My Business Journey

Do you ever feel like the more you do the less you’ve achieved?

A Bookish Baker

Do you ever feel like the more you do the less you’ve achieved?

I know, that sounds weird, right?

But I’ve been working hard on all sorts of things in the last few months.

I’ve sorted out an online system for working with clients – I’ve even got clients and worked with them on their social media – that’s massive, right? I’ve launched my new website on a different platform to this one so I had to learn all the tech stuff, I’ve sorted out the associated mailing lists, updated my computer because the wifi kept dropping, registered a domain, sorted a new email address…the list goes on, but I’m stopping there as I don’t want to appear braggy – I’m just giving context šŸ˜‰

And today I’m feeling like, well, flat. Like I’m still not doing enough.


Is this a female thing? Or a business start up thing?

Or, is it just me?

I’ve been wondering why I feel like this for a few hours now. And it has literally just occurred to me (I had actually sat down to write a different blog post!).

I’m comparing myself to other people.

I’m comparing where I am, at the beginning of my business journey, with more established people out there.

So instead of celebrating my achievements, each baby milestone I’m ticking off my list, I’m comparing myself to others who are also ticking milestones off their lists. Essentially this means I’m never going to catch up. It’s impossible. Because those I’m comparing myself to are people I admire. They’reĀ inspiring because they are moving forward. This is both a delight to see and read about – and a curse.

Because it means they’re always going to be that little bit ahead of me. I’m always going to be trailing in their wake.

So, I can make a decision.

Do I keep comparing myself; therefore losing all self-motivation? Or, do I stop and concentrate on where I am right now?

Obviously the latter is the answer. And it’s easier said than done.

But as I was writing this I was reminded of a quote by Jon Acuff:

Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.Ā 

So I’m reminding you, too. Just in case you’re comparing your beginning to someone else’s middle.

Keep doing your thing. Keep ticking those mini milestones off. And celebrate your achievements.


Oh and if you want to see my new website dedicated to social media for writers and creatives, it’s called Bookish Marketing. I’m rather pleased with it. No comparing.

Bookish marketing

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  • Reply Gaelle

    Yes I definitely must remember that precious advice: “never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle”…!!! Thank you

    30th March 2017 at 7:26 am
  • Reply Flora

    Goodness this post resonates with me! I have been feeling much the same, and I think I’ll continue to as well.

    I think you’re right – we’re often looking at years worth of work when we’re checking out other people, which can make our early forays into a project look insignificant or just hopelessly far behind! I’m all for looking at where other people are at so far as using for them for inspiration is concerned (after all, it’s nice to have something to aim for, isn’t it?), but there’s a difference between looking to someone for inspiration (or just confirmation that your dream IS possible) and pitting yourself against them.

    I like your attitude towards this, and it reminds me of a quote I think of often: “a flower doesn’t think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms”.

    And, my boyfriend also told me recently that some types of bamboo takes literally a few years to grow under the ground, and then suddenly they shoot up by metres once they’ve broken through the surface in just the space of a few short weeks. You’d think bamboo grew quickly if you didn’t know how long it had actually been pushing away beneath the surface all that time.

    Not sure if that’s true, but I like to remind myself of it anyway! :)


    30th March 2017 at 5:35 pm
    • Reply Helen Redfern

      Flora – I love the bamboo analogy! Yes, it does look like it grows really quickly, but obviously there’s a lot going on we don’t see. Also love the flower quote, too. Today I’m just going to bloom and not compete with the gorgeous flowers standing next to me! Thank you x

      31st March 2017 at 8:57 am
  • Reply CJ

    Helen, I’ve been reading your blog for a while and I’m so impressed with all you’ve achieved. I’m trying to start a writing business as well, and I know how hard it is. You’re right about the comparisons, so easy to do, so easy to be amazed by what other people have done. But everyone started somewhere. And for what it’s worth I think you’re doing absolutely brilliantly. Keep it up!

    6th April 2017 at 2:00 pm
    • Reply Helen Redfern

      CJ, thank you so much for your comment. It means so much. And good luck with your writing business. Sounds intriguing!

      10th April 2017 at 10:44 am

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