This is a guest post by Daire Paddy from DairePaddy.com
We’re exposed to them every day of our lives. The shiny people. The business owners building empires from Bali. The entrepreneurial powerhouses living in a rose gold world of green smoothies and white space. A.K.A. the reason so many burgeoning solopreneurs don’t even get started.
Intimidation paralyses, baby. It stops us from free-falling into what we want. It gives us permission to hide away. To just not bother until we’re “ready”.
Why do we find these glossy girls (and guys) so utterly terrifying?
There are so many reasons. They’re the “experts”, and clearly WAY more qualified than us. They’re so IN DEMAND. They’re surrounded by legions of loyal fans, and a posse primed to attack. They’re everywhere. All the time. And they just get So. Much. Done. They have all the ideas. They live a #blessed life. Everything is so effing colour coordinated!
These feelings come to us all, in some way or another. Unfortunately, comparison is a demon raised by the spread of the Internet. We have the power to see EVERYTHING (or so we believe), and that means we see how well people are doing.
(I’ll let you in on a little secret – we see what they want us to see!)
But do you know what? There are so many ways to upgrade your own business process. It’s not about copying everything these digital divas do, it’s about upping your confidence so that you forget about how much better “everyone else” is doing. You need to spend that energy elsewhere if you want to achieve your own goals.
Let’s address the crazy talk, one step at a time…
They’re “experts”, and clearly WAY more qualified than you.
To be an expert in your field, you don’t need to know everything there is to know about everything. Honestly, that’s not the kind of person people want to learn from. We want to learn from those that are a few steps ahead, not out there, walking on water in the distance.
An expert is a person who has a special skill, or has knowledge in some particular field. That’s it.
Now tell me that isn’t you. Tell me there’s nothing you’re good at. Tell me you don’t know ANYTHING.
(If you can hand-on-heart say both of those things, you probably shouldn’t be running your own business. Just saying)
A few months ago I took a trip to London to see the amazing Elizabeth Gilbert, and she had a lot of advice that can be applied to running a business. The one point that really stuck with me is that we all have missing pieces – even those seemingly perfect pros.
Nobody can fully equip us for running our own business. Not our parents. Not our teachers. Not our friends. They do their best. They offer up the knowledge and experience that they have, but that’s all they can do.
It’s up to you to fill your own gaps. Make the most of those opt-ins you sign up for. Head down to your local library. Listen to podcasts while you’re out and about.
Identify the things you need to know to take that next step, and make it your mission to educate yourself.
They’re so IN DEMAND.
Have you ever considered that this is all an illusion?
Creating the impression of exclusivity is a sure fire way to get people knocking down the door. And believing that you have REAL value to offer.
Stop being available every second of every day. Why would people want to pay for your time if they can get your brain for free?
Set up an email autoresponder outlining your boundaries. You don’t NEED to check your emails more than twice a day. And you certainly don’t need to respond to every email within minutes. While you’re at it, turn off Facebook Messenger.
Schedule set times to pop into your Facebook groups and answer any questions. The same applies to Twitter – take part in a chat (or host your own) rather than monitoring your feed constantly. If you’re at everyone’s beck and call all the live long day, how do you expect to get anything done?!
Put limits on your packages and programs. In other words, create a deadline for signing up, or a restriction on how many people can participate. This creates a sense of urgency around whichever great thing you’re offering.
They’re surrounded by legions of loyal fans, and a posse primed to attack.
Sooo… the internet can be a pretty scary place. Trolls don’t live under bridges anymore. They live online. And crazy cliques do seem to form around the Super-Solopreneurs. It’s not unheard of for hoards of stalkers fans to pounce on unsuspecting tweeters after every perceived slight.
There’s nothing you can do about that, and to be frank, it’s not your place to worry about other people going psycho online. Concern yourself with your own community. Surround yourself with the people you enjoy.
So how the hell do you go from loner to leader of the pack?
I’ve already mentioned Twitter chats, but they’re worth pointing to again. Twitter chats are a really effective way to connect with random people from across the world, united by a common interest or goal.
Build your own Team TLC. A Team TLC is a group of no more than 5 people who agree to tweet/like/comment on each other’s blog posts. It’s a really effective way to bond with other biz owners, to open your content up to wider audiences AND to easily find stuff to share across your social channels.
Take the time to respond to people. If someone leaves you a lovely comment, or hits reply to your newsletter, continue that connection. It may only take you a moment, but it will give the other person warm fuzzy feelings.
Kathleen Shannon recommends creating a “Hot List 200” – a list of 200 people you’ve come across online that you would like to be friends with, then brainstorm ways you can start connecting. You could drop them an email, letting them know you appreciate what they do online. You could tweet about their latest podcast (tagging them, of course). Relationships are developed over a lifetime, but there’s no reason you can’t start now.
They’re everywhere. All the time. And they just get So. Much. Done.
Let me start out by saying this – most glittering entrepreneurs have a full team of worker bees buzzing around behind the scenes. It’s time to face facts –
You will never get as much done as a team of 10.
You can’t do daily blog posts, scopes, webinars, launches, masterminds and coaching sessions, as well as all your finance, admin, marketing and networking.
I’m sorry, that’s just the way it is.
HOWEVER, there are a few ways you can start taking some of that pressure off. Working a little smarter to create space AND spread the word.
Investigate outsourcing. This could be as simple as having some graphic designed on Fiverr rather than labouring over Photoshop for hours, or shipping your accounting off to a pro. Look into hiring a VA for a few hours a month so that you can pull yourself away from admin, and focus on what sells.
Brainstorm creative ways to repurpose content you’ve already created, rather than starting from scratch at every turn. Perhaps an old blog series could be updated and turned into your new opt-in? Or an ebook from years ago could be transformed into an online workshop?
Use scripts to streamline communications AND save yourself some time. Start compiling a list of questions you respond to, and stash your drafts in nice clean Google Docs. Next time a query is shot your way this little library will help you respond promptly and without procrastination.
Get to grips with IFTTT. Use “If This Then That” to automate the promotion of any new products, posts or packages. Do it right and every time you hit “publish”, you’ll have updates shooting across every social platform you have, with zero effort from your lovely self.
They have all the ideas.
It’s easy to train yourself to come up with great ideas – the challenge is following through with them (and knowing that sometimes, it’s ok not to).
Start by booking time in your diary to braindump your thoughts onto a page. Emptying your mind clears space for all the new stuff heading your way.
Create your very own “swipe file” in Evernote (i.e. a notebook that you’re going to fill with anything and everything that makes you stop and think “ooh, nice!”). I always recommend Evernote for this, because the web clipper makes it so so easy to send things to your swipe AND you can sync with every device and update on the go.
Claudia Azula Altucher recommends coming up with 10 ideas every single morning. In her book Become An Idea Machine, Claudia provides you with 180 daily prompts designed to get those cogs a-whirring, but there’s no reason you can’t adapt this practice to suit your needs. Why not write out your own list of prompts that will help your business?
Try these on to get you going…
- 10 creative ways to get testimonials
- 10 tweets inspired by your latest blog posts
- 10 posts to make up a blog series
- 10 new content upgrades to offer on your website
- 10 ways to connect with someone you’d love to work for (or with)
- 10 websites you’d love to guest post for (+ what you’d write about)
They live a blessed life. Everything is so effing color coordinated!
No human lives in a perfect world – what you’re seeing is a business persona, not a person.
Harness your imperfections and your struggles – they make you powerful. They give you a story. Those humps you’ve hit along the road are what makes people want to work with you.
Think about it.
Would you want to listen to someone who’s shared your struggles and CONQUERED, or someone who spends all their time napping in a rose bed without getting a single thorn in their ass?
I'm sick of the glossy perfection that litters my social feeds!Click To Tweet
So you see, there’s a lot you can do to beat back your shiny, happy demons. You (and your business) are worth no less than theirs – you just need to stop expecting the Instalife and go do the work.
Daire Paddy is a creative copywriter and ideas girl, who works with awesome online ladies looking to rock their businesses. She also likes Victorian novels, drinking tea and embracing all the other English stereotypes. You can find her (and a ton of freebies) over on her website.
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