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Opinion Editorials

Why you should stop trying to be the next Zuckerberg or Jobs

You want your name to be known, not overshadowed by every person that came before in business; so please, stop comparing yourself to everyone else.

Why compare yourself to someone else?

Every. Single. Day. I receive at least five emails from new startup companies, wherein the startup founder is quoted as saying they’re “the next Facebook/Apple/etc.” Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing about new startups before others and I love reading all about their new adventures, but I’m left wondering, why?

Why, as you’re embarking on this glorious new adventure would you want to begin by comparing yourself to someone else? Of course, I understand it’s a term of reference, harkening to the all-too-familiar Facebook and Zuckerberg’s immense success, but why compare yourself to him and your brand to Facebook?

F**k the “next best thing” culture

In a world full of the “next best thing,” why wouldn’t you want to be known for who and what you are without comparison and without imitation. You are not the next anyone, but you. You’re you and why would you want to be anyone else? Obviously you’re pretty great, or you wouldn’t be launching your own startup.

“Every champion was once a contender that refused to give up,” and you want your name to be known, not overshadowed by every person that came before you. Comparing yourself to others is a surefire way to tank your confidence because as soon as you say, “we’re the next Facebook,” someone will start pointing out how you are nothing like Facebook. This doesn’t mean you don’t have a great product or service, but once you open that Pandora’s box, it’s almost impossible to close the lid.

Celebrate your OWN accomplishments

How you measure up against someone else holds absolutely no importance in your own life anyway, at least it shouldn’t. The goal of life is not the be better than someone else; the goal of life is to be the best you that you can possibly be and you can’t be that if you’re standing in the shadow of someone, or something else.

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Rather than compare yourself to another business, celebrate your own accomplishments. Value what you have done, how you started your company, how you came up with your idea, because the quicker you find the joy in your own business, the quicker this joy and enthusiasm will become contagious. You don’t have to compare yourself to be successful. You’ve already done the scariest part: begun the launch process of a new business.

You’ve got this. Besides, with all the changes to Facebook’s algorithm, who really wants to be Zuckerberg anyway?


Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.



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