“Watching someone else totally go for it can be terribly upsetting to the person who’s spent a lifetime building a solid case for why they themselves can’t.”

My better half and second shooter, my husband, Joe, bought me a great Christmas gift this year. It’s a daily calendar filled with words of encouragement, things to think about, and so forth. It’s titled, YOU are a BADASS.  I love it! Not because it has a quirky, catchy title, but because it’s really filled with some pretty great thoughts.  The quote above is from the calendar and it made me think about all of the small business owners I’ve had the opportunity to talk to over the years.

As entrepreneurs we don’t have a boss whose attention we are constantly trying to catch in the desperate hopes that our talent and work ethic will be recognized and we can be considered for a 3%-5% raise or a next-level promotion. Instead, we have no ceiling.  We have no one who limits our potential.  No one, that is, except ourselves.  That’s a scary thought, isn’t it?

If you’ve ever caught yourself comparing your business to others in your field, and I know you have, because we are all guilty of this from time to time, and you’ve thought any of these thoughts:

  • “She has more clients because of where she lives.”
  • “They can charge those prices because they know this or that person.”
  • “He got into the market when it was fresh, so his work stood out.”
  • “They can travel and do destination weddings because they don’t have small children.”
  • “Of course she is doing well!  She has a spouse who is the primary source of income.  She can attend all of those workshops because her photography income is extra.”
  • “I don’t have the “extra” money to invest in mentoring or coaching.”
  • “They have better equipment, so that’s obviously why their work is so good.”

I could keep going with all the negative self-talk we so often tell ourselves, but you get the picture (pun totally not intended).  All of the excuses above is our way of building a solid case against ourselves for why we can’t accomplish the things we want for our business.  Don’t be your  own worst enemy.  Instead, I want to encourage you to be your Number One advocate.  Every time you start comparing yourself to another person in your industry and that negative self-talk starts, I want you to stop your thoughts dead in their tracks and tell yourself one thing you can do to move in the direction of what you really want for you and your business.  I truly believe that the passion we each have for our craft is special, it’s meant to be protected, nurtured, and fed so it can grow and we can make a positive impact in our lives and the lives of others.  We each have something to give, so don’t let comparison, hopelessness, and excuses stop you from the path you’re meant to travel.

I want you to sit down in a space that is free from distraction and sit in total quietness.  Let your mind, your heart, and your imagination be free to picture your business exactly the way you envision it.  Then I want you to write it down.  Put your vision on paper and keep it in a place you will see it every day this week.  Every time you start making excuses, I want you to write down an action step – a step you can take, no matter how big or small, to work towards making your vision a reality.  This week, I want you to dream big and go for it!



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