How to Stay Positive When Everyone Else is Doing Better Than You

By Sean Ogle •  Updated: 07/16/23 •  6 min read

Ever feel like everyone else is having more success than you?

It’s one of the worst feelings in the world.

There’s jealousy, perceived failure, and frustration all rolled up into one tangled ball of confusion in your mind.

What am I doing wrong?

Why am I not seeing more success implementing this strategy?

Why does no one seem to care about this thing that I’ve spent months of my free time building up?

These are all questions that may be floating around in your head. And you reach that breaking point where you feel like all of your efforts have been wasted.

Well you know what?

They haven’t been wasted.

Jealousy Rears it’s Ugly Head

There was a time when I almost quit blogging. It was years ago. Even though there were a lot of bright spots, I didn’t feel like I was making progress as quickly as I should have been.

Jealousy of my peers really began to set in.

This is one of those things that most bloggers or entrepreneurs feel at one point or another — but very few choose to write about it. There were a handful of people who started blogging within months of when I did in 2009 I’ve always compared myself to.

They each had a lot of success online.

They’ve each done things in unique ways that have inspired interest and helped them scale up their businesses quickly.

And there were times that I was jealous as hell of them and wished that my business was growing as fast as theirs. The frustration that I wasn’t moving faster was so intense that, at one point, I considered throwing in the towel and quitting altogether — or at least changing paths a bit.

Remember the Positive

Then I remembered something.

Even though subjectively, they were having more success than me at that moment, there were hundreds, if not thousands, that never made it.  I looked at what I had accomplished, and when I objectively took a step back, it was a lot.

The reality is, despite my competitive nature and jealousy, I had everything I needed already.

The freedom of time, enough money to do the things I wanted to, multiple niche sites that let me make money off doing things I love, and a vehicle to help people in the process.

Fast forward to now, the business has been blowing up, my travels are taking me to awesome places every month, and I couldn’t be happier with where things are at.

How to Stay Positive (Even When it’s Hard)

There are times when you rough patches that you can’t help but think irrationally. You get trapped in your own endless loop of negative thoughts, which build on each other every time they go around.

So when you get to that point where frustration is getting the better of you and you don’t know how to proceed, what should you do?

Here are some thoughts based on my experience:

Take a Step Back

Consider where you’re at and everything you’ve already done. Just by virtue of the fact you’re wanting and striving to make positive changes in your life, you’re ahead of the game.

Most people never make the conscious decision to do that and go on with their life thinking that wherever they’re at is “good enough” even if deep down they don’t believe it.

Take a step back, look at what you’ve already done, and try and put things into perspective. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your freelance writing business and new lifestyle.

Assess Your Target Market

Oftentimes the source of our struggle isn’t because we’ve implemented a bad strategy; it’s because we’ve implemented it towards a bad market.

I’m willing to bet that you may need to tweak your offering to either go more targeted or less niche.

While it’s true there is a niche for everything, depending on what you’re offering, there may or may not be enough buyers to build a sustainable business around it at this point.

For instance, there’s probably a niche for custom craftsmen who specialize in building wooden tackle boxes. You might even be able to make some money teaching people how to make wooden tackle boxes, but if you’re offering $2,000/month consulting for how to start a custom wooden tackle box building business, then you may be offering services that the market doesn’t want.

Alternately, if you’re offering services to “build a website” and your target market is everyone because, well, you can build a website for everyone – chances are that’s too broad.

No one feels that special bond with you because you’re not targeting anyone in particular. If this is your problem, niche it down and market to a smaller market of people you have more in common with.

Talk to Your Friends

It’s no secret that one of the best ways to build something new is to surround yourself with people doing the same thing (that’s why I built Location Rebel Academy).

However what happens when those peers you started talking with on a regular basis start having more success than you?

What happens when that jealousy creeps up and you realize you aren’t quite where you want to be in relation to everyone else?

The solution is easy: talk to them.

Chances are they’d jump at the opportunity to help you because they want to see you succeed too! Ask to have a conversation or perhaps a mastermind call where all they do is help you with your business, it’s amazing what 30 minutes on the phone like that can do.

Pretty much everytime I talk to my buddy Matt Giovanisci I learn something incredibly valuable for my business.

Talk to your friends; they want to help.

I have a feeling that if you’re struggling, implementing each of these three ideas is going to get you unstuck real quick and put you back on the path to ass-kicking.

This post was updated in July 2023 for accuracy.

Sean Ogle

Sean Ogle is the Founder of Location Rebel where he has spent the last 12+ years teaching people how to build online businesses that give them the freedom to do more of the things they like to do in life. When he's not in the coffee shops of Portland, or the beaches of Bali, he's probably sneaking into some other high-class establishment where he most certainly doesn't belong.
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16 comments on "How to Stay Positive When Everyone Else is Doing Better Than You"

  1. Jared says:

    I personally think the mastermind strategy works the best. When you get a different perspective from someone else on your ideas/business/struggles it really opens up new solutions that you may never have thought of.

    I’ve personally introduced this method to a small group of currency traders where we have a private network much like Facebook and bounce ideas off of each other, share files, post questions, and generally help each other out in any way we can.

    The results have been absolutely amazing and the rate of compounded knowledge continues to go up. And with amazing technology and super cheap prices anyone can create a virtual mastermind. I personally use

    Awesome post Sean

  2. I just love that you keep posting stuff that no one else talks about. Keep it up!

  3. Elisa says:

    When I figure out how to get unstuck, I’ll definitely let you know

    1. Ahh getting unstuck…that’s been the thorn in my side the past week or so!

      What I’ve used:

      – Aerobic exercise…even when I don’t feel like doing it
      – Giving myself permission to create, write or record something…no matter how shitty it is.
      – Getting on a call with someone in my network that I can be totally honest with

      Slowly but surely, seems to be working!

  4. Sean, I’m sure making more than $17,000 in operating profits a year than Adam no? Hence, don’t beat yourself up!

    Really looking forward to your income report post to make things more real.

    I’ve done one myself on Financial Samurai today as it relates to passive income and personal finance.

    Let’s do it Sean! Open up the kimono again!


  5. REWARDS! Pat yourself on the back for making progress. Wether big, medium, small, or minuscule. Are you better than you were yesterday? If so, pat on the back.

    Great post Sean!

  6. Chas says:

    I don’t get caught up in jealousy, or envy, but, concentrate on my own endeavors. I do, however, get frustrated and feel like I am just spinning my wheels at times. I have no desire to be Sean Ogle, Natalie Sisson, Steve Jobs, or Mark Zuckerberg~ tasting some of their success, on my own path, however, is a desire that I have. I just keep on keeping on~ lack of action will not produce results, either.

  7. Andrew says:

    Hey Sean, my name is Andrew. I’m 20 years old and I’m just a random person that wanted to say good job at succeeding in the way you did. I have been suffering from depression
    most of my life and I thought it’d be a good idea to talk to you. Message me back if you’d like to talk.

  8. Jeremy says:

    Great article, I really like this viewpoint. It’s always best to stay positive, I believe most people give up just before they were about to become successful.

    I can be pretty hard on myself when it comes to achievements and success, I’m never where I want to be. I don’t get jealous though, especially of my friends. I’d rather have everyone else doing better than me than vice versa, but I’m kinda weird like that.

    Great article! I love this blog.

  9. Darlene says:

    Hey Sean, how’s China? Can’t wait to hear about the trade show in more detail.

    As for unsticking myself, I find that I have to unplug for a while and leave it alone for a day or so. Go do something else instead of focus on it. I agree to be happy with what you HAVE done and not what you haven’t, but that’s a tough one sometimes.

    One other unrelated thing I do just to put life in perspective, is go and volunteer at a soup kitchen for a day or a week. Talk to the homeless people that frequent it. Makes me feel a WHOLE lot more grateful for everything!

    @Andrew, what is it you want to do in life? What are you passionate about? What excites you when you talk about it?

  10. Mike Sherry says:

    Thanks for writing this Sean.

    I’ve been going through this in recent weeks, as I’ve been writing my first articles and website content.

    I also have the goal of becoming location independent through building a website that highlights how I am transitioning out of my job in the next few months.

    I go through periods of being inspired and uplifted by reading the content put out by you, Natalie Sisson, Tim Ferriss and other big names, and then sometimes wonder why my own vision seems to be taking longer than I’d like. I want to be out of my job YESTERDAY!

    My plan is to be kinder and more patient with myself, starting today. I’m gonna hit the gym, get a nice haircut and get ready for my work trip to Seattle tomorrow. That’ll be a nice break from the grind. =)

    Looking forward to meeting you on one of our future adventures, dude!


  11. I’ve found that going with the flow, the path of least resistance, as it were, works best for me. So I lean heavily into that downward spiral because I know that when I finally get to the bottom of the barrel, there’ll be no place left but to go up. Unless of course I simply decide to “check out” at that time, going sideways, so to speak. So yeah, I think if I’m faced with the choice of either climbing back up through the piles of excrement I passed while I was on my way down just to get back to where I started, or simply snuffing it one evening with a revolver, I think I’d still probably climb upwards, for a while at least.

  12. Tamsin Jones says:

    What do you guys actually *do*? Blog? Blog about blogging? Blogging about bloggers? Whenever I try to figure out why I am not succeeding as I would like, I find sites such as yours. But surely there’s more to life than blogging and internet entrepreneurship, whatever that may mean. I’m a musician: I sing professionally, I can speak expertly about music, and I can compose music (and I don’t mean just strum A m- G – F – E over and over again on an acoustic guitar). Yet it’s as much as I can do to feed and clothe myself.

    Why is that blogging about blogging is popular and valued so highly? Don’t traditional skills count anymore?

    Sorry for the rant, but I am frustrated with this topsy-turvy world.

  13. Dee from Lan, MI says:

    I’m a 41 year old male who’s been working the same job for 22 years. In the last 5 years my closest friends (and some not so close) have been ascending in the ranks of opportunity. Three of them got jobs at GM (which I tried 3 times), two for the State of MI and my b.f.f. works for one the largest mortgage companies in the US which is located in Detroit. ALL of them are doing well and it was just a few years ago we were ALL lobbying for the same positions. I see people getting out of prison after serving 5, 10, 20 years and ending up with jobs almost as much pay as I’ve earned.

    I feel as though God doesn’t want me to crawl out from under the shell of who I once was. I’ve put in for other jobs/ opportunities but nothing. It’s like God’s saying “Fuck you, be happy, it could be worse”. And me, I live like “It could be Better!”.

    I have a c0-worker who’s luck is off the scale. He plays Keno and wins $400 at least once a week. I can’t go give plasma for money because I don’t have a friggin SS card (which I do now). All in all, it seems everyone else can make an extra buck and I feel as though I’ve been forgotten by the forces of earth, time, and relevance. I blame no one but myself, I’m just tryin’ to get myself together and make some money that doesn’t involve illegal ventures (which never worked out for me anyway). Help please. Sorry for bitching, I just needed to vent.

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