In this industry, it’s fairly standard practice to observe what other businesses are doing, and to seek advice and help from other beauty business owners that we know have similar experiences, or who have achieved success. But at what point does this information-seeking path turn to comparisons and jealousy? And what can we do about it?
There are so many variables when it comes to beauty, spa and aesthetics businesses that seem so small and yet can make a world of difference to our overall success and bottom line. These can include location, if there’s parking or public transport, the number of years’ experience each staff member has, whether or not you serve a beverage to clients in the waiting room, style of uniforms, the tone of voice of our front of house staff, the way our team does their makeup…and so, even if our treatment menu is the same as another’s, with so many thousands of possible combinations of these types of details and more, why must we compare ourselves so closely to other businesses?
Comparing oneself to another business or business owner may start with the best of intentions (the betterment of your own business!) but can easily lead to jealousy, as well as feelings that the other business may present as ‘competition’ or a potential risk of clientele theft. And once these feelings have taken hold, it can be hard to shake them.
We decided to seek the advice of an expert to help us tackle this psychological minefield. Lysn psychologist Noosha Anzab shares her tips on how business owners experiencing these types of feeling can cope and move forward in a positive way.
“Jealousy typically refers to something we already possess or want being threatened by a third person (in this case, another business owner)” says Noosha. “It’s a complex emotion that can be linked to a low self-esteem or feelings of insecurity but it also a natural, instinctive emotion that can affect all of us at some point in our lives. It can be a strange emotion too, because most of the time those feelings are unintentional. That green-eyed monster can creep in subconsciously before we even get a chance to recognise what it is that we’re feeling.”
Here are Noosha’s 8 key recommendations for dealing, growing, and healing in this situation:
TAKE A PATH OF ACCEPTANCE
As humans we are inherently competitive and we like to show off, so it’s easy to feel jealous of another person. Rather than pretending it’s not happening, take a moment to recognise your feelings and accept that you’re feeling jealous. Just because you’re having these emotions doesn’t mean you’re a bad person – it means you’re human! We will all feel jealous at some point in our lives and it’s okay to recognise and accept when it happens.
CONSIDER WHY YOU MIGHT BE FEELING JEALOUS
Oftentimes jealousy stems back to some of our own issues with feeling inadequate, inferior or insecure. As humans naturally make comparisons to others and it can bring out our own feelings of mediocrity or some resentment towards another person. Ask yourself what is it about this other business that’s making yourself feel jealous, then see if it could be linked back to the way you feel about yourself.
SHOW SOME LOVE TO YOURSELF
It is natural to feel jealous every now and then, but if you catch yourself doing it incessantly then try to focus on what you find good in yourself. It is paramount that we start from the inside – out. The relationship with ourselves helps us model the relationship we have with others. It aids us in knowing what we want to accept, expect and deserve. Security in who you are and what you offer can aid in building healthy foundations for all your relationships as it can help prevent jealousy and doubt. Building confidence in yourself helps you be assertive in what you want and need out of a relationship and to be able to stand up for what you believe in. Spend time internally praising yourself or seek out reassurance from others.
SHOW SOME LOVE TO THEM
It is possible to feel an array of emotions at once, so if you find yourself feeling jealous, try to add in some other emotions. Think about the things that this other business has that you’re envious of and try to show some love. Take some time to acknowledge the other person and commend them for what they have done. This might mean you have to swallow some of your ego but commending them will enhance the relationship and maybe even make you feel better about yourself or your own business.
ASK FOR AN OUTSIDER’S PERSPECTIVE
Some emotions like feeling jealous can often cloud our rational thinking or judgement. Sometimes our jealous feelings can be irrational, especially if linked to our own self esteem issues. Consider talking to family or friends outside of that social circle about how you’re feeling and why you might be feeling jealous. Seeking a rational outside perspective on the situation can help make you see a little more clearly.
DON’T ACT ON YOUR FEELINGS
It is normal to have jealous thoughts sometimes, but it is when people act on them that it can cause a wide range of negative behaviours and consequences which can hurt and upset other people. Recognise that these thoughts are not reality and that you don’t need to obey these feelings. Whilst we can do things to stop feeling jealous, it can be a natural reaction, but we just need to ensure that we don’t let the temporary emotion take over our behaviours. This could lead to doing something or acting in a way that we may cause harm to someone else or later regret.
CONTROL YOUR RESPONSE
As mentioned earlier, you can accept that you have feelings of jealousy, but you do not have to act on them. Remember that jealous feelings are different from jealous behaviours so whilst you might not be able to completely control your feelings, you can control how you respond to them. Studies have shown that envy and physical pain actually use the same area of the brain, so it can physically hurt to feel jealous! Recognise when it’s happening and adopt some tactics to turn your thought processes around.
BE ENVIOUS, NOT JEALOUS
Jealousy and envy are both emotions of comparison however there is a difference between the two. Whilst both emotions are completely normal, being envious could be considered the lesser of the two evils. Envy is typically a reaction to lacking something however it doesn’t necessarily mean that you would wish a person ill will. Envy usually refers to wanting something your friend’s new pal has and this is not unusual amongst friendship groups. Envy can actually be beneficial because it can be used to motivate and drive a person to want to succeed and do better. Jealousy or resentment on the other hand can have a negative impact on relationships and could also lead to harmful and destructive behaviours.
We at Beaute Industrie also wanted to take the opportunity to remind you – you are special, for your own reasons. All of those ‘small details’ make up who you are, and your clients love you for them, your team love you for them. And if something isn’t working for you, approach it according to what is right for your business, team, clientele, location, and beliefs – not those of another business’! And for those of you who are frustrated by ‘competitiors’ offering insane discounts that you simply can’t compete with, our advice is – don’t! You don’t have to compete, or price-match. Simply remind your clients that they are paying a premium for your team’s superior education, your extensive informed consent and safety protocols, the time you take to get to know your clients’ needs, all those little ‘extras’ that go into making each visit a beautiful one. And if anyone doesn’t see the value in that – are they really worth having as clients!?
Noosha Anzab is a clinical psychotherapist & psychologist at Lysn. Lysn is a digital mental health company with world class wellbeing technology which helps people find their best-fit professional psychologist whilst being able to access online tools to improve their mental health. Head to www.welysn.com