Comparing My Beginning With Someone Else’s Middle

India Gate Picnic

{Picnic to India Gate with the Team}

“One of the great temptations for us as leaders and dreamers is to compare the start of our new adventures to the middle of someone else’s. You work on your first book and pick up Max Lucado’s 14th book and say, “Mine isn’t as good.” You post your first blog post and look at Michael Hyatt’s 100th and think, “Mine is nowhere near as great as that.” You give your first speech and watch Ken Robinson’s 1,000th at TED and think, “I’m not great like that.” It’s true. You’re not. Yet.” – Jon Acuff

A few weeks back we launched It’s our little jewelry company that employs women who live in a New Delhi slum so we can help them A) learn a trade, B) provide much-needed income for their families and C) have a safe and respectable place to work. We began back in August planning and creating products to sell in the US. I love that we are empowering women and creating beautiful products.

I’ve had my own graphic design business before, but that was just me and my husband. This has been an entirely new and stretching experience altogether. Did I mention the word S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G?

Anyway, naively, I felt like if we just got the website up then we’d be flooded with business because I LOVE our creations, what we stand for and want others to love it as well. I had sort of a “If you build it they will come” type of mentality. Uncharacteristically positive Kim showed up and set her expectations high. All the while my husband, the realist in this case, warned me that we are new, people will need to touch and see and experience the products themselves before they buy. And that businesses take time to get established and blah, blah, blah…

So we launched at the end of November. It’s been about seven weeks now and we’re not as big as The Noonday Collection. Which has been going since 2011. And for some reason this surprises me and makes me want to compare our little business that has just begun to one that has a large staff and has been in existence for a few more years. As such, it makes me question my abilities and feel like I’m failing, even though we’ve only started.

I’m comparing our beginning with someone else’s middle and that road doesn’t lead me to good places emotionally or mentally. 

The comparison game hinders creativity and forward movement in my life. Like right now. That’s totally happening.

I feel paralyzed.

I feel like sinking back into my INFP self, but I feel the weight of responsibility like never before. I feel responsible for the ladies and growth and making it work. It’s a tension I’m only beginning to understand and definitely haven’t learned how to manage.

There is a point of working hard and making it through the tough times and there’s a point in which the results have to be left to the Lord and what he wants to do in me and through this business long-term.

I’m trying to remember that I’ve been wired perfectly for the tasks that God has laid out for me to do. And even that I’m still becoming what he wants me to be.

I’ve never been patient with processes. I like to see things done today. I feel that way about myself a lot, but it never lands me in a good place when I let myself go there.

So. I’m going to try and REJOICE in small beginnings. And not let slow starts steal my joy. I’m going to look at what is and not what isn’t.

Or at least that’s the plan.

Have you ever compared your beginning to someone else’s middle? What did you learn through that experience?

2 thoughts on “Comparing My Beginning With Someone Else’s Middle”

  • Hi Kim. I found your post through Velvet Ashes and discovered your work and website. I can well understand all the challenges you are going through because my husband and I are doing something similar in China. We set up a website but it was very hard to get traffic to it unless we gathered an email list and sent out weekly promos. But I do want to let you know about WorldCrafts, a ministry in the US that orders handcrafted products from around the world. They are a great group and they place big orders with us twice a year. May He abundantly bless all that you are doing to help these ladies. Grace L

    • Thanks so much for the info! Will definitely get in touch with them. Traffic is hard to get– we love letting people touch and try on the jewelry, but having parties all the time is not always possible. Thanks again for the encouragement and info. Blessings to you as well!

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