Happy FRI-YAY. My trip took an unexpected turn yesterday, and now I am on my way to the Hamptons to do hair and makeup for a wedding! I should be home Sunday..so even though I’m loving living the high life here in New York, I am ready to get home to be with my hubs and kittens. Seven days is a LONG time to be away from them! BUT I wouldn’t change this week for the world because I got to stay with my bestie Erica from Coming Up Roses and we had seriously the BEST week — and it’s all because we value building a community far over a competition. Let’s dive into this.
We live in a generation where everyone is trying to be the best at something. It is an extremely competitive age to be in. This is true whether you are a kid in high school trying to get into the best college, be chosen for the best sports or the most coveted role in a musical. It’s especially true in a career field where there are no rules. Influencer marketing is such a new job field that there are aren’t a lot of regulations on how to get ahead. There is no specific path you can take. That means anything is fair game, even if it means stepping on others to get there.
Since the beginning of my blogging career, I’ve held the mindset that more than one person is allowed to be successful. I have never agreed with putting people down to get ahead. I appreciated when people who had been in the game a lot longer than I had gave me pointers and constructive criticisms honestly, instead of maliciously watching me fail. I try to do the same now that I have some experience. And, full disclosure here, I don’t believe everyone WILL make it. But I do believe everyone should get a fighting chance. Businesses fail all the time. But they don’t HAVE to.
If someone asked me now what the best thing about my job is, I would without a doubt say the people I’ve built relationships with is the very best part. Now to be fair, there are other amazing parts of my job. But coming from a girl who never really had a lot of friends, more like one or two close ones, I had no idea what it was like to be surrounded by multiple women who wanted nothing more than to see me succeed in everything I do.
Earlier this year, I became part of a mastermind group. It’s original intention was to meet once a week to discuss things we struggled with that week blog-wise, goals we are setting for ourselves, sharing resources and basically a support group in a world where you often don’t have a lot of people to chat with about this (and in my case – it was a reprieve from only talking to my cats during the day). And while we do still do a lot of that, it’s turned into an extremely close-knit group of friends that I am beyond blessed to be able to talk with every single day. I without hesitation would call each of them my best friends, and if I did my wedding over, I’d want all of them as bridesmaids.
Ok. This is all great right — but how does this affect you? Because it doesn’t matter what field you are in. It is ALWAYS better to lift people up than tear them down. ALWAYS. EVERY TIME. People remember kindness.
5 WAYS TO FOSTER A COMMUNITY INSTEAD OF COMPETITION:
Way #1: Be genuine in your intentions.
When someone asks you a question, do your best to answer it. Don’t intentionally give an incorrect answer or sabotage. If you don’t want to spend all your time giving out free advice (which, tbh, is fair because you’d never be able to get any work done), set up a FAQ page or coaching sessions if that is something you are interested in. If not, direct them to where they CAN find the answers. Either way, be up front with what you can provide.
Way #2: Be honest, always.
Don’t fudge your numbers to look cooler. It’s always obvious and will turn people away. Don’t leave disingenuous comments to suck up to someone (or to tear someone down). Honesty is the basis of trust, which is the basis of all relationships. Honesty will get you a lot farther in life than lying, and people will want to be your friend because of it.
Way 3: Get rid of the mindset that every relationship has to have more than just that.
Stop trying to build relationships with a selfish motive. That will never work. You will inevitably be found out, and that will be embarrassing. You should be looking to be build a relationship to BUILD A RELATIONSHIP. Nothing more. Their friendship should be enough for you, not the off-chance that they make mention your instagram handle in an instastory. You are going to need friends in this business. Don’t turn them off by being a leech.
Way 4: Give more than you expect to receive.
This is true in EVERY situation, not just blogging. Always give more than you think you will get in return. The universe has a funny way of making sure everyone gets their just desserts, so make sure you are kinder than you need to be and more patient than necessary. Karma loves to make sure everyone ends up where they need to be, so no need to do her work for her. She knows that she’s doing.
Way #5: Recognize that the only person you should be comparing yourself to is yourself.
This is also true in every situation. We are all at different points in our life, different points in our career and different points in our relationships. If I compared myself to successful bloggers and you tubers that have been in the game for 4-6 years, where I’ve been in it for a year and a half, I’d be sorely disappointed. OF COURSE they are in a different spot than me. They’ve had 3-5 more YEARS to perfect their job. Instead of asking yourself why you aren’t good enough, or why that other girl has more followers, or how they landed that brand partnership, ask yourself: Am I doing my very best? Are my followers engaged and excited about my content? Are my partnership beneficial to both myself and my parter? When you start realizing that the only person you should be comparing yourself to is YOU, your entire attitude will shift. Be a better you every day.
Your success is NOT dependent on someone else’s failure. Your success is dependent on how hard you are willing to work for it.
PIN THIS FOR LATER:
It’s so important to remember that real friendships, relationships and partnerships can be formed even when it seems impossible. It’s not always easy, but my relationships with my mastermind girls is proof that it’s NOT impossible. And it’s wonderful. You need that support system, and being kind and genuine can help you get there.
Do you believe in community over competition? Have you made lasting friendships in your career? What tips do you have to others looking to foster meaningful relationships with others in their field?