Sarah recently posted some self-employment therapy — a place for those of us who work full-time for ourselves, and mostly by ourselves, to share the stuff we don’t usually talk about. Today I’d like to share my thoughts on the prompt that resonated with me the most right now:
How does it feel watching others have the success you’re still working toward?
In my time as a business owner, I’ve learned that the time I spend comparing myself to others is time I’m not spending moving my own work forward.
But sometimes, other people are impossible to ignore. These days, it seems like earning six figures has become the trendy thing for online entrepreneurs to do. I log on to Twitter and see five tweets about how I’m missing opportunities to earn six figures. Facebook tells me that with a click of a button, I can discover the secret to earning six figures through a groundbreaking (FREE!!) video training series, from someone who will eventually ask me to pay six figures for their ecourse (and who probably isn’t earning six figures either, let’s be honest).
Friends, let me tell you this: I’ve been in business for more than three years now, and I am not making six figures. In fact, I’m currently making less this year than I was at this time last year. And I would be lying to you if I said all the tweets and Facebook posts don’t make me wonder what I’m doing wrong and why I’m not there yet. It’s hard to have faith that your hard work will pay off when success seems to come so easily for others.
But that’s the thing: Success probably didn’t come easily for those people either. We only see part of the story. And we may not even be on the same path as they are. Maybe they have five failed businesses behind them. Maybe they’re working 12-hour days to keep up. People don’t share that part of the story, because it isn’t what buyers want to hear.
Sure, I’m not making six figures, but I’m happy with my income and lifestyle — and that’s what truly matters. It’s easy to feel like if you put in just a little more time and effort, you could get there sooner. But, speaking from experience, the more you tell yourself that, the more you miss out on having a life outside of your work. Money is great, and it’s absolutely exciting to make more of it. But we can’t forget that it’s also just as exciting to have the freedom to create the lifestyle we want to live, too.
Do you feel like the six figure crowd has become pretty noisy lately? How do you tune it out?