The internet and social media give us so much information on what our peers, and competitors are doing,  thinking and achieving. Some of these insights are definitely useful.  We can learn a lot about our industry as a whole, identify trends, and gain inspiration. However, constantly comparing yourself can cause harm in more ways than one.

Losing Our Own Way

When we are constantly focused on what our peers are doing, it can easily distract us from our own path. Before we know it, we’re morphing ourselves into something we aren’t, just to try and keep up. 

One way to approach this is instead of asking “what is my competition doing?” ask yourself, “what am I doing that my competition isn’t?” This helps you focus on positive ways to set yourself apart.  

This kind of thinking requires some self-reflection and figuring out what your brand is. It’s important to focus on what your customers want from you, and be aware of the competition but when we really focus on ourselves, where we are going, and how we want to get there, along with our customers, and competition, that’s when the magic happens. 

Avoiding Negativity And Stagnation

It’s easy to spend too much time looking at what we think other people are doing “better” than us.

Even if you are accomplishing a lot in your business human nature tends to focus on the negative rather than the positive. 

One of the quickest, sure fire ways to avoid negativity, and stagnation is to limit your time on social media, and post uplifting, positive content.  Much of social media is geared towards perfection; youth, beautiful bodies, beautiful table settings, perfect families, and recipes that all look like they came out of a gourmet restaurant.  Remember this…looks, and photographs can be deceiving.  No one…no one, has a perfect life.

Community Not Competition

I look at all of this a little differently, and I’d ask you to do the same.  There is plenty of business to go around for everyone.  I’m all about community, not competition.

I am a Creative Business Strategist for Artists and Creatives. I see a lot of different types of artists in my work, using a variety of mediums, with different personalities, living in different places. 

Not one of those people is exactly alike, nobody is doing everything the same way, and most importantly, everyone’s art or product is different and unique. That’s the beauty of art really, interpreting life through your own lens and expressing it through your unique gift. 

A very important part of my coaching process involves bringing artists together instead of setting them up to compete . We come together to help each other grow, encourage each other, offer support, answer each other’s questions and lift each other up. 

It’s a lot different than scrolling through Instagram or looking at competitors’ reports.  It’s far more personal, effective and a lot more worthwhile. 

What To Do Next

If you are feeling stuck analyzing the competition, and feeling like you don’t measure up, I encourage you to take a step back, evaluate what you’re doing, what you want to accomplish, and how you want to get there. 

Press pause on the things that make you feel bad or discourage you, and focus on the things that motivate you, and inspire you.  For more information about growing your art business, visit my website.  To join our supportive group of artists, become a member of our Facebook group.