The Comparison Trap

Let’s be honest for a minute. We’re ALL guilt of comparing ourselves to others. Whether it’s wishing you had a better car, a bigger house, a better job or even a better spouse, we all do it.

But comparing ourselves to others doesn’t stop on a personal level; it also creeps into our business life. C’mon, you KNOW you look at other websites and wish you had that clean and sleek design. Or you stumble across a killer blog and wish you could mimic that type of credibility and professionalism (I’m totally guilty of this). Perhaps you skim another business’s social media? You are instantly envious of all their followers, their engagement and their retweets. Maybe you just wish your business could garner more profit like so-and-so’s business.

Regardless of the reason, we’re all guilty of falling into the comparison trap.

Here’s three simple ways to stop the comparison trap when it comes to running your business.


The first step to solving any problem is to admit there is a problem. If you think you don’t compare yourself to others, take a moment to really think about it. There’s no shame in admitting this. It’s human nature to one-up each other. Whether your thoughts are malicious or benign, you are still comparing your business to another.

Think about one or two times when you came across a blog, a website or social media and thought, “Wow, that’s really good. I wish my ___ looked like that.”


You’ve admitted that you sometimes fall into the comparison trap. Now you get to admit your strengths. Your strengths fall into three categories.

  • Gifts- things that you are inherently good at
  • Talents – things you work to be good at
  • Opportunities – occurrences that open a door for a new gift or talent

Your gift may be the ability to magically juggle many tasks at once. Your talent may be blogging in batches or calligraphy. And opportunity is usually disguised as a new project, new client or a new order that will challenge your skills.

Your GTO are unique to you and your business. Even if the market is saturated with other businesses offering the same thing you are it doesn’t mean you won’t be successful. Business A may offer all the tax preparation services as Business B, but they are still different. Business A has better customer service, longer hours and good reviews. Business B excels at scheduling appointments, gets larger clients and has a killer blog.

The trick is discovering your GTO and leveraging them for your advantage. Learn to use what you have to separate you from the pack.

Celebrate & Collaborate

Just because another business is doing better than yours doesn’t mean you have to throw a pity party for yourself. In fact, you should throw a party for them! You should celebrate that other businesses have different GTOs. Wouldn’t it be completely boring if we were all the same? We foster a creative community by celebrating the success of others.

When we all celebrate the success of others, collaboration follows. Teaching, learning and sharing not only builds a stronger community, but it also builds a referral network. When Business A acknowledges that they might not be the right fit for a client, they can recommend Business B.

So when you feel yourself being drawn into the comparison trap, just remember to acknowledge it, leverage it and then celebrate it.

Be honest, when have YOU fallen into the comparison trap?