How to Stay Positive When Everyone Else is Doing Better Than You

Do you ever feel like everyone else is having more success than you are?

That’s one of the worst feelings in the world.

It can be jealousy, perceived failure, and frustration all rolled up into one tangled ball of confusion in your mind. What am I doing wrong? Why am I not seeing more success implementing this strategy? Why does no one seem to care about this endeavor that I’ve spent months of my free time building up?

These are all questions that may be floating around in your head when you reach that breaking point where you feel like all of your efforts have been wasted.

Well you know what, they haven’t been wasted.

There was a time when I almost quit blogging.  It was a couple years ago, and even though there was a lot of bright spots, I didn’t feel like I was making progress as quickly as I should have been.

Jealousy of my peers really began to set in.  This is one of those things that most bloggers or entrepreneurs feel at one point or another – but very few choose to write about it.  There was a handful of people who started blogging within months of when I did in 2009.  Many of them you probably know: Corbett, Colin, Baker – just to name a few.

Those guys have had a lot of success online. They’ve each done things in unique ways that have inspired interest and helped them scale up their businesses quickly.  There were times that I was jealous as hell of those guys, and wished that my business was growing as fast as theirs. The frustration that I wasn’t moving faster was so intense, that at one point I considered throwing in the towel and quitting altogether – or at least changing paths a bit.

Then I remembered something.  Even though subjectively, those three were having more success than me at that moment, there were hundreds if not thousands that never made it.  I looked at what I had accomplished, and when I objectively took a step back, it was a lot.

The reality is, despite my competitive nature and jealousy, I had everything I needed already. The freedom of time, enough money to do the things I wanted to, and a vehicle with which to help people in the process.

Fast forward to now, the business has been blowing up, my travels are taking me to awesome places every month, and I couldn’t be happier with where things are at.

There are times when you rough patches that you can’t help but think irrationally.  You get trapped in your own endless loop of negative thoughts which build on each other every time they go around.

So when you get to that point where frustration is getting the better of you and you don’t know how to proceed, what should you do?

Here’s some thoughts based on my experience:

Take a Step Back

Consider where you’re at and everything you’ve already done.  Just by virtue of the fact you’re wanting and striving to make positive changes in your life, you’re ahead of the game.  Most people never make the conscious decision to do that, and go on with their life thinking that wherever they’re at is “good enough” even if deep down they don’t believe it.

Take a step back, look at what you’ve already done, and try and put things into perspective. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your business and new lifestyle.

Assess Your Target Market

Oftentimes the source of our struggle isn’t because we’ve implemented a bad strategy, it’s because we’ve implemented it towards a bad market. When you got started did you ever test to see if people actually wanted the product of services you were providing? Did you ask anyone in the market you were going into or do a survey?

I’m willing to bet that you may need to tweak your offering to either go more targeted or less niche. While it’s true there is a niche for everything, depending on what you’re offering there may or may not be enough buyers to built a sustainable business around it at this point.

For instance, there’s probably a niche for custom craftsman who specialize in building wooden tackle boxes.  You might even be able to make some money teaching people how to make wooden tackle boxes, but if you’re offering $2,000/month consulting for how to start a custom wooden tackle box building business, then you may be offering services that the market doesn’t want.

Alternately, if you’re offering services to “build a website” and your target market is  everyone, because well, you can build a website for everyone – chances are that’s too broad. No one feels that special bond with you, because you’re not targeting anyone in particular. If this is your problem, niche it down and market to a smaller market of people you have more in common with.

Talk to your friends

It’s no secret that one of the best ways to build something new is to surround yourself with people doing the same thing (that’s why I built Location Rebel).  However what happens when those peers you started talking with on a regular basis start having more success than you?  What happens when that jealousy creeps up and you realize you aren’t quite where you want to be in relation to everyone else.

The solution is easy: talk to them.  Chances are they’d jump at the opportunity to help you, because they want to see you succeed too! Ask to have a conversation or perhaps a mastermind call where all they do is help you with your business, it’s amazing what 30 minutes on the phone like that can do.

To this day one of the most useful conversations I’ve had in my business was with Adam Baker. I was trying to figure out what direction to take my business and how to brand Location 180, and he provided insight that I hadn’t been able to visualize on my own.

Talk to your friends, they want to help.

I have a feeling that if you’re struggling, implementing each of these three ideas is going to get you unstuck real quick and put you back on the path to ass-kicking.

What do you think? How do you get unstuck when you’re feeling down?

Photo Credit: Rayced

Jared April 16, 2012 at 10:26 am

I personally think the mastermind strategy works the best. When you get a different perspective from someone else on your ideas/business/struggles it really opens up new solutions that you may never have thought of.

I’ve personally introduced this method to a small group of currency traders where we have a private network much like Facebook and bounce ideas off of each other, share files, post questions, and generally help each other out in any way we can.

The results have been absolutely amazing and the rate of compounded knowledge continues to go up. And with amazing technology and super cheap prices anyone can create a virtual mastermind. I personally use grou.ps

Awesome post Sean

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Yamile Yemoonyah April 16, 2012 at 3:28 pm

I just love that you keep posting stuff that no one else talks about. Keep it up!

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Elisa April 16, 2012 at 7:28 pm

When I figure out how to get unstuck, I’ll definitely let you know

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Financial Samurai April 17, 2012 at 8:41 am

Sean, I’m sure making more than $17,000 in operating profits a year than Adam no? Hence, don’t beat yourself up!

Really looking forward to your income report post to make things more real.

I’ve done one myself on Financial Samurai today as it relates to passive income and personal finance.

Let’s do it Sean! Open up the kimono again!

Thx

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Justin Miller April 17, 2012 at 12:04 pm

REWARDS! Pat yourself on the back for making progress. Wether big, medium, small, or minuscule. Are you better than you were yesterday? If so, pat on the back.

Great post Sean!

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Chas April 19, 2012 at 5:20 am

I don’t get caught up in jealousy, or envy, but, concentrate on my own endeavors. I do, however, get frustrated and feel like I am just spinning my wheels at times. I have no desire to be Sean Ogle, Natalie Sisson, Steve Jobs, or Mark Zuckerberg~ tasting some of their success, on my own path, however, is a desire that I have. I just keep on keeping on~ lack of action will not produce results, either.

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Andrew April 19, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Hey Sean, my name is Andrew. I’m 20 years old and I’m just a random person that wanted to say good job at succeeding in the way you did. I have been suffering from depression
most of my life and I thought it’d be a good idea to talk to you. Message me back if you’d like to talk.

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Jeremy April 19, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Great article, I really like this viewpoint. It’s always best to stay positive, I believe most people give up just before they were about to become successful.

I can be pretty hard on myself when it comes to achievements and success, I’m never where I want to be. I don’t get jealous though, especially of my friends. I’d rather have everyone else doing better than me than vice versa, but I’m kinda weird like that.

Great article! I love this blog.

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Darlene April 30, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Hey Sean, how’s China? Can’t wait to hear about the trade show in more detail.

As for unsticking myself, I find that I have to unplug for a while and leave it alone for a day or so. Go do something else instead of focus on it. I agree to be happy with what you HAVE done and not what you haven’t, but that’s a tough one sometimes.

One other unrelated thing I do just to put life in perspective, is go and volunteer at a soup kitchen for a day or a week. Talk to the homeless people that frequent it. Makes me feel a WHOLE lot more grateful for everything!

@Andrew, what is it you want to do in life? What are you passionate about? What excites you when you talk about it?

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Mike Sherry October 18, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Thanks for writing this Sean.

I’ve been going through this in recent weeks, as I’ve been writing my first articles and website content.

I also have the goal of becoming location independent through building a website that highlights how I am transitioning out of my job in the next few months.

I go through periods of being inspired and uplifted by reading the content put out by you, Natalie Sisson, Tim Ferriss and other big names, and then sometimes wonder why my own vision seems to be taking longer than I’d like. I want to be out of my job YESTERDAY!

My plan is to be kinder and more patient with myself, starting today. I’m gonna hit the gym, get a nice haircut and get ready for my work trip to Seattle tomorrow. That’ll be a nice break from the grind. =)

Looking forward to meeting you on one of our future adventures, dude!

Mike

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