Stop comparing yourself to others
On Saturday morning, I was overtaken by a man with one leg.
It was my first visit to parkrun, as a runner, for 18 months. This break from running meant I started the two-lap, 5km course with low expectations.
I found a position near the back to start, resisted the temptation to speed us as assorted men, women and children came running past during the first 800m, and then quickly accepted my lack of speed as the chap with the prosthetic limb came cruising past.
It’s tempting to compare yourself to others, in running as in life and business.
My motivation for climbing out of bed on Saturday morning and plodding around the parkrun course was a reminder on my Facebook Memories that it was six years to the day that I completed my first parkrun.
Back then, in 2013, I was running after a solid year of training for the London Marathon. My parkrun time on that sunny May day, six years earlier? 21:22. And after a run/walk pain-fest this Saturday? Considerably slower, at 35:29.
In the cafe afterwards, my parkrun friends helped me come up with plausible excuses for this significant slowdown.
“This course is much slower than the other course; you can add a couple of minutes for that.”
“It was scorching this morning, add a minute for the warm weather.”
“There’s a bit of a bottleneck at the start these days, that slows you down by a minute or two.”
Perhaps I’m not in such bad shape? By adding up this litany of creative excuses, I’m almost within touching distance of those sub-22 minute 5k times of old.
Except I’m not. The runner I represent today is a very different ‘athlete’ to the one that graced the start line back in 2013.
This got me thinking about the comparisons we make.
When I speak to Financial Planners, they often tell me they want to replicate the marketing success they see demonstrated by others.
When their competitor down the road hosts a seminar and attracts a packed room full of high net worth retirees, desperately seeking a new Financial Planner relationship, they want to experience the same.
When they read in the trades about a Financial Planner launching their new website, attracting thousands of visitors, and converting that traffic into tens of paying clients, they want to experience the same.
Except for this; the only marketing goal that matters is the marketing goal we need to achieve.
A combination of two factors usually dictates this.
1 – What we need in order to pay the bills.
If our overheads and pricing mean, we need to engage with three new clients a month, or even one new client a quarter, that’s what our marketing should be seeking to achieve.
2 – How our capacity constrains our activity
The time and resources we have available to a) market our services, and b) service our clients, are two apparent factors in determining capacity constraint.
It’s time to stop chasing the numbers established by those who hold different needs and ambitions. The only goals that matter are your own goals.The only goals that matter are the goals that matter to you. Stop comparing your marketing with others. Click To Tweet