The biggest thing for me is to get better at my craft everyday. Do you know how I do that? By competing with myself. If I sat and worried about what everyone else was doing, I wouldn't have progress. I would not have published all of the books I have so far.
I always say you're only as good as the last accomplishment you achieved. Everyday I accomplish something on this journey of mine. Do I get complacent? Nope. Why? Because I have more to get done, I always have something that needs my attention.
I do everything on my own for the most part, I would say about 90% of it. There are a few things that I need other people to do for me and I pay them for it. Marketing my books, making book covers (occasionally), doing interviews (I can't interview myself), I'm not good at everything. That's the self-awareness in me (as Gary Vaynerchuk would say).
For me, every prose I write about what I'm thinking, it's to engage and write better than that last thing I wrote. Most of my books are series and with each book, I'm looking to get better. I challenge myself daily and I believe in my talent and ability, that's what makes me special and unique.
I write prose books on societal issues, something that's never been done. When I first started publishing books, I used to read articles on how to market myself. I would read things that said to study the competition, see how other authors got their audience and see how they do things. It's a good thing my mind told me not to do that because I wouldn't be where I am today if I didn't listen to my mind and my gut.
See, the type of books I write are totally different from what others are writing. I write stories and formulate them into poetry format. If you ever go on Amazon and read most of my reviews from my books, most people are surprised at how my book was written and they appreciated the hell out of it. That's what keeps me going and keeps me motivated and inspired.
If you go on a journey to greatness, be mindful that you don't need to compete with others. Everyone's journey is different and what they have done may not work for you. Keep that in mind when you start thinking that you need to do things someone else's way.
Plus when you get to where you're supposed to be, you want to say that you did things your way. Which is the exact reason why I'd rather learn by doing instead of listening to gurus, spending money on classes on content that I can find for free on the internet for the most part.
Be good and go accomplish your goals.