Keeping Up with the Joneses…or The Zappos or The Apples

by Jeannie Walters

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Haters Gonna HateSeth Godin‘s (annoyingly) consistently good blog discussed the Internet as an “envy amplifier” today.  It’s easy to find people or companies that are taller, richer, smarter than you.

I couldn’t help but nod my head along for a variety of reasons.


Who among us hasn’t wasted a few hours searching for people from our past or present who don’t work as hard/know as much/care for people like we do, yet have achieved something we label as “success.” It’s easy with Google and Facebook and Twitter to track those we both emulate and envy with a capital “E.”

As a working mom, there are times I wonder how others do it. How do they have a best-selling book, perfect body, outrageous speaker’s fee, or (annoyingly) consistently good blog IF they are juggling the same homework dilemmas, housecleaning disasters, potty training accidents and occasional date nights that I am?

Then, something ugly happens. I rationalize it. My mind takes over to convince me those successful people don’t have it all. Their life doesn’t match mine. Something is amiss. Their marriage is in shambles, their speaker’s fee is a farce, and their children turn in their homework late.

Of course, that’s that green-eyed monster helping me out there. When I take a breath and realize it’s a big world with plenty of space for HIS success and HER success and MY success, I am much happier. And the irony is that I am more productive and doing better work, too.

And Now a Word about Customer Envy

My clients, searching for ways to overcome their own insecurities about the economy/ the price of manufacturing/ the upstart competitor taking their customers away, refer to other companies in the same way.

  • “I heard Zappos pays their service people WAY too much. We could never do that.”
  • “Apple gets all the good engineers.”
  • “We can’t afford the advertising like E*Trade.”

Well, that’s probably true. So what? What will you do with YOUR unique experience to provide customers with a memorable experience with YOUR company?

Don’t let jealousy get in the way. Don’t rationalize your way out of creating a special experience for your customers.

And me? I’ll work on celebrating fellow successful working parents, thank you very much.

Photo credits: sean_oliver & _tarO_

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Jeannie Walters

Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience. Jeannie is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, LinkedIn Learning instructor, TEDx speaker, and President-Elect of the National Speakers Association Illinois chapter. Learn more here.

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