Be careful
4 min read

Be careful

Yo! Welcome to the next episode of The Content Strategy Reeder where 2,897 reeders spend five minutes getting better at content creation and strategy.

Every once in a while a very special group gets together, and your personal growth hits the fast lane.

This week was one of those times.

I went to Atlanta to join the JB Sales team and a group of absolute top-shelf creators for a content house.

If you’re familiar with the YouTube sphere, you might’ve heard of this concept before: get a bunch of creators in one place for a few days to create content.

Content creation is the goal. But the real magic happens via the behind the scenes laughter, friendships melded, and vulnerable conversations.

I loved it.

It was exhilarating to hear how each of these unique individuals approached their careers, viewed success, helped others, built their personal brands, and balanced their 9-5 alongside their side hustles.

Every single person has a super power. Something that distinguishes them and leaves you in awe.

Some are obvious at first sight, like Larry’s unmatched ability to make you feel like you’re getting a live performance simply by listening to him talk about anything. His energy is like an industrial-sized magnet, pulling you into his orbit of positivity and laughter. As I write this, I feel good just thinking about him.

I never say “movers and shakers”, but damn it if GB and Alexine haven’t earned that title. As if being a successful sales leader and enterprise rep, respectively, wasn’t enough, they spend their non-existent “free” time” uplifting a community of women sellers through the Women In Sales Club. They’re clearly building something bigger than themselves, and their passion and vision motivated me to think bigger about my life and the impact I’m making.

Then there are the Morgan J Ingram’s of the world. Well, that’s a lie. There’s only ONE Morgan J Ingram because no one else has been putting in the work, staying focused, and bettering the sales community like him. He’s been paving the road before I even started taking LinkedIn seriously.

I could go on and on for each person pictured above.

I left inspired, motivated, and grateful.

But despite the fun and good vibes, I also had moments of self doubt.

Confidence can be funny like that. There one minute then gone the next.

As I listened to these remarkable people, my brain occasionally threw arrows of self doubt:

I wish I was that charismatic...

Dang, how come I don’t have such a clear purpose?...

I’m nowhere near the success that he’s seeing…

These thoughts are counterproductive and unhealthy.

When we compare ourselves to others, we exclusively focus on THEIR achievements and OUR shortcomings.

It completely ignores all your accomplishments and focuses on the things you don’t have.

Maybe you’ve thought (or heard others say):

How come I haven’t bought my first house yet?

Why don’t I make as much money as them?

They’re my age and they’ve done all that?? Maybe I’m not successful…

If you follow these thoughts and allow them to grow, you’ll accidentally become your own worst critic.

So here’s what I suggest:

Instead of comparing yourself to others, compare yourself to your past self.

I discovered this concept a couple years back from Dr. Benjamin Hardy.

The concept is simple: Look at where you are now and compare to where you were in your personal journey 2 years ago.

Here’s mine as an example:

Two years ago I was just seven months into my marketing career, hoping to God I hadn't made the biggest mistake by trading the highest paying sales role in my life for a shot at content marketing.

I was also about to make my first hire and become a first-time leader.

Back then my goal was to “make it in marketing.”

Even if it never showed publicly, I was anxious, uncertain, and insecure.

This version of Devin is who I compare myself to when those moments of doubt come crashing in.

Because when I look at my life today, I see a tremendous amount of progress, and as a result, pride.

I figured out B2B content marketing.

I earned the honor to build and lead a team of five phenomenal marketers.

I even mustered up the confidence to etch out my niche of content strategy, launch a newsletter, and create a video course to teach others what I’ve learned.

This is not a flex or meant to brag – it’s meant to regain perspective and instill confidence in my progress.

There have been plenty of mistakes and learnings along the way. But all in all, I’ve largely reached my goals.

This is important to remember because two years ago I did not set out to be a hyper-charismatic motivational speaker, the leader of a community for sales people, nor the 3x Top Sales Voice on LinkedIn.

Those are their goals.

So why should I compare myself to achievements that I never set out for?

This is the mental exercise I run through whenever negative comparisons creep in. And it works.

So if you find yourself comparing yourself to others – your friends, family, people on social media, celebrities, etc – consider this about personal journeys:

They start at different times.
If someone started their sales career nine years before you, it shouldn’t be a surprise why they’re closing 7-figure deals and you’re not (yet).

They have varying degrees of advantages (or lack thereof).
Without diving into the complex topic of privilege, you never know who got handouts, who didn’t, and what help others have received. These are the “invisible” factors that accelerate someone’s path to success that you won’t see with surface level comparisons.

The finish line is rarely the same.
Chances are the person you’re comparing yourself to isn’t defining success the same way as you. Plus they might be near their finish line, and you could only be on your second lap around the block – give yourself grace to finish your own race.

Remember this if you find yourself making unhealthy comparisons.

Hit the brakes, and switch your focus.

Redirect your comparison to you from two years ago. Because THAT’s who you want to pass.

Focus on “beating” yourself every two years, and your confidence, happiness, and motivation will soar. And you’ll be wildly successful.

Holler at you next Saturday,

PS: Here are the rest of the amazing creators pictured above – every single one is worth a follow: Jed Mahrle, Leslie Douglas, James Buckley.

Did you get value from this post? I’d be honored if you shared this link with your friends or on LinkedIn. Here’s an example from Ryan Dinkler for inspiration.