One of the most common issues I hear people with online businesses talk about is how hard it is to keep up with social media without running yourself into the ground.

More and more studies are showing the negative impact excessive social media consumption has on our health and mental wellbeing, and it’s all too easy to get sucked into negative habits.  Whether it’s staying up too late at night staring at device screens, feeling the pressure to push out content at a relentless pace, or just that dejected feeling that the market you’re trying to break into is already at saturation point, it takes resilience and strength to keep focused on your goals and not end up consumed by the vast ocean of social media channels out there.

So here are my top tips for staying ahead of the game and surviving your online business!

1. Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

I’ve lost count of the number of big names in online business who later reveal they have experienced significant mental health problems while building their businesses – not that you would ever know this from the bulk of their social media posts.

You have to remember that every post on social media has been carefully curated. From photos of laughing kids on Instagram to glamorous headshots on Facebook, you are looking at the airbrushed version of someone’s life and business and it isn’t representative of their daily reality.

We can so easily get (and give) the impression that building an online business is quick, easy and effortless. But anyone who has walked this path will know it is hard, hard work and takes grit and determination.

You have to be aware of how staged social media posts often are, so you don’t find yourself crushed by the relentless onslaught of other people’s marketing campaigns.

Which leads to my second point…

2. Stop Comparing Yourself

One of the best things about having an online business is that you can walk your own path and set your own standards.

But we miss out on this altogether if we continually compare ourselves to other people.

Whenever you do a successful launch, you will always come across someone who has done a bigger one.

You might get 1000 people in your Facebook group, but you’ll find someone who just hit 5000.

You publish a new blog post for the week and notice someone else who has posted 5 pieces of content in the last 24 hours.

You might have had your most profitable month to date, but there will be hoards of people out there who have exceeded that ten times over.

One of the most important lessons you can learn as an online entrepreneur is that you have to STAY IN YOUR OWN LANE.

It doesn’t matter what other people are doing. Every business has its own pace, and no one achieves outstanding success overnight.

You don’t have anything to prove and it’s not a competition to get to the finish line first.

So be aware of the times when someone else’s success leaves you feeling despairing and inadequate, and remind yourself to stop comparing your business to other people’s. Make sure you are focusing on YOUR successes, not just other people’s, and keep your eyes fixed on your own horizon.

3. Remember The Algorithm

Do you ever feel like there are just thousands of people who provide the exact same services as you?

Every time you log onto Facebook you see adverts for businesses branded almost exactly the same as yours, and it all adds to the feeling that you’re competing in vain amidst a marketplace that has already reached saturation point.

You have to remember that social media channels like Facebook are set up to show you more of what it thinks you will like.

So don’t let your heart sink when you see another post by a business just like yours – remind yourself that this is just the algorithm doing its work.

There is still space for your business if you are genuinely positioning your services in a way that will attract your target audience, and making connections with real people will always have impact if you do it with authenticity.

4. Stop The Endless Scrolling

One of the most damaging and unproductive things we can do with our time is the endless scrolling through our news feeds, browsing content that we’re not even interested in, just because we needed to log in to find something and we somehow got sucked in again.

But luckily the solution is easy – switch off!

If your news feed is making you miserable, put your phone down and do something active – get up and prepare a meal from raw ingredients, take yourself outside for a walk or a run, meet a friend for coffee.

We aren’t made to be worker drones who just sit down all day operating a device screen with one finger, and it probably isn’t helping you achieve your business goals to let the hours slip by while you’re vacantly browsing Twitter.

You can also set a timer so that you don’t slip into aimless drifting on social media. Being intentional with your work schedule and setting yourself daily tasks will also mean you are more accountable with your time and activities.

By far and away the most important thing we can do as business owners is make sure we are looking after ourselves first.

And if that’s your goal, you’ve come to the right place!