The Power of Constructive Comparison in Business

Compare and Dispair

To consistently challenge myself, I make it a point to look for brands who inspire me to be more creative, think differently or try something new. I then compare what they’re doing to what I’m doing and come up with ideas to further my brand. This can take the form of a creative website design, social media approach or content idea that provides a new take on marketing — all of which inspire me to keep getting better.

This can be a really healthy process and create an opportunity for growth and continual improvement. I’ve gleaned smart, fresh ideas in leveraging content to market my brand and have also been inspired to try new ways of marketing for myself and even my clients. Constructive comparison can be a very helpful tool and, if executed in a positive way, it can grow your business and further your brand.

At the same time, if we’re not careful, comparison can turn into something that takes the focus off of our goals and can instead create fear or even immobilize us to inaction. Negative comparison can creep in, causing us to question our value or relevance in business, socially, economically, in appearance, accomplishments and personal goals.

It can be all too easy to allow ourselves to be consumed with the opinion of others or to compare ourselves to those around us in ways that aren’t productive – especially when it’s someone we greatly respect.

The truth is, it really doesn’t matter if others completely agree with what you’re doing or how you’re doing it. Approaches can look very different from person to person or brand to brand. Instead of looking at others and seeing a list of your shortcomings, begin asking yourself what steps you can take to make improvements.

We each bring value and unique perspective. The key is to look to others for inspiration in order to motivate ourselves to be better, stronger, smarter and more successful. So don’t let the success of others demotivate you, instead use the power of constructive comparison to motivate and grow yourself and your brand.

How do you use comparison in business to challenge yourself and further your brand?

A version of this post originally appeared on KateUpdates.com.

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Kate Finley is the CEO of Belle Communications, where she provides results-driven PR, social media and content marketing for startups and natural food brands. She’s also a big fan of running and eating Paleo. Connect with Kate on  and Twitter.
7 comments
kevinanselmo
kevinanselmo

Great post. We are bombarded with so much best practice, which in itself is a great thing as we have so much access to continual learning. While smart professionals should strategically be mining through such resources, we should also not get too ingrained in best practice and copy what others are doing, but also come up with creative ways to foster innovative, out-of-the-box idea generation. I read a great book called The Idea Hunter which is all about how business ideas were born – and usually from not following the herd but looking for ideas in the out of the ordinary places. Thanks for these insights in your post.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

This is true in life, too. We tend to compare ourselves to the Jones's and wonder why we don't have what they have. It's a really troubling position to put ourselves in, but when you do it constructively - as you've so beautifully communicated - it's worth something.

KateFinley
KateFinley moderator

@ginidietrich It's such a slippery path! The battlefield is in the mind so it can be tricky to navigate. You can start making negative comparisons before you realize what has happened! I like the quote that goes something like this, "We struggle with insecurity because we compare our current situation to someone's highlights reel." Basically, apples and oranges.

kevinanselmo
kevinanselmo

@KateFinley Thanks for the link - I checked it out after we spoke and found this to be a valuable resource. Look forward to remaining in contact and keep up the good work with your blog.

KateFinley
KateFinley moderator

@ginidietrich I definitely struggled with that when I started. Once I changed my thinking, it became LOADS easier. 

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