- Next trainer development cohort 23rd - 27th September 2024

How To Avoid Compare And Despair (The Turkey-Shaming Tale)

26th November, 2018

How To Avoid Compare And Despair (The Turkey-Shaming Tale)

Normally I want to hit them with their homemade mince pies – the Christmas braggers, you know the ones:


‘I do a 5-course sit-down lunch for 53 of our closest family and friends’

‘I buy presents throughout the year so I’m all done by September!’

‘I hand print my wrapping paper – so personal don’t you think?’


But recently I had a little Yulebrag myself. I’d ordered my turkey already (in early November! Yes! I know!) and was feeling so ahead of the game I couldn’t help sharing it with a friend at the school gates.


And then it happened.


I got turkey-shamed.


Alpha Mum calls me out in front of everyone for buying a pre-stuffed easy-to-cook gobbler instead of her preferred hand-reared organic version from the local (extortionate) delicatessen.


‘A few more pennies, but soooo much better for the family,’ she sighs, her nose wrinkling, like she can already smell the stench of my non-organic turkey travesty.


She goes on to detail the delicious gravy she lovingly makes from the giblets and the homemade cranberry stuffing that’s ‘to die-for’.


And for a moment, just a moment, I feel bad about my choice and consider remortgaging to buy Alpha Mum’s turkey (that probably arrives in a Louis Vuitton travel bag).




Do You Compare And Despair?

All too often we judge ourselves and our choices negatively against other people’s. It’s particularly common with social media, when we despair at the sight of the air-brushed, one-sided glossy images that bombard our feeds.


Other people are having way more fun than us, we think.

Their careers are far more successful.

Their chins way less bountiful.


But I see it with many business owners too, who’re constantly comparing themselves to their competition:


  • ‘Argh! They’ve got much better clients than us’
  • ‘Why do they seem to find customers so easily when it’s so hard for us?’
  • ‘Oh no! They’re much cooler/bigger/better than us’


And it sends them into a panic, taking knee-jerk decisions that don’t sit with their business plan or they simply become paralysed by indecision.


So what’s the answer? How do you prevent compare and despair?


Well, the reality is that other businesses are probably finding it just as hard as you to win new clients (and keep them). There are no magic wands when it comes to finding customers – it takes hard work and consistency. And great marketing of course.


It’s also true that they may not have better clients across the board, but they may be better at telling the world about the great ones that they ARE working with. So…think about how you present your business to your market.


And finally, before you assume that someone else’s business is more successful than yours, just ask yourself if that’s really the case or whether it’s all smoke and mirrors. Don’t believe everything you read, see or hear.


So focus on the right choices for you and your business – after all that’s all that’s really in your control. Giblets be damned.

University of Cambridge


- Next trainer development cohort 23rd - 27th September 2024

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