Nothing kills creativity faster than comparing your work to someone else’s.
Just the thought that someone else has already done what you want to do is enough to make you second guess your dream. When you see that someone else has not only done it, but succeeded. And not just succeeded but made it big… well, that’s hard to compete with.
Yes, you want to make some money with your talent. I understand that it’s important to market and advertise so you can gain customers. I realize that the marketplace is full of competition. But marketing isn’t always just about the competition.
Think about it. The market is huge. With a capital HUGE.
Just look at how many brands of PLAIN potato chips are on the shelves in the grocery store. Just the plain kind. Not flavored. Not limited. Yet, there is enough of a demand for all of them to have a piece of the market share. Let’s not even talk about the limitless selection of toothpaste available.
Larry Burkett wrote more than 70 books about Christian finance, but it didn’t stop Dave Ramsey from building an empire on the exact same topics. Is there any shortage of self-help books, nature photographs, quilts or pottery?? Absolutely not. There is room for yours too.
Don’t look at the guys who have already succeeded as your competition. Think of them as mentors. They started small just like you. They struggled and had doubts and wondered if it would really amount to much. We all have to go through the growing process.
Think of your work as a living thing. Like a tree. The idea is planted, watered, given sunshine and a chance. And finally it sprouts.
It’s small and not very stable, but we never criticize a sapling for being weak. It’s a sapling. We know that if the sapling is cultivated and tended regularly instead of being trampled or cut down, it will undoubtedly continue to grow. Eventually it will be strong and towering, just like ALL the other trees around.
Your work is no different. Don’t criticize your work for being a sprout. Keep at it. Tend to it regularly. Don’t judge it. Your job is not to judge your work. Your job is to put it out there. There will be enough other people to judge it. But that’s not what really matters. What matters most is growing this creativity inside you. To see what will become. Give your creativity every chance of survival.
You can keep growing as long as you don’t let comparison and self-doubt trample your dreams.
List 5 of your competitors or people who have already succeeded at what you want to accomplish. What can you learn from them? How did they start out? Comment here.