You can find a post just like this a thousand times over on this ever-growing world wide web. I've probably read five different ones this year alone (okay, maybe more) but it doesn't make it any less real. This is my story of my run-in with the always-ugly Compare-Monster.
Some days as an entrepreneur you can take on the world! Everything falls into place, you're making money, clients are calling (well, emailing because let's be real, who still calls), your website looks great, you have so many connections, what could go wrong! But THEN... the next month, the next week, heck, sometimes the next day something happens and oh look who shows up: The Compare-Monster.
Even if you're not an entrepreneur you know who I'm talking about. That voice that sits there and says mean things, telling you you're not good enough and definitely not as good as That One Chick.
I've heard, "You'll never make a living on what your clients are paying because you don't charge what So-and-So charges!"
"You thought you'd be satisfied with this many clients? So-and-So has WAY more this year!"
"You thought your website looked nice?! Ha! Are you even a professional?"
"What's up with your Instagram? There's no consistency in colors, and how are your clients even going to find you, you hardly post once a day? So-and-So is SOOO much better at Instagram than you are!"
Yes, Randy is THAT sassy! Yes, I named my Compare-Monster Randy. And some days Randy tells me it would be so much easier to just sell my equipment and stop wasting so much time and energy on something that is taking me no where.
So how to I shut Randy up? Unfortunately, it's not a thing you can do once and he'll never come back. Instead you have to find a few ways that work for you to help quiet him, here are a few of mine.
1. Surround Yourself with Supportive People
I can't even tell you how many times in the last seven years that my husband has heard me say "I want to quit." Do you know why I haven't? Because he won't let me, in a good way that pushes me to fight through the bad days, reminding me of my accomplishments and giving me the space to sort out why I'm feeling like I want to quit. ❤
Friends and family have also heard me vent but they're also the ones who know more than anything how much I love what I do and how much joy I get out of it. Even yesterday, I text a friend and said "I shouldn't have gone to So-and-So's website! Hello, Compare-Monster." Her response? "Right? She's great! But so are YOU!" Thank you, Jesus, for friends like this!👈
Actually, this is just the answer for everything! 🙏 But for real, as I started to be more intentional in adding prayer daily, not even praying about my business necessarily, but about family, friends, marriage, pain... things feel less trivial.
3. Unfollow Randy's Friends
Randy isn't going to give you their names but if you start noticing that seeing certain people's posts online make you hear Randy's comments - unfollow them! You're not obligated to follow anyone. Heck, take a Social Media break and delete the apps from your phone! (Whoa, drastic right?) This is another one that I've done personally. Luckily, very few people trigger this. I don't usually have issues with other photographers from Minnesota or other states but it's the local ones that get me sometimes because I know we're working with the same market. One in particular this summer, as she started posting more photos I started to hear more how I'm not as good, or as busy, or have as much time to post. I had to unfollow her. I felt bad because I thought she'd notice, most likely she hasn't. The thing is, I have absolutely no problem with her has a person. Community of Competition is a BIG thing in the photography industry but just because we're friends doesn't mean we don't compare ourselves. I love her work and I'm proud of what she's accomplishing but I am able to focus on my own business so much better when I don't see as much of what others are doing. We can't all do things the same way!
You know what else Randy tells me? That my stories don't matter and my experiences are uninteresting. How rude! I LOVE watching other people's Instagram stories and reading detailed posts to learn more about people's lives! See how we're similar and learn about how we are different. I always want to share more but then I think (or Randy says) "Who's going to care anyways?" So this post is a little middle-finger to Randy.
So what AM I doing well?!
I am pumped that I have THREE weddings this year! It may only be half of what I had last year but I am still working two other jobs AND starting a Podcast. I absolutely love that all three are close friends that have allowed me to be a big part of their day: a nephew, a coworker and a family friend/sister of a past bride/my sister's BFF!!!
I have TWO Senior sessions this year!!! I didn't have the pleasure of photographing any last year so I'm excited to photograph these lovely ladies!
Extended Family sessions! I LOVE when people make these a priority! We are all so busy these days that it's rare to even get everyone together for Holidays. Taking the time to capture these memories while grandkids are young will be something they treasure later. One family has had to reschedule because of a big unexpected event that I think will make these photos even more meaningful when we get them finished!
So for those of you who have made it this far (thank you!) tell me what you do to shut up your Compare-Monster, no matter what he comes out for. Or just tell me what you're winning at right now!!