5 Ways to Deal with Compare and Despair Syndrome

Tuesday was a very interesting day.

So here I am a 24 year old one woman show promoting my class at the same time as the well oiled machine that is B-school. I must be crazy, right? Well, for a while on Tuesday I did feel crazy. And I felt.... frustrated.. And a little sad.

I am very proud of my classes and I really believe that I offer something special to my students but sometimes it just feels like climbing up a hill and for some reason, the B-school hooplah got to me this time.

So here is the question:

What do you do when someone else is doing the same thing as you on a bigger scale? How do you keep doing what you do when it seems like other people are doing it better or at least seems like more people know about it?

I have since gotten over my b-school hang-ups and I think I have 5 ways to deal with it if it happens again:

1. Decide what you want more. Do you want to feel shitty or make your mark on the world?

First off, I realized that I didn't really have a choice. What is stronger? My desire to watch someone else do things or my desire to help people in my own way? What do you want more?

This goes to my point about how entrepreneurship isn't for everyone. If your goal is to be famous or to be known and you don’t have a reason for it, you shouldn't be here yo. We are here to make a difference, right?

So now that I KNOW my goal is to help people, I have no choice but to keep going forward because I love my work more than my ego.

2. Refine your strategic advantage / get clear about your “niche”

Obviously we all know that there are PLENTY of fish and the sea and one person can’t have ALL the clients but often times, we don’t think about it. What makes you different? What do you do that someone else can’t? Most people start businesses because they believe they have something truly unique and special to offer. What is it? Maybe you work with less people, maybe you know more about a weird version of what you are selling? Maybe you work with a specific audience.

I am convinced that defining a niche is really only good for this purpose. People who work with a very specific type of person struggle with this a lot less because they don’t have anyone to really compare themselves to and as a result do more and make more money.

So if you find that you struggle with this a lot, it might be time to start getting more specific about who you serve. Think about your people as a whole, can you get even MORE specific? For example, if you do tech help, maybe you could focus on helping classes. If you do marketing or copywriting, maybe you can focus on product descriptions or kickstarter campaigns.

Also try to get OUT of your existing social circles. Can you bring your skills to an industry that doesn't have anyone like you in it? Yoga for CEOS! Marketing for Vets!

3. Create something awesome

Most of the time we don’t necessarily want to BE the other person but there is something about their situation that we want for ourselves.

Best thing you can do?

Do something that gets you closer to that goal.

Maybe you admire the list-size/fame of a peer. Instead of whining about it google “list-building” in google and see what you come up with. Start writing a new book/freebie. Make the decision to hire a designer to help you rework your opt-in. Want more press? Check out a blog about PR. Buy a book.

Taking action always feels good and helps you forget about what you were even upset about.

It also helps us face the fact that sometimes we don't even want to do what it takes to get the thing we might want.


B-School is pretty inescapable but for the most part, it’s pretty easy to forget that you have any other competition. I unsubscribed to most of my blogs a while ago and only get a few and even those go into a special folder. I don’t get the jealousies very often because I am pretty ignorant to everything that is going on.

Control your environment so that you forget. Only keep the blogs that energize and inspire you. Do not read blogs JUST so you can compare yourselves to them.

5. Gratitude

I HAVE THE MOST AMAZING CLIENTS EVER. ALL CAPS. They are smart, compassionate and really nice people. When I indicated on facebook how I was feeling, I can’t tell you how many of them came to my aid and talked to me. I was reminded how lucky I am to be doing the work I am doing and that I am in the right place right now.

Think about your clients and the people (even if there are not many) that love you RIGHT NOW! How awesome is that?

The best way to deal with the fact that there is someone out there doing things bigger?

Go big for yourself.

Do your work and know that if you LOVE this, like really love this work -- you don’t have a choice but to keep going. How about you? Do you feel compare and despair syndrome? How do you deal with it?

Annnnd speaking of my little class :) Your First Time is HERE! I am SO PROUD of this class. It’s gonna be awesome. I am running it at a beta price right now but in the future it will be around $400 bucks so you are getting in for half the price now.

I will be covering everything there is to know about creating your own class. It will be fun!

Check it out and enroll here.

We even have payment plans! HOLLA!

Kaitlyn Kessler