You Will Succeed When You Compare Yourself With Yourself! (written April, 2000)

All too often I see so many good people wishing they were someone else and wishing they can be like someone else, whether it be a Movie Star, an Athlete, Your Boss……anybody!  The key to succeeding in your life is to not compete with anybody but yourself!  Compare yourself with where you were last year, last month, and last week.  Competition is healthy, when you are competing against someone you have a real chance to beat. If you compete against someone else, whose background, beliefs and current circumstances are much different than yours, how can you succeed then? The real key to success is to compete with where you were and you will see how much faster you attain your goals.

Competition is good when you are competing against an equal – yourself.  Too many good people try and compare themselves with someone who might be way, way, way ahead of them – it is good to dream, but reality must set in. Make it your dream to be like someone; make it your goal to work to build to become like the person you dream of becoming. In order to succeed then, you need to set goals against yourself. Write down what your goals are and every three months, six months, nine months, twelve months, compare what you have to what your goals are.  If you exceeded your goals, reward yourself with something you enjoy.  If you accomplish your goals, reward yourself less and make harder goals next time.  If you do not make your goals, work harder and work longer to meet them for the next quarter. Remember that a business is not a “sprint”. It is a “marathon”. You are in it for the long haul. Comparing what you did this year to last year and comparing what you do next year as compared to this year is healthy competition – very healthy!  When you do this, you will see yourself and your business grow and one day, you will look up and wonder what the heck you did to get to where you are. All you did is compete against yourself by setting goals and achieving them!

Setting goals at times can be very difficult. Especially in this business of ours. One miss-conception is to try and make money right away.  When you are new to this industry, even though everyone wants to make it sound so easy to do, give yourself a year of investing small sums of money and large amounts of time to promotion and to read everything you can.  Ask questions of people to help you understand what is going on. If you have been in this business a few years, but have not been successful, narrow down the key mistakes you have learned over the last couple of years and set your goal to be committed to one or two programs and to people that you can learn from.  If you are a veteran and are making money, then obviously your goals should be to help more people make money by teaching them what this business is about and how they can make money in it. I have found that too many people want to start off as veterans, not rookies.  There is no shame in starting off small and naïve.  I started that way many years ago and did not make any money until I was 14 months in. That month, I made $55 profit. So in my first 14 months, I made $55 profit. Sounds bad, doesn’t it?  It isn’t because some of the relationships I established in those 14 months, I still work with today many years later……and all of the experience I had – good and bad – was worth more than 7 years of college education.

This is a great business.  There are a lot of miss-conceptions about it, but when reality sets in, start competing against yourself. You will see success when you set your goals, compare what you are doing quarterly, set harder goals for the future, and compete with your previous achievements.  When you go from A to B to C to D…..etc….success is inevitable.  When you try and go from A to D without the steps in between, you will continuously flounder. Which do you want? I recommend you start competing against yourself. It is healthy.  It is fun.  It is rewarding.  Most of all, it is what success is all about.  Happy competing!

The author of this article is Larry Costello, President of All-American Print & Mail, 2200 Wilson Blvd #102-57, Arlington, VA 22201.