Being a designer, and like any other job, you know you have to stay up to date with all the new and awesome things happening in your field. A lot of times I've seen people share this quote "Successful people never worry about what others are doing" and I can't disagree more with this. We all have someone to look up to wether is in our business, family or fitness life. Even the best at those things have someone to either look up to or compare themselves to.
When I say compare I don't want you to see it in a negative way. On the other side comparing yourself to what others are doing could bring a lot of positive things to your life or business. You can see what is working for them, how people respond or you can also recognize what you DON'T want to do or be. The important thing here is to keep in mind that you are not them. You are you and that will always be your most precious tool in your business and life.
Starting up my own design and calligraphy company (even thought I did this as a freelancer when I had a full time job as a Toy Designer) has been a great learning experience. And, during the process I've looked at hundreds of websites, IG accounts, FB profiles etc and doing this has helped me have a better understanding of what I want to do with my brand and the identity I want for it. Having said this, I am sure that just like we mature with different experiences we have in our lives, this will apply to our design aesthetics and the focus of our business. We can't scape from a world that is constantly changing but in the process we can take the time to figure out what we want to do and where we want to go.
If you follow my Instagram or have read my previous blog posts you know that I've been working on the first product Papel & Co. will sell on the website. And, being a product designer I have the advantage of understanding the process from design to production. But, I couldn't have come up with the idea of working on this product if I haven't first looked at the other designers' and calligraphers' work and profiles. It was during the process of evaluating what I wanted my brand to look and its main focus that I realized I also had a good opportunity developing a product line for creative people like me. And I know the quote I mentioned above doesn't mean live your life blind folded. We are human, we are curious and recognizing that we can use what other people are doing and take it in our advantage is a huge step for the development of our business.
So, Im not an expert I am also in the process of having a more structured and organized business but I can definitely encourage you to look at what other people are doing. Take the best and the worst out of it and turn it into and advantage to your business and always stay true to yourself.
EDIT: This is an amazing video of extremely successful people that have create incredible brands. They explain their company's values and they even share who their mentors or the people they look up to are.