How to Use Envy to Play on Your Side as an Entrepreneur

Envy is the emotion of discontent when we see someone better than us.

Envy has two types; malicious envy and benign envy. When you have malicious envy towards someone, you want them to crash and burn. Malicious envy brings out the worst in you. It may even induce destructive behavior, which you and your business cannot afford. Benign envy, on the other hand, makes you work harder. It works as a motivating force that drives you to work harder. It encourages you to make changes and become more creative and innovative.

In today’s hypercompetitive world, it may seem that everyone is out to get you. People aren’t friendly anymore. They want to use you to get their job done. No one cares about developing meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships anymore. In such a scenario, developing some negative emotions wouldn’t be too out there. Everyone has some negative emotions. It’s all about channeling them in the right way. These negative emotions, when dealt with correctly, can even propel you forward.

Social media also has a role in spreading envy. When people use social media, they present a perfect life. It’s easy to develop negative emotions like envy. Why is everyone so much better than me? We’ve all been there. One way to avoid these negative emotions is to compare yourself with others who aren’t as fortunate as you. The only person you should be comparing yourself to is you.

Here is how you can use envy to work for you as an entrepreneur:

Learning from others.

Always be willing to learn.

For entrepreneurs having a growth mindset is a must. A growth mindset means that you are always willing to learn new skills and improve your current ones. Having a growth mindset would allow you to learn from everyone, even your competition. What makes your opposition better in some areas than you? Determining why and making adequate changes will improve your business. Your customers would notice that you are innovating your products and offerings. You aren’t complacent. When your customers see this, they might choose to stand behind your organization as loyal supporters. Continually improving your skillset also allows you to keep up with new trends in your industry.

Competitive drive.

Competition is important. It makes us work hard and brings out the best in us.  Wanting to be better than your competition is a good thing. If you use benign envy correctly, you’ll be able to channel all your negative emotions and become more competitive. When you’re in a state of competition, you’ll become more creative and innovative. Trying to beat the competition, you’ll eventually make your business more profitable.

Suppose you were at the top of your industry for quite some time. No other competitor could even come near you. But a new entrant disrupted the entire industry and took your place at the top. Your organization would be startled at first and try to analyze what had just happened. Your initial reaction towards the new entrant would be of hate and envy.

You have suffered an enormous loss. You’re suffering from envy, but you make the right decision and start productively channeling the resentment. Losing has made you competitive. Being at the top for so long had made you complacent. You gather your team and conduct a thorough analysis of why the new entrant had beaten you. You discover some key points that had been overlooked. You immediately take action and make the necessary changes. Your organization is again at a position where it can compete for the top spot.

A new perspective on winning and losing.

When we think of the word entrepreneur, the first thing that comes to mind is successful people. Most entrepreneurs are struggling. Yet we choose to ignore them and focus on the successful ones. Even these successful business leaders had to struggle at some point in their lives.

You can’t truly succeed if you’ve never suffered a loss. When you fail, you’re at your absolute worst. Everyone else seems to be doing better than you. People look down upon you. Successful people jump back from their most painful defeat. They know that life will happen sometimes. It’s best to put your head down, work hard, and ride through the storm.


Realistically, your business is not always going to be profitable. As an entrepreneur, you’re already at a disadvantage. Your chances of success are slim. Even against these odds, you should always try to remain positive.

In case you develop negative emotions, try using them in your favor. Make the best of a bad situation. Use benign envy to motivate you and make you work harder. Stay away from malicious envy as it will only bring you down and make you more negative. If you compete to your fullest, innovate and create an impact on people’s lives, then you’ll be bound to succeed as an entrepreneur

Fazal Hussain is an experienced digital marketer with extensive experience in writing on entrepreneurship and startups. Currently, he is associated with SwiftChat, a best live chat software for websites designed to help businesses in chatting with their website visitors in real time.