In this episode, Jenn Trepeck teaches us why comparison is natural and how to deal with it in a healthy way that leads us closer to our goals by building our confidence instead of creating self-doubt.

We cover information about why our brains are hard-wired for comparison and practical strategies to handle the frustration of feeling that we are not doing as well as others in our space and how to reframe the situation in order to unlock more opportunities.

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.

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Guest Details

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Bio

Jenn Trepeck has been described as a “force of nature” in the wellness space, recognized as one of Podcast Magazine’s 40 under 40, and nominated for the 2022 International Women’s Podcast Award for Visionary Leadership. She is an Optimal Health Coach, Podcaster, and Business Consultant. After graduating from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, Jenn founded Better Life Now LLC while working full time in hedge funds. After over a decade of building her practice as a side-hustle, Jenn took the leap to full-time self-employment. That’s when she launched Salad with a Side of Fries Podcast, empowering larger audiences to achieve optimal health. She helps aspiring wellness warriors break into the health world, and mentors entrepreneurs to get started or level-up

Takeaways

  • Understand the Psychological Basis of Comparison: The innate tendency of human brains to compare is a natural response rather than a flaw. By acknowledging this tendency, individuals can adopt a more compassionate approach towards themselves and others.
  • Reframe Your Perspective: Instead of viewing others’ success as a threat, recognize the abundance of opportunities within your niche by embracing a mindset of collaboration over competition.
  • Cultivate Grounded Confidence: Grounded confidence means that you stay true to your vision amidst external comparisons. By cultivating confidence in your expertise and audience, you can can navigate challenges with resilience and creativity.
  • Journal and Seek Support: By articulating your thoughts and seeking alternative perspectives, you can gain clarity and resilience in the face of comparison.
  • Creating New Neuropathways: Create new neuropathways by interrupting negative thought patterns with a simple “Cancel, cancel” technique. By replacing unproductive thoughts with positive affirmations, you can shift their mindset towards growth and possibility.
  • Observing the Mind: Meditation is highlighted as a powerful tool for observing the mind rather than trying to control it.
  • Strategic Competition Analysis: While it’s essential to stay informed about competitors’ strategies, it’s important to do strategic analysis at specific intervals rather than constant comparison.
  • Make Changes in a Constructive Way: If you do decide to change your strategy in line with competitors, make sure that it’s still in line with your values and not shiny object syndrome.

Resources Mentioned

Book a 30-min complimentary consultation with Jenn Trepeck.

Transcript

Click for full script.

EBT515 – Jenn Trepeck

Intro 00:00

Food bloggers. Hi, how are you today? Thank you so much for tuning in to the Eat Blog Talk podcast. This is the place for food bloggers to get information and inspiration to accelerate your blog’s growth, and ultimately help you to achieve your freedom. Whether that’s financial, personal, or professional. I’m Megan Porta. I have been a food blogger for 13 years, so I understand how isolating food blogging can be. I’m on a mission to motivate, inspire, and most importantly, let each and every food blogger, including you, know that you are heard and supported. 

Wow. Well, I just got done recording this amazing interview, and if you are ready to be inspired, tune in and listen to the entire thing. Jenn Trepeck from A Salad With A Side Of Fries joins me in this amazing conversation and we talk about avoiding comparison. As you know, comparison is something that is very prevalent in our space in many different ways. I think we all feel this from time to time, some of us more than others. This conversation with Jenn will give you some really great, tangible ideas about how to deal with it, not necessarily trying to extinguish it, but dealing with it in a really healthy way. This is a little bit of a deep conversation, but we also do talk about those tangible things that you can take away and implement in your life so that you don’t feel like you’re constantly comparing yourself to others with any dysfunction or anything like that. Enjoy this one. It’s so good. It’s episode number 515, Sponsored by RankIQ.

Sponsor 01:41

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Megan Porta 03:12

Jenn Trepeck has been described as a force of nature in the wellness space, recognized as one of podcast magazines, 40 under 40, and nominated for the 2022 International Women’s Podcast Award for Visionary Leadership. She is an optimal health coach, podcaster and business consultant. After graduating from the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business, Jenn founded Better life now LLC, while working full-time in hedge funds. After over a decade of building her practice as a side hustle, Jenn took the leap of full-time, self-employment. That is when she launched a Salad with a Side of Fries podcast, empowering larger audiences to achieve optimal health. She helps aspiring wellness warriors break into the health world, and she mentors entrepreneurs to get started or level up. Well, hello Jenn. Welcome to the podcast. How are you today?

Jenn Trepeck 04:01

Hi Megan. I’m good. Thanks for having me. I’m excited for our chat.

Megan Porta 04:05

Me too. I love this topic. I mean, it’s a hard one, but it’s a really important one to talk about avoiding comparison and how to deal with that. First, though, do you have a fun fact to share with us?

Jenn Trepeck 04:16

I do. So when I moved to New York in 2005, I joke that I was like the bastard child of the business school because I didn’t have a job when I moved to New York and my backup plan if I didn’t have a job. So I moved in like May, and my backup plan, if I didn’t have a job by Labor Day was to go to culinary school.

Megan Porta 04:41

Oh.

Jenn Trepeck 04:42

I know.

Megan Porta 04:43

Amazing. Okay, so this ties in so well with everything we’re talking about, food bloggers and the name of your business, your blog and your business. So yeah. That’s so cool. And a lot of food bloggers do pursue culinary school. It’s not something I’ve ever wanted to do, but I respect people who have that desire. It’s a big deal.

Jenn Trepeck 05:05

I know. And now I do some videos in restaurants and interview chefs and general managers and restaurant owners, and now I don’t think I could ever go back and do it, but it had a moment in my life.

Megan Porta 05:16

Right. Yeah. There are those things when you look back and you’re like, oh, that had a moment and it passed. That’s okay. Well, awesome to learn that about you. So can you tell us a little bit about your business? We would love to know just where you come from and what you do.

Jenn Trepeck 05:31

Absolutely. So my background is business and marketing and I came to all the wellness stuff through my own, I call it a saga of weight management. And I started my business as a side hustle, health coaching on the side while working full-time. I was a photo shoot producer and then I worked in hedge funds. Fast forward July of 2019, I left my full-time job and launched my podcast Salad with a Side of Fries. From there, it has just snowballed, and so I take content that I create with the podcast and you know, use it for articles and things like that that I publish all over. And then taking sort of my passion in the wellness space and my business background and my experience in podcasting. I also do a bit of business and podcast coaching. Okay. So, you know, our conversation today about comparison is one that certainly started in the wellness space when I was digging into it. And then it was coming up kind of across the board, even with friends. Right. In everything. And so, you know, our conversation today really blends everything together.

Megan Porta 06:45

Yeah, I love that. I love how it’s all kind of meshing together and this topic is so near and dear to our hearts. Unfortunately, like our space is completely saturated. There are so many food bloggers kind of vying for traffic. You know, we tend to think that if our competitors get it, that we aren’t going to get it, and we have that. Perspective that there’s not enough and that we Yes. Need to compare to be better. You know what I mean? Like that whole scarcity mindset.

Jenn Trepeck 07:16

A hundred percent.

Megan Porta 07:17

So this is a really important topic. So why, I guess to start, like why do you think we do compare ourselves? Is there something emotional there? Why do we do this?

Jenn Trepeck 07:27

Yeah, so this was the most eye-opening thing to me, is that psychologists believe in all of their research that our brains are hardwired for comparison. So by that it means that it’s actually not even a choice. That that is almost the default mode of the brain, which almost when I learned that kind of felt like a weight lifted too, because it was like there’s, there’s nothing wrong with me, that I see those things and compare that that’s actually how our brains are wired. So the idea that we’re not going to compare is the piece that’s actually creating maybe more of the frustration or discontent. Right. Versus saying, okay, brain, thank you. You know, and then we can reframe it or think about it a little bit differently.

Megan Porta 08:20

So it’s, that’s really interesting. But it makes sense because we do it so easily.

Jenn Trepeck 08:25

Right? Yeah. And I think, you know, there’s a lot of people like, you know, Brené Brown talks about comparison and another researcher, Scott Shun from Sun and Shine, he talks about how too, like, you know the phrase like the grass is greener or the grass always looks greener. So he actually dug into it and found that like, because of physics and how blades of grass are shaped, it’s actually physics. The grass is greener when we look at it from the other angle. And so again, it just goes to say like, there’s nothing wrong with us foreseeing that or thinking that. Mm. It then becomes a process of, okay, I can observe that that’s happening then what?

Megan Porta 09:08

Right. So observing, being aware that it’s there, that it is an ingrained thing. So then it’s a just a choice. Like do we resist this or do we accept it?

Jenn Trepeck 09:19

Right. And I think it can be a really interesting tool if we’re willing to kind of sit with it for a second. And you also don’t even have to sit with it in that moment. Right. We could come back to it later and be like, wow, that really kind of got under my skin yesterday when I heard that interview or when I saw that thing. Right when I read that article, that was literally identical to something I was writing. Right. And we feel that frustration. So when we come back to it, we can kind of use it as a tool to say, okay, why did that bother me so much? Is it that scarcity piece of if they publish the article, it’s one less spot for me? And then we can sort of rationalize our way through it of like, is that actually true? Like not really because that thing is, you know, that publication or my blog, like I’m going to publish again. People have the capacity and look for many approaches to the same conversation, you know? And so we can sort of talk ourselves through it. Another piece I see a lot is we are often comparing apples and oranges. So a lot of times we see someone’s outcome, right? And compare it to our process. For example, we might see that somebody else wins some award or some recognition and we think, here I am, I’m over here grinding it out every day. Right? There’s an outcome and then there’s a process. Rather than looking and saying, wait a minute, again, the opposite of scarcity. If they won that award, that means there are awards to win in this space. And it’s possible for them. It’s possible for me. I wonder what their process was. How similar is their grind to my grind, right. Their day-to-day to my day. What are the systems, what are the process? What are the habits that they’re following that got them to that end point? Am I on that same trajectory? Is there something I could tweak in my process that might help me accomplish the same outcome?

Megan Porta 11:44

My gosh, that’s really powerful. And I feel like you have to kinda train yourself to think that way, right? Because like you said, it’s ingrained to compare and to kinda go down that road of oh well they’re there and I’m not there yet.

Jenn Trepeck 11:59

Absolutely. And sometimes, you know, part of it too is like, it’s a concept called like upward social comparison that like we compare ourselves to who we think somebody is versus oh yeah. The reality. And so it’s all of the things that if we can get ourselves to pause and just consider what else might be happening, you know? And like you said, it’s a practice, it’s another thing to kind of push ourselves to do sometimes or to just stop doing and thinking for a second. And this, it literally might be a 60 or 90 second exercise of like, huh, that got under my skin. Thanks brain. Right. What am I making up as part of that story?

Megan Porta 12:47

Right. Do you ever journal through or do you just kinda talk to yourself through it when you experience it yourself? Do you journal it? What are some other ways we can work through that?

Jenn Trepeck 12:56

Absolutely. Especially for writers and bloggers. Journaling. Right? That’s your medium. Journal it out. Right? I’m a talker, that’s why I do the podcast and then turn the podcast into articles, right? So I talk through it, but your medium is whatever works for you. So like a hundred percent grab the journal, maybe call a friend, right? Find another person in your space to be like, okay, help me rewrite this story. Right? If you were going to make up and fill in the blanks, what’s another alternative that like, I’m not thinking of because in my head, this is what happened for this person. But like you make up a different story so that I could potentially wrap my head around a different possibility.

Megan Porta 13:44

And that’s when the importance of just high quality friendships comes in too. Because you want someone who’s going to help you through that and not be like, oh my gosh, that sucks. That’s you know, bring you down more.

Jenn Trepeck 13:55

Yeah. And I think your show does this so well, right? Of focusing on the collaboration over the competition, right. Focusing on the possibilities instead of the comparison and the scarcity. Right? So it’s even if it’s somebody else in your space who you have that dynamic within and that relationship who can, you know, commiserate with you and in their own creativity, right? Offer a different perspective.

Megan Porta 14:26

Yeah. That’s so important because it really can bring you down, it can spiral quickly and get outta control honestly. Yeah. You need that solid person to kinda bring you back.

Jenn Trepeck 14:38

Yeah. And like we said, I mean it could be, you know, another person, it could just be your journal. It could just be getting out, you know, encouraging yourself in your journaling exercise to write three scenarios for this person’s story, you know? Yeah. Like filling in the blanks. because It’s like, remember I picture that old poster that I feel like every teacher had on their wall of like the iceberg and the water line, right? And you only see the tip of the iceberg out of the water and everything else is below.

Megan Porta 15:09

Yes. We’ve all seen that, right?

Jenn Trepeck 15:12

Yeah. Right. We see the tip of the iceberg and we make up everything that’s below the waterline.

Megan Porta 15:19

So true. I think that’s such a good reminder. Like there’s so much. That you have no idea about the person or situation that you’re comparing at all so much that you don’t know.

Jenn Trepeck 15:30

And then to say too, like, we don’t know the other part of that story and our brain is hardwired to make it up. So let’s make it up in six different ways. And remember too, and this sort of goes into like understanding your space, like knowing really clearly who you serve and who your audience is and the way you approach topics. You might also find that you’re not even looking at the same iceberg. Meaning let’s say, you know, your niche is really, you know, food sensitivities or you know, cooking for families, right? Or maybe you’re all about food innovation. So then when we see something happening for somebody who writes about something totally different, right? It might be a tangent or it might be something like it’s, we don’t have to compare because they’re not even in the same category. But our instinct is to be like, oh my god, they’re making it and I’m failing. Do we then end up with shiny object syndrome of every time we see somebody else’s success or what we think is somebody else’s success? Right? We then shift what we’re doing to try to, you know, shapeshift into what we think is going to be successful versus standing firm in what we know we are best at.

Megan Porta 17:11

Yeah, that’s good. And so that’s so interesting, what you just said, someone else’s success is entirely different from what our definition of success might be. So if we see like quote success from a com a competitor, that might not even be their definition of success at all. It’s our definition.

Jenn Trepeck 17:31

Right. And we make up too, like going back to the example of recognition we make up that that recognition might mean people knocking down their door, shoving money in their face to write for them. But like that not, might not be what’s happening at all. Right? Right. We, we have these ideas based on what we want. Or what we think something would get us.

Megan Porta 17:56

And what we envision. Yeah. We can put pictures in our minds like it’s just coming easy for them, but maybe they’re putting in a ton of work. We have no idea. How do you feel confidence plays into this? Because I feel like that could play a huge role here.

Jenn Trepeck 18:14

Yeah. I think going back to Brené Brown, she calls it grounded confidence, but lacking that grounded confidence puts us at the victim of the ego and the mind running away with these ideas, right? If we have the confidence to say, I know what I write, I know what I’m best at, I know who I serve, then we are less apt to say, I have to change who I am or what I do to get the thing I think I see other people getting. And or I can look at it because I’m confident in what I do. I can look at it and say, oh my goodness, the possibility is there. And it is just as much a possibility for me as it is for them. You know, one of my mentors used to say, we must succeed so other people can realize their dreams. Oh. And it’s this idea that like, people need to see it’s possible. And so if we have the confidence in ourselves to recognize that their success doesn’t take away anything from us, but in fact creates more possibilities than, I mean the world is our oyster. Right? And I, I just think it takes a bit of confidence to be able to apply what we see happening.

Megan Porta 19:34

Yes. Oh gosh, I love this.

Jenn Trepeck 19:36

Let it sort of propel us forward.

Megan Porta 19:38

Yeah. Okay. So in the food blogging space, there are, what you said about the world is our oyster. I say that all the time. That’s one of my lines, because there really is, like, when I started food blogging, I didn’t know how much could be done. And there really is so much opportunity. People are getting into the food network. People are creating bestseller cookbooks. I mean, things that I just never knew were possible when I started at all. And I’ve always been of that mindset that you’re talking about Jen. Like I remember being in the grocery store and seeing a food blogger that if you’re a food blogger, you know this person. And she had landed like her own magazine. Like she had her own magazine. And I was standing in the grocery store and I saw it and I was like, oh my gosh, I didn’t even think of that. And instead of being like, oh my, how did she do that? I, I’m not there yet. I immediately went to, okay, this is possible for the rest of us and so much more. And I, I’ll never forget that moment, it just expanded my whole vision on what was even remotely possible for all of us.

Jenn Trepeck 20:50

That’s awesome. Kudos to you. I mean, it’s awesome.

Megan Porta 20:55

I mean I don’t know where that came from, but I’m grateful for that moment, because I always think back to it like, well, I have these dreams and there are specific, but also there are things that I have no idea they might be coming my way. And there are great opportunities. And that magazine was just like one of those moments for me.

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Jenn Trepeck 22:44

And it’s interesting because I could also picture someone going back to your point before of like, how do we define success? I could picture somebody else looking at that magazine and going, I don’t have a magazine. Am I supposed to have a magazine? And then if you like, think through it, it’s like, wow, let’s just look at what it takes to have a magazine. Right? How often do you have to publish that? What do you have to do? How many other contributors do you need? Like at that point? Yeah. Are you still the food blogger or are you an editor and a publisher? Like, is that the part of this stuff that you love? Like I remember once in my career, I was a photoshoot producer, and the next role in the progression of the hierarchy of the organization took away everything I loved about my job and gave me more of the stuff that I didn’t really like so much. But if I was just following the path right, and not thinking through it, I would’ve been like, well that’s what I’m supposed to be doing next. And I ended up in like a complete shift in what I was doing because I was like, I don’t want that. Like I get that other people are following that path, but like that sounds miserable to me. And so sometimes just having that moment of like, play it out. Maybe that’s the thing you journal.

Megan Porta 24:07

And sometimes food blogging isn’t your end destination. Like food blogging can be a starting point to like what you were saying, maybe it’s in your soul to be an editor of a magazine or a writer or I just had an interview with someone who went from food blogging to website designer and SEO expert and she loved the change. So maybe thinking, just being open to the possibility that this doesn’t have to be your end goal.

Jenn Trepeck 24:34

Yeah. And that’s a piece of like looking at everybody else’s stuff and then making it mean something about us because that’s theirs. We make it mean something about us. So in that moment too, like maybe it is pointing something out of like, Hey, you know what? I know that it would serve me to do like morning pages or to do like whatever it might be. Right? Like bang something out first thing in the morning, take 20 minutes to do this thing and we continuously don’t do it. So maybe seeing somebody else’s thing reminds us of like, okay, I need to do the thing I keep telling myself I want to do. Right? Like, we can look at why this thing is getting under our skin a little bit too. And sort of say, okay, like I’m getting annoyed because I know that I could do this and it would help me.

Megan Porta 25:31

That’s an interesting thought too. The comparison can be a trigger that we’re not doing the things we should be doing, and we might not even know that it’s a trigger. We’re not even aware why we’re annoyed. We’re just like, oh, that bothers me, but I don’t know why. So maybe journaling or talking it out like we talked about earlier would help you figure that out. Right?

Jenn Trepeck 25:51

Exactly. And goes back to, right. Especially sometimes like after the fact going, okay, why did that bother me so much? You know? What is it? Because the fact that it bothers me is about me, not about them. And by the same token, it all the, like, there are haters out there, right? Like, I’ve gotten comments and messages and… There are haters out there, and bad reviews and whatever. Right? So all of that says more about them than about me. Yeah. So we can internalize it. Or again, going back to that confidence, going back to that thing that keeps us grounded and says, I know my niche. That person isn’t even the person I’m talking to, or whatever the case might be. Right? Yeah. And bring ourselves back to moving forward because I think we can end up in a spiral that doesn’t serve us as easily and as quickly as we can pause, reflect, and keep moving forward.

Megan Porta 26:49

That’s so true. So I’ve never had this line come to my mind, but you’ve inspired me with it, Jen, thank you. But using comparison. So when you feel that just that trigger or nudge of like, oh, they have this and I don’t, so using that feeling as a cue to be inspired for something, whether that’s like rewriting your story or doing the thing, you know, like the thing that they’re doing. Maybe that’s actually inspiration for you or just digging into it more. But I love that like comparison doesn’t have to be bad. It can be your cue to be inspired.

Jenn Trepeck 27:25

Exactly. And it’s okay to like make the note of the thing and then come back to it in a day, a week, a month and go, does that still inspire me? You know, one of the things, when I started working for myself, I had to remind myself that like I made up all the rules and I can change the rules. So I was getting into this thing of publishing every Monday morning and you know, an article based on an episode and then having longer articles that I published monthly. And then I found myself like always procrastinating those longer monthly articles. And I was like, I think I don’t want to do this anymore. You know, so we can change the rules if it doesn’t inspire us another day. Like that’s okay.

Megan Porta 28:10

Yeah. Like releasing that urge to keep going with what something you committed to. You don’t, you don’t always have to do that. You can, that’s the great thing about being an entrepreneur, right? You can change the rules at any given time.

Jenn Trepeck 28:22

Exactly. Yeah.

Megan Porta 28:24

Oh this is so inspiring, I love this. This is the kind of conversation I could go on for hours about. Yeah. I mean, you know, kind of the basic business of food bloggers, like what they do, they have, they wear many hats. Do you have specific advice for them just along this topic? Because I know this is a very prevalent issue and it’s hard to know where to get started with it. Like there’s so many different ways and places that we can get caught up in comparison. Our fellow food bloggers, there’s groups we’re in and other groups going like, there’s so many different places. Where do we even start?

Jenn Trepeck 29:07

My favorite place to start is creating new neuropathways. And you’re like, what? Now this feels involved. It is actually the simplest thing to do. And that is when you notice the thought of comparison, you say Cancel. Cancel. And you think a new thing. So the more we repeat the same thought, the deeper the trench in our brain gets, which makes it harder and harder to have a new thought, right? It ingrains that default. So cancel, cancel and yes, say it twice. Cancel. Cancel. Literally stops that pathway in its tracks and thinking a new thought forms a new one. So maybe it’s, you know, it’s award season. So I keep going back to these awards, right? Maybe it’s somebody wins this award or this recognition and we go, Ugh, everybody else is winning. Wait, wait, cancel, cancel. Mm. If they can win this award, I can too. What’s the next award show I can submit to? Mm. Right. Cancel, cancel. Just stop the thought in its tracks. Cancel, cancel and think something new. And maybe you’re something new is always, if it’s possible for them, it’s possible for me.

Megan Porta 30:21

Having like a line just kinda an affirmation or something. To say after that.

Jenn Trepeck 30:29

Exactly. And maybe it’s cancel, cancel. I don’t even want that anyway. Right.

Megan Porta 30:33

This isn’t my dream. Right.

Jenn Trepeck 30:36

You know, maybe it’s, you know, cancel, cancel, it’s not my audience, you know, or whatever. Whatever the case might be. Just cancel, cancel, think a new thing.

Megan Porta 30:47

And the repetition of that new thought is going to eventually Exactly. Are its own little groove. Right. And you can erase that other groove. But it does take intentionality. This is, it’s not because we’re so just in the habit of doing the old ha things that it does take intention.

Jenn Trepeck 31:06

Yes. Exactly. And by the way, intention and that pause could be literally as much as, you know, a couple seconds, one breath. And I know that sounds really woo-woo, but the point is like, it doesn’t have to take a long, a lot of time. It doesn’t have to be this like massive effort. Like if you catch yourself one time in the next few days, you know, and just be like, I noticed it. Maybe you don’t even do the cancel cancel yet. Right. But you just notice it. You’re on your way.

Megan Porta 31:36

And then give yourself a self reward. Like, yay, I saw it.

Jenn Trepeck 31:42

Exactly right. Yes.

Megan Porta 31:45

Oh it’s so powerful. And it is, it’s like so simple in our minds as we’re talking about, it’s like, oh well that’s easy. But then actually following through can be, can seem really difficult. But I’m a firm believer in celebrate those little wins that you have. Even if it is just acknowledging that you noticed it. Because I think that can, do you believe this? Like it can take it farther for you. Like it can amplify it somehow.

Jenn Trepeck 32:12

A thousand percent. Yeah. And that goes to behavior change, right? Like we actually respond better and last, you know, keep things going when we focus on what we do want rather than what we don’t want. You know? because The brain actually, like now we’re sort of on a tangent, but like the brain can’t even comprehend the negative. So the word don’t. Right? What do you know that old example of like, don’t think of, think of a pink elephant, right? All you could think of as a pink elephant. Right? The brain doesn’t even comprehend, you know, really our subconscious mind doesn’t even comprehend don’t. So telling ourselves what we don’t want is never as effective as telling ourselves what we do want and focusing on that. Giving ourselves the reward for what we do want and acknowledging everything we are doing.

Megan Porta 33:01

I love it. Do you have recommendations as far as maybe practices or something that can help set us up for success with this?

Jenn Trepeck 33:11

Yeah, so I love the cancel, cancel. I love the journaling that we talked about. Like we said, I mean, having that friend, having somebody else in this space or even in a different space to be like, yo, like Instagram today, no bueno for me. Right? I saw this thing and it really just irritated me. And sometimes just getting it out is the best thing we can do, you know? So it’s just, it goes back to that awareness. Maybe you end up with a post-it and you just put tally marks on it when you notice it. Or maybe, you know, you then decide like blocking out time in your calendar, you know, 15 minutes to be like, am excited about what I’m working on. Do I feel good about what I’m working on? How am I feeling? You know, at any given moment. And just having that check-in time.

Megan Porta 34:00

Yeah, that’s a good idea too. Just kind of forcing yourself to have those moments. So it’s not just like when it comes to you or when you’re inspired, but maybe it’s like right before you start work every day you sit down and you reflect like, okay, when in the past day was I triggered or what did I, you know, what was I feeling? Whatever. Yeah. Yeah. And then what are your thoughts on regular meditation or like quiet? I think that’s so important as well.

Jenn Trepeck 34:26

Absolutely. I’m a big fan of meditation and I will admit that I used to be the person who was like, ha, I can’t meditate, think about nothing. No, no. I need something to like distract me to the point that I can’t think about something else. Yeah. So for years and years, my workout was my meditation, right? That was the thing that reset me mentally and physically. Now, now like four and a half years into working with a meditation coach, I can say I’m a meditator. I think the big thing, and I think this is the misconception I had and I’m, I feel like this might resonate for other people. I always thought meditation was about thinking about nothing and controlling the mind. But it’s not, meditation is about observing the mind. It’s about just focusing on whatever we’re thinking and being like, oh, that’s interesting that that popped up. You know, okay, I’m just going to come back right now. Let’s think about the breath and then, oh, this other thing popped up. Okay, thank you. Back to the, right? It’s observing the mind, not controlling it.

Megan Porta 35:36

That takes off so much pressure too.

Jenn Trepeck 35:39

Yes. And which is why too, I’m much, I’m much better with like a guided meditation. I’m learning to get better with a silent meditation, but it takes the pressure off. And then by the way, everything we’re talking about today is observing the mind, like noticing the things we’re thinking.

Megan Porta 35:56

Ooh, that’s a good point. So the more you meditate, the more you’re going to get used to that OB observation of the mind and maybe carry it into your everyday life. That’s good too. Let’s see, I have one more question for you and then I’ll kinda start wrapping up. Okay. How do we deal with looking at our competition to just kind of see what they’re putting out there to evaluate maybe what we should put out. This is a strategy that a lot of people use, but you can go down the rabbit hole of getting consumed with it. So there’s this really weird fine line. What are your thoughts on that?

Jenn Trepeck 36:31

Yeah, so back in my old marketing days, and I’m sure you guys have heard of this, there’s this idea of a SWOT analysis where you look at the competition and you look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. So SWOT, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. And so we can take the marketers approach and look at what they’re doing and then look at what we’re doing and say, would this approach serve me as a creator? Would this approach serve my audience and the people I serve, does this even apply to me? Right? Am I seeing that they’ve created a space that I could also jump into? You know, and it goes to those opportunities versus the threats. And then you can look at each one that you sort of like have this bullet pointed list. And then you can look at each one in depth and say, going back to, I know my niche, does this apply? What can I learn from what they’re doing? What I enjoy doing those things, right? And then we can try it on for size or decide strategically what are the elements that we want to take. Because I think the bigger challenge is when we have almost like shiny object syndrome, where every time we look at what somebody else is doing and we try to change what we’re doing to become that, I don’t know that it actually serves us in our businesses. It makes it more confusing for our audience to know when to come back to us. So it kind of ties into that like knowing your niche, knowing who you are, what you create and for whom. And then doing those swat analysis of the competition at a specific time. At specific intervals. So maybe it’s once a quarter, maybe it’s a couple times a year. And so we carve out this time so we’re not constantly, you know, on this hamster wheel of throwing things in the air, right? And one of the things, you know, in podcasting especially, you have to, when you make a change, you have to give it time to see if it works for you. So consider those changes carefully, implement strategically and then give it time to play out. And I think the same thing applies here, especially if we’re looking at what our competition is doing and then looking at how we adopt that, if we adopt that and what in, in what way we adopt whatever we’ve learned from somebody else in the space.

Megan Porta 39:01

So not playing to every whim and dipping into, you know, scoping out our competition every day. That’s probably not healthy, but having a kind of a strategic plan or mindset around it.

Jenn Trepeck 39:13

Exactly. And by the way, like every day we might see something that’s happening from the competition and maybe you have a file where you throw these things into. So maybe it’s an email, a notes app on your phone or what, you know, a note in the notes app and just put the link there so that when you have that designated time, you go back to the pieces that you’ve collected rather than, like you were saying, of every day looking at everybody else’s stuff.

Megan Porta 39:42

That’s not healthy. That doesn’t feel healthy. And we know that too. We can kinda gauge like, Ooh, that didn’t feel right.

Jenn Trepeck 39:49

Yeah. Well and it’s interesting, I mean it can give us the perception of working, but is it really producing value for you and your, you know, endeavor? Yeah. When we sit and focus on what everybody else is doing.

Megan Porta 40:04

Yeah. Something to just be aware of going forward. Yeah, the cancel, cancel. I love that. I’m going to use that as just kind of a default. Like, whoops, back up. Hold on, right?

Jenn Trepeck 40:17

Cancel cancel. Yep. I love it.

Megan Porta 40:19

This was so great Jenn. Thank you so much for showing up for us and for providing this value. We needed to hear this message collectively, so just really appreciate you.

Jenn Trepeck 40:30

Oh well thank you Megan. I love what you’re doing here. I think it’s just phenomenal and you are in your show. You are a hundred percent collaboration over competition and I think it’s phenomenal. So thank you for having me.

Megan Porta 40:41

Oh yes. Well thank you for saying that. Do you have a favorite quote Jenn to end on?

Jenn Trepeck 40:46

I do. I love this. So this is from Pablo Picasso. He says learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.

Megan Porta 40:56

Oh that is good. I’ve never had anyone quote Pablo Picasso. I love it though. Amazing. I love it, because some quotes will pop up, you know, here and there, but that one has never been here.

Jenn Trepeck 41:12

Oh good. I know. And you have so many episodes that like that is quite a feat, right?

Megan Porta 41:16

Yes. So nice work. We will put together a show notes page for you, Jen. So if anyone wants to go look at those, you can head to eatblogtalk.com/asaladwithasideoffries. Tell everyone where they can find you, Jenn.

Jenn Trepeck 41:30

Absolutely. So like you said, my website is A Salad with a Side of Fries. Podcast is Salad with a Side of Fries, all social media, I’m @jenntrepeck. I love hearing from you. So please, please send a message. And also we’ll make sure that you have a link to put there to give everybody a complimentary like business discovery call.

Megan Porta 41:53

Thank you. That’s such a generous offer. Love it everyone. Go check out Jenn. And thanks again, Jenn, for being here. And thank you so much for listening, food bloggers. I will see you next time. 

Outro 42:09

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eat Blog Talk. Don’t forget to rate and review Eat Blog Talk on your favorite podcast player. Thank you and I will see you next time.


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