5 Steps to Turning Professional Envy Into Inspiration

I have clients that suffer from it. Heck, even I suffer from it from time to time. It is that ugly green-eyed monster that hops up on your shoulder and whispers in your ear, “Why aren’t I doing as well as that person?” And then it gets you wondering, “That person is not as talented as me, how does he/she get so much business?”

This rhetoric is what we refer to as Professional Envy, or ‘PE’, and we are especially vulnerable to it when we experience a setback in business.

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Falling victim to this green-eyed monster does us no good and puts us in a place where we question, and sometimes doubt, everything that we are doing. Fortunately, there is a way to keep ‘PE’ at bay. Here are five ideas that I find highly effective:

  1. THE PIE.  You have to always remember that there is plenty of room in our profession for everyone; the pie is indeed big enough for us to share. If you lose a gig to your competitor this year, you’ll get it next year. Everyone is on their own path, and some will move faster than others. Some are better at selling themselves. If you have trouble selling yourself, there’s no time like the present to sharpen up your sales skills. Here’s a blog I wrote about that recently.
  1. THE MARKET. If someone is getting a fee that you have not achieved yet, this is great news!! Why? Because it tells you that the market is willing to pay that fee. If you are not quite there yet, have patience and persistence, and you will surely get there.
  1. THE BLOCKS. Consider whether or not you are getting in your own way. Often, we are the only thing that holds us back – whether it be self-limiting beliefs or listening too much to that green-eyed monster on our shoulder. Work hard on the mental aspects of success so that when you get there, you will be much less likely to implode and move backward.

Let me share with you a personal example of this. I once took a job for a very successful magazine publisher in Vancouver. I was his agent for speaking and pinched myself when we were flying around in private jets and helicopters. I had a beautiful office right next to his, a company car and a sweet six-figure salary. However, having come from a place of “struggle” before that, even though I was often the last person in the office and we had huge success with many of my campaigns, I did not feel deep down that I deserved that kind of wealth. I hit a big ‘Block’, and I sabotaged myself right out of that job and into one that had me starting over from scratch.

  1. THE COMPARISON. Sometimes the folks you are comparing yourself to have been around for quite some time and have spent countless hours moving into their current position in the market. I had a client who was comparing herself to another speaker, trying to figure out why she was struggling in her first year of business when another speaker was doing so well. I had to remind her a couple of times that the other speaker had been busy at it for nearly a decade. “Oh right! she said and then gave herself a break.
  1. THE FENCE. The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. Remember that with success comes a whole different set of struggles. Too much business means that you may have a lack of balance in your life. It means more living in airports and hotels, and possibly less time with your family. Be crystal clear on what your definition of success is and stop looking across the fence!

Using these five strategies, you should be able to move past the green-eyed monster and Professional Envy and only concentrate on your business. Doing so will help you move your business forward, and soon you’ll be the envy of every new speaker in your market.

See you soon Wealthy Speakers!

Jane Atkinson

  • DeDe Murcer Moffett

    Very nice article!

    • speakerlauncher

      Thanks DeDe!! Love the use of the brand – great title!

  • Envy is something almost everyone experiences from time to time. When I do, I remind myself of something said by George Will: envy is the only one of the seven deadly sins which does not provide even temporary pleasure.

    • HAHA! That’s true David!

    • speakerlauncher

      Very nice David! So true! There is no upside.

  • Great one Jane! Thanks! This goes for all businesses.

    • speakerlauncher

      Thanks Linda, feel free to share!

  • Love number one – coming from a place of abundance is always healthier for us in the long run than working from a place of scarcity.

    • speakerlauncher

      Thanks Jen, perhaps I’ll write an entire post on that one. It’s a good topic that I love to talk about 🙂