Comparisons Are for Comparers
2013 was an incredible year for socialdeviant. It was our 2nd year in operation, and truth be told, my ambition was simply to remain in business, win a bit of business, attract some amazing talent, and get to cash flow positive. Nothing more, nothing less.
Along the way, we did amazing things.
We won more business than I could possibly have imagined.
We attracted the best talent I’ve ever met.
And we had great meeting after great meeting – with senior leaders, industry dignitaries, CEOs, music icons, and more.
Our office was lyrically burgled (thank you the KIN), we discussed with Will.i.am the opportunity to manage the BEP social community, we spoke at major conferences, we roadtripped to Milwaukee via train, we had client meetings on a ski mountain (thank you Keystone) and amidst palm trees (thank you Farmers and TE), we had a teacher blog-a-thon, we invaded Central Park (thank you Marshall), had the funnest band there ever was play at our holiday blowout (thank you Rod Tuffcurls), and we won almost everything we pitched.
Magical. Blessed. Lucky. All of the above.
Call it what you will, it was a very, very special year.
And over the holidays, I got to thinking.
How can we possibly top that year. How can we possibly do better in 2014 than we did in 2013?
I racked my brain. I made mental plans. I lined up meetings. Lots of them.
And then, I realized something that, shame on me, I should have known all along.
There’s no way to compare one year to the next. It’s not even an exercise worth engaging in.
Comparisons are a very nefarious thing. Invariably, they lead to no good.
We compare ourselves to others. To our older brother. To the start-up down the street. To the leader who just penned an amazing article. To the TED speaker everyone is raving about.
And the voices in our heads say things like “hey, that should be me. Why aren’t I brilliant, like that?”
And as I contemplated how to make 2014 as good, if not better, than 2013, I remembered something my Dad once said to me.
He said, “Son, there will always be somebody smarter, somebody faster, somebody better looking…I promise you. So don’t bother making comparisons. They’ll only make you more frustrated.”
And you know what? He’s totally right.
There’s zero upside to making any comparisons.
And so, I re-thought 2013. It as an amazing year, by any metric. And so, instead of trying to make 2014 even better, here’s my plan.
I’m going to put 2013 on a shelf. Memorialize it, in bronze. Make a plaque. Rubber stamp it, no erasies.
And be thankful that it happened. No questions asked. No attempt to replicate. It was what it was, when it was.
And that’s freed me up to view 2014 for what it is. An entirely new year, full of possibilities and its own, its very own, mojo.
Step by step, year by year, we make something worth remembering happen. Entirely in its own right.
What’s that you say, 2014? Yes, I hear you. 2015 can wait. It’s your time, right now.