“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
“I’m too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener.”
“The amount of followers you have doesn’t matter. Hitler had 4 million. Jesus had 12.”
I didn’t know how to start this post because all of these quotes seem so fitting for the topic at hand. As a creative, I see a lot of other creatives fighting for their place in the spotlight. To come out with the next best product. To be featured here or there. To collaborate with this brand or that brand. To make it in a field where it seems almost impossible to be the best.
But what constitutes the best? Money? Fame? Followers? I guess it depends on the person and what they’re looking for, right?
The point in all of this crazy talk is that there is room for all of us to be successful. But in order to be successful, you have to 1) be yourself 2) be true to yourself and 3) not lose yourself.
I can’t remember where I heard it or read it but I remember someone talking about not wanting to start a business because the market was so saturated and “everyone was doing it.” And one of the responses was something like “no two businesses are the same and if you’re letting that stop you, you’ve already failed.” It comes down to passion, work ethic, drive, savviness, and so much more. Where one person may struggle, one person may thrive, and that may affect how they sell it or who they sell it to.
I always think of the analogy between McDonald’s and Burger King. They’re two very similar businesses, sometimes right next to each other, but that doesn’t affect their business right? Some people like Whoppers and some people prefer Big Macs. Had one of the restaurants decided not to open because of the threat of the other, they would have potentially missed out on so many customers wanting what the other didn’t have.
There’s room for all of us to succeed, but we have to do it on our own terms. With our own ideas and our own voice. I’ve had people straight up copy my writing word for word before. I’ve had other people just use my style as inspiration. And that’s fine! I’m flattered to be so inspirational 😉 But at the end of the day, you have to be yourself. If I came to this here blog everyday and talked about decorating cakes, you’d see right through me. Eventually I would run out of material and it would start to be crappy content. Why? Because that’s not what I’m good at or what I’m passionate about. And the minute you lose your passion, you lose your voice. And then you lose everything.
Moral of the story? Worry about yourself. Don’t be upset or jealous when you see someone else succeeding, but rather use it as motivation to better your craft and go for it too. Put in the hours, take the time to build your brand and believe in yourself. Because if you don’t believe in yourself, who will?
And on another note, we should be supporting each other instead of tearing each other down. I see so much animosity between creatives sometimes because they think “well they’re my competition so they’re affecting my business negatively”. I can assure you, they’re not. Having competitors makes you more successful. How? Because they’re keeping you on your toes. They’re pushing you to always put in 110%. They’re reminding you to keep learning and practicing and never stop trying. They’re doing something right, so learn from them. But don’t steal their voice or their style. You do you, friend.
Let’s end on a positive note, shall we? Taylor Swift delivered one hell of a speech on the Grammys the other night. And I think we all know who it was directed to (cough Kanye West cough). If Taylor let Kanye bring her down, she wouldn’t be where she is today. And no one got her to where she is other than herself.
Do not let the Kanyes of the world bring you down, friends. Know that different people are looking for different things; if you just keep doing what you’re doing and not worry about what everyone else is doing, that alone will make you successful.
And there’s room for all of us to be successful. You just have to want it.