Stuck in the comparison trap? How to turn competition into inspiration

Do you ever compare yourself to other artists or entrepreneurs? I know I do. And, depending on the day, it can trigger feelings that range from awe and inspiration to intimidation and defensiveness.  Which do you think feels better?

Competition is a fact of life.  Not only is it a fact, it’s a good thing, because it means there’s a market for what you have to offer. But, like all fears, fear of competition has the power to motivate or diminish you, and the outcome is entirely your call.

So how do you turn competition into an asset? By gaining clarity around where you fit into the marketplace that’s based on research, not insecurity.

I’m going to share an exercise that I do with my private clients. It’s not hard, but it does take a willingness to look at the things that scare you. Not all of you will do it, but those of you who do will gain a clarity I promise will make your efforts worthwhile.

Are you up for it? That’s the spirit! Here’s how you do it:

1) List 5-10 freelancers or creative professionals who are either up for the same projects as you, or getting the projects you want.

2) Research their websites, LinkedIn and social media profiles and answer the following questions for each:

  • What is their focus or niche? Cut and paste their positioning statement
  • What do they offer?  List specific programs or services
  • Who is their audience?
  • What do they do well?
  • What could be improved upon?
  • How does their point of difference benefit the client?
  • What do you do that’s different?
  • What does their website look like?


3) Answer the same questions for your self

  • What is my focus or niche?
  • What do I offer?  List specific programs or services
  • Who is my audience?
  • What do I do well?
  • What could be improved upon?
  • What do I do that’s different?
  • How does my point of difference benefit my client?
  • What does my website look like?

Once you get past your (very natural) fear that everyone else knows what they’re doing and you don’t, this exercise is really enlightening, and even fun. Still feeling a little wobbly about the prospect? Check out this fantastic article, The Comparison Trap by Lauren Bacon.

Do you need more help clarifying how you stand out in the market place? I’d be happy to chat with you about your business and how I might help you. Click here to schedule a free introductory call and I’ll look forward to learning more!

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