. So, I think; you probably can self-audit this one pretty easily, right. You know if you’re in an unhealthy place. The symptoms are; your business isn’t growing. You’re spending the majority of your time complaining about somebody else in your industry. Whether it’s to your spouse, or to other colleagues; whatever powers that be. You’re spending so much of your time complaining about how they are doing better than you. Or they’re stealing your business.

Another symptom could be that you’re jut feeling less than. Maybe you’re not complaining, and maybe it’s not an outward thing. but you’re feeling like you’re ill equipped to take something on. So those are the symptoms to know.

Diane Sanfilippo: I would add to that; comparing yourself to your own past self.

Cassy Joy: Oh, yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: In a negative way. I think that’s a triangulation of; there’s this other person, and then there’s me and what I think and expect I can do. And what I used to be able to do. I think that’s kind of another sort of invisible, but there. That’s a big one.

Cassy Joy: Totally. That’s is a big one. That’s a great one. So that’s how you know if you’ve dipped into this unhealthy comparison game. Now, what can you do to get back on track? Number one we have here; I’ll let Diane chat about it. But how do you handle folks on social media, in particular, when you find yourself feeling less than for one reason or another by following their content?

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, I talked about this a little bit last week I think. I mute people often. And I even do this to some friends. Because I love them and I don’t want to unfollow them. But sometimes I just can’t see their content for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s personal or professional. Or it’s just, I notice it’s distracting me from doing what I need to do. Or I’m feeling like it’s influencing me too much in one way or another. I will mute, and then I will unmute. Sometimes I’ll mute stories, if I just feel like I can’t see their stories because it’s making me feel like I should be doing something that I’m not doing. Or sometimes I’ll mute their posts, as well.

You know; sometimes, for me, just as a side note. Sometimes it’s a personal trigger. I’ve had some folks where I can’t follow because there’s too much skin. There’s too much skin in their post. There’s too many ab photos and things like that. And that’s just not a place I want to live. It’s not what I want my feed to look like. I want nail art. {laughs} I want food. I want homes. I want gua sha. These are the things I want in my feed. And I don’t really want to see a lot of skin. It’s just not what makes me feel happy and inspired and motivated. And so I just mute them, if it is a friend. Because I’m not going to hate. Everyone can do what they want to do. I’m not going to judge it. And I don’t want to really be unsupportive. Because I think unfollowing is kind of; it’s a little bit more unsupportive. But I will use that mute button often.

Cassy Joy: I think that’s so smart. So use the mute button liberally. And if you’re sitting here and you’re thinking; ok there are 9 people I’m following just to punish myself. Just to pick at a scab. Diane and I are giving you permission right now to go in and mute them. Maybe they’re colleagues and friends.

Diane Sanfilippo: Or unfollow!

Cassy Joy: Or unfollow.

Diane Sanfilippo: If you want to unfollow; if they’re not a friend of yours. If you don’t know them personally. And you guys; this is like, hello. Vulnerability for me to be like; I have muted friends. Personal friends that I’m just like; I can’t see it right now. It has nothing to do with them, right? But if it’s a stranger and I don’t want to see the content that they post, definitely unfollow. Because they’re not going to be upset or know anything about it. Sorry.

Cassy Joy: No, that’s good. And the people who would fall into this category, to expand on it further; maybe you’re feeling less than when you watch their content. You’re second-guessing yourself. Or, it angers you for one reason or another. It makes you want to go into a, “She can’t do that because of blah, blah, blah.” Right? That is going to be a huge time suck. And this is going to keep you from growing your business. So put that person on your mute/unfollow list.

Number two; how to get back on a growth track for your business is to remember that these people who you’re comparing yourself to; they’re not actually taking anything of yours. You’re not entitled to what they have. Your business is your business, and their business is their business. They’re not taking your clients. Your followers. They’re not actually in your home pulling the TV off of your wall. They’re not taking anything of yours. So remember that. And repeat it to yourself.

Diane Sanfilippo: That is such a good one.

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: It is. People really think that.

Cassy Joy: They do.

Diane Sanfilippo: “That’s my follower. My reader. My member. My customer.” Whatever it is. You do not own that.

Cassy Joy: Exactly. Ok, next; clear your head and figure out what you actually want for your business. I think this is a really great point. Diane, do you want to expand on it?

Diane Sanfilippo: Mmm. Oh, I’m nodding my head because that is what I end up doing when I find myself spending too much time doing that comparison. And I think it is also really important when we’re leading our own business. Which is what we’re doing. We have to be somebody who is willing to sit and think sort of quietly, creatively; think ahead to what we want and what we want to create. Because if you’re constantly comparing and sort of in lockstep with what someone else is doing, you’re contributing to growing the thing that they have decided to grow, when it might not be the thing you wanted to do.

Let’s just say you’re following someone who blogs twice a week, and you’re like; ok, well I’ve got to do this and that. What if that’s not your goal? What if your goal was to actually grow something totally different? But because you felt like you had to keep up with the Jones’ or whatever. Sorry to beat up on the common names. But I think you could end up building something that you really did not want to build. Does that make sense?

I think if I had gotten into blogging in a way that I felt like I should, because I really was a blogger for several years. But then everything changed about it, and it didn’t feel like it was the thing that was right for me. But if I had gone along with it; like, well this is what everyone around me is doing, and I’m comparing, and I feel like that’s what we’re supposed to. I think I would have looked back and been like; wow. I did that, and I built this thing, and it wasn’t me. It wasn’t the thing I really needed or wanted.

So anyway. I just think that that would be a shame, if somebody was constantly doing that and not really tuning into their own piece of magic. What is it that you could really be going for, that you are so great at?

Cassy Joy: You’re going to miss out on your own secret sauce.

Diane Sanfilippo: Totally.

Cassy Joy: if you do that.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I like sauce.

Cassy Joy: {laughing} Ok, the last one we have here on how to get back on track so your business can actually start growing again. I say this with love, and I hope as bluntly as possible. I need you to get back to work and stop wasting your time worrying abut what others are doing. Full stop. Ok.

If you’re spending your time worrying about what others are doing, you are wasting your time and you’re not spending it on your own business. Like Diane said; time is finite. So you choose how you want to spend it. It’s the same amount of work; worrying about what others are doing, or getting to work on your own dang business. {laughs} So, you choose.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. So not only; you’re kind of losing in two ways when you do this. Not only are you not spending time on your business, but this other person is continuing to charge ahead.

Cassy Joy: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: So now not only are you not “keeping up”, but you’re also not really contributing to building your own thing. because you’re so busy looking around at what someone else is doing and complaining about it and saying; it’s not fair. Stomp our feet and cry it out. But the reality is; get to work. Get. To. Work.

Cassy Joy: Keep your head down. It will be worth it. I have worked through seasons like this. I don’t want y’all to think that Diane and I are sitting here on these holier than thou thrones that we’ve never been touched by these feelings before. I absolutely have; it was before the mute days. I had to unfollow people who I have gone back in healthier mindsets and refollowed and can really cheer for. Because I realized, and I was finally able to internalize, that they are not taking my people. We are not competitors and we can grow this pie as big as we want.

You can get there. You really can. You just have to commit to going through essentially a comparison detox so you can get back this unhealthy stage so you can get to a point where you’re ready to humble yourself. Figure out what’s working for them. Seek inspiration. And be ready to cheer them on.

When you can cheer on the people who you previously thought of as competitors, you’ve arrived. You’ve gotten where I think is a really good place to be.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I think when you find the people that you’re comparing to, and there’s a negative response; anger, jealousy, envy, whatever. Here’s the real-real. It’s exposing our own insecurities. At the end of the day, that’s what’s happening. And whether or not we want to agree with that. It just; it doesn’t mean that we need to be more like them to not have those insecurities. It doesn’t mean that we need to get to where they are to squash the insecurities. It means we need to work on ourselves; our own self-concept, our self-confidence. Building ourselves up in the ways that makes sense for us so that we can get to the place, like you said, where we are cheering for each other.

And I think that; it is one of the things that helps us. As peers and also, I say in quotes, competitors. Because we don’t care about that. It helps us to be in spaces where we’re consistently “competing” but also very much like; go! You get it! If it’s not going to be me, let it be you! You know. It’s very much that attitude of; I am cheering for my peers who are doing things. Because I also realize when they succeed, we all succeed in so many ways.

This is something that; you know, one of the things I’ve tried really hard to do. And I’m not always good at it, and I’m definitely not always perfect at it. But this is something that, if you need to find a way to create a practice where you get better at not being jealous and not comparing in negative ways. There were times when I had a book release the same day as a peer or a colleague; I don’t remember exactly who, but I know it’s happened.

Look, if it’s not a friend or someone I’m close with, I don’t need to be promoting some random other book just because it releases the same day. But I remember there was at least one time where someone else had a book that came out on the same day as mine. And I was like; I’m going to make it a point to be sure that I share about that person’s book today.

You know who did this just recently, this week, was Glennon Doyle. She has a new book that came out called Untamed. And I think she had a blog post, I saw somebody posted about it on Instagram. And she talked about her new book. And in the same post, she talked about other relatively new books in the realm that people might be interested in. And I was like; that’s how you do it. Like, it is not the me show. When I am gone, I want my legacy to be that I didn’t need to squash anyone down to get where I was. And in fact, if other people ended up more lifted than I was in my wake; good. That’s a better thing to leave behind.

I feel like if you can get to this place where; instead of feeling like you have to compare or be the same or better or whatever. If you can find a way to say; hey, this person is awesome, and you can lift them up. Even if they’re already up. That’s the hardest, right? To lift someone up who feels like they’re already up; and you’re like; uh!

Anyway that was a lot. But those are my deep thoughts.

Cassy Joy: But that’s a great exercise. That’s a great exercise. Because what a generous place you get to come from when you support somebody that you might be perceiving as more successful than where you’re at right now. That is going to do so much for your soul, and your heart, and your mindset. It might feel like work and a labor in the moment. But pressing publish on that. Or going onto that story and being really, really generous with your congratulations and your support of somebody else that could be perceived as a competitor who is taking things from you. That action, on its own, is going to do wonders for you.

Diane Sanfilippo: Totally. And I actually think that; if you observe the way you respond when someone else does that, and you realize that you actually appreciate the fact that you like and follow them, and now they shared someone else that you might also like and follow. It doesn’t take away from you; it just helps you to be in a place where you’re thinking generously instead of in this envious way. And that’s the place that I always personally come back to, as to how to stop comparing and being in a negative mindset. How do I get more generous? Because that’s really where I want my mind and my heart to be.

4. Tip of The Week: [51:33]

Diane Sanfilippo: Tip of The Week! In this segment, we give you one tip that you can take action on this week to move your business or life forward. Cassy, why don’t you give us a tip?

Cassy Joy: Ok. So I want you to actually sit down, when it’s quiet and you actually have time to focus. I want you to be really honest. I want you to pull up Instagram, and I want you to think about the accounts that you type in to go look at. Because you’re looking to see what they’re doing, so you can compare yourself against them in an unhealthy way. And I want you to mute them. If they’re your personal friends. We’re giving you permission to mute them. Their stories and their feed. And, if it’s really bad, then go ahead and unfollow them. They will understand and you can come back; circle back. If you don’t know them at all, and this is just something that you’re following this person so that you can think negative thoughts about them or feed this feeling of insecurity that you have; definitely unfollow them.

So I want you to make this list. And push it. Go in and mute between 5 to 10 people. I have a feeling this is probably a healthy exercise for just about everybody, even if you do feel like you have a great abundance mindset. There’s probably something somewhere, whether it’s business or health or wellness or family related. If you’re following somebody so that you can feed an insecurity that you have, and you’re consuming their content, then just be really honest with yourself and go ahead and disengage.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s it for Driven this week. If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe in Apple podcast, on Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Follow us on Instagram @TheDrivenPodcast. Cassy is @FedandFit and I am @DianeSanfilippo.

Tune in next week for the second part in our mini-series on stalled business growth. We’ll be giving you more tips and advice for how to handle when you are too proud to be seen as starting small or failing. We’ll see you next week.

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