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3 Ways To Harness Envy To Drive Success

Envy can be a powerful motivator and idea-generator if you have the right mindset. Here’s how you can make it a success tool.

In today’s competitive and fast-changing world of entrepreneurship, it is common to scan and process social data to be able to differentiate yourself from your competition and stay relevant. It can be difficult to feel uncomfortable emotions like envy when you compare your chances and benefits with other entrepreneurs.

Business envy is the feeling of jealousy that arises from another entrepreneur’s success. We tend to believe that entrepreneurs are more successful if they have business envy. Envy can reduce a person’s ability to create new ideas and make it easier to give up. This sentiment can be a positive for entrepreneurs.

Benign envy vs. malicious envy

Research has shown that envy can manifest in two ways. One, it can be painfully hostile (malicious envy), and the other, it can be productive but not harmful (beneign envy). Both forms of envy can be characterized as feelings of frustration and inferiority. However, they each promote different motivational drives. Malicious envy encourages ill will, or worse, destructive behavior towards the desired goal. While benign envy inspires anger, it is motivated by ill will. Desire to improve one’s relative standing.

Corporate envy can be dangerous if it is presented in a malicious way. It can lead entrepreneurs to concentrate their energies and attention on the envious businessman at the expense the company. If envy is presented in its benign aspect, however, it can be a motivating force that can help entrepreneurs come up with new ideas, take advantage of new opportunities, and work hard for their success.

These are three ways to overcome business envy and channel your feelings for success.

1. Learn from the failures and successes of others

You may think that successful entrepreneurs are lucky because they do things well. This kind of thinking can lead to malicious envy. It is often a lie. People are quick to celebrate their successes while hiding their failures. Keep this in mind: If you look at other entrepreneurs succeeding, you will know that you are only part of the story.

Knowing that entrepreneurs have had failures just like you can reduce the feeling of malicious envy. In a study on envy among entrepreneurs, it was found that entrepreneurs who openly acknowledged their successes and failures during presentations were more likely to be envied by peers than those who only saw them. Instead of being malicious, they claimed to be more motivated to improve their businesses.

2. Reflect on your successes

Malicious envy is a dangerous form of envy. It makes you feel powerless and unable to control the situation. It is possible to overcome these feelings by reflecting back on your past achievements and successes. Research has shown that people with positive views of their abilities and competences are more inclined to seek out the lessons from those they admire. Reflecting on your strengths and achievements can help you feel more confident to learn from those you envy in business.

3. Get help

It can be a great idea to build a relationship with your envy employer and even collaborate with them. Research has shown that it is easier to channel envy and motivate yourself to do better if you see the target as trustworthy, helpful, or friendly. This is because you are more likely to see the person you envy like a friend than an enemy and be more aware of the consequences. You can find the good in the entrepreneur you admire even if it’s not possible to build a friendship with them. You could focus on their contributions to the community, how their employees are treated fairly, or how important they serve customers.

Entrepreneurs can have business envy as a mixed blessing. While benign envy can help them succeed, malicious envy can make it impossible. It is important to recognize the true nature and value of others’ success, as well as acknowledge your own achievements, and to actively foster positive relationships.


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I’m Rosie Emery and welcome to my blog. After being unemployed for a while after losing my job because the company went bust, I focus my attention on building a new business for myself which is now become rather successful. In this blog I'll be talking about business along with other aspects of life and solving life's problems that I seem to have become so knowledgeable in through my own difficult circumstances. I hope you are able to gain a lot from my posts.

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