LIFE (AND BIZ) IS A JOURNEY. SHARE YOURS!
By the time you read this blog, I’ll be on the road. I’m in the final stages of packing now, hiking boots and all.
My destination? The Blue Ridge Mountains and Asheville, NC – one of my favorite places! I’m heading down to host my first Big Magic retreat at my friend Suzanne Armstrong’s studio. I’m so grateful and excited that this day is almost here.
Of course my fears have popped up, telling me, "you'll be boring," "who do you think you are?" "this is too much for you to handle."
And I know how to address those fears. That's what I teach my clients to do, and yes, I need to apply those lessons to myself too, because I'm human. We all get to give ourselves permission to be human.
So, I’m looking forward to a day of fun, play, and going deep to uncover the truths of our lives – and working through those things that block us from fully living these truths. My favorite material!
We’ll be exploring Elizabeth Gilbert’s themes from her book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear: Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust, and Divinity. These are key ingredients for living a creative life.
What does that mean, to live a creative life?
To me, it means, feeling free to fully express myself.
It means embracing imperfection and sharing who I am, flaws and all.
It involves an understanding and acceptance of PROCESS, not just product.
In my work, I help my clients apply these principles to their marketing. Women shouldn’t feel pressured to lock their truth in a closet in order to market their business.
In fact, here’s a little-known secret:
truth-telling is a smart marketing strategy.
We get to be ourselves! What a relief! We don’t have to construct a false persona to hide behind. We get to share our stories, the stories that demonstrate our passion and life journeys that brought us to the work we do.
And THIS is the stuff that draws clients and customers to us.
Because our life journeys aren’t easy. They contain detours, U-turns, and road blocks. And we find ways to get through them. And these details demonstrate our resolve, our resilience, and our creative fire.
For example, here’s my truth right now: running my business was stressing me out more than was acceptable to me. The lack of consistent income was eroding my confidence. So I got a part-time job doing marketing communications for a local non-profit. And I’m feeling a weight lifted off my shoulders.
It’s okay to do what you need to do to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
You may hear business coaches out there telling you that getting a job to support yourself as you grow your business is a cop-out. You’re either all-in, or you’re out. But I’d like to present a counterpoint to that argument. Sometimes getting a side job helps you be all-in. It gives you a chance to come up for air. It gives you a foothold as you climb the mountain.
As women, we carry so much on our shoulders. We don’t need to be shaming each other for doing what we need to take care of ourselves.
Creating a business, like creating a work of art, is a PROCESS.
In Big Magic, Gilbert makes the point that we shouldn’t demand that our art support us financially. And I would argue that applies to entrepreneurship too. When we’re growing our businesses, we shouldn’t demand that they support us financially right off the bat. We often need to give ourselves time to figure it out. We need to give ourselves breathing room so we can –dare I say – ENJOY the journey.
It’s a bold step to start – and run – your own business. Whether you’ve been in corporate for awhile and you can’t stand it anymore, or you’re ready to take your venture to the next level, please, please take good care of yourself. Get the support you deserve.
And don’t worry – my part-time job still leaves me PLENTY of room to continue serving my clients. So if you’re thinking about taking your next step and your want your marketing to reflect who you truly are, let’s talk.
If you'd like, you can follow my hiking (and biz) adventures on my Instagram page! Just click below to check it out.
Follow me on Instagram
Do you know a creative woman entrepreneur who would enjoy this blog? You have my full permission to share it with her!
Those of you who follow me regularly know how much of a nature lover I am. And now that summer's here, I've been hitting the trails as often as possible.
Recently, I took a hike with my family to the Griffy Lake Nature Preserve near our home. There, we spotted this adorable toad resting among the leaves (look at its cute little legs!)
I'm amazed we even saw it, given how well it blended into its surroundings. I marvel at the creative lengths Mother Nature goes to in order to protect herself and her animal kingdom.
And that's how the idea for this article was born.
While camouflage is great for survival, it’s a terrible marketing strategy.
But that’s exactly what so many of us are tempted to do.
Play it safe.
Don’t draw attention to ourselves.
It's embedded in our DNA.
But if our business is to survive, we must be willing to stand out. We must stop playing small.
Time and time again, when I sit down with clients to write their brand stories and websites, we discover they are hiding their true magic.
As women, one of our deepest fears is that we'll be shunned for shining and showing our true colors. We'll be kicked out of the tribe, judged, and hated. That's heavy stuff. And it's also B.S.
I want you to own your fierce brilliance, without losing the connections you hold dear. I want you to find that delicate balance between shining and connecting. As women, we’ve been taught that we must dull our shine in order to “fit in” or “be liked” by others. But I want something different for you. I want you to shine AND feel loved. To be your boldest, bravest, and truest self WHILE deeply connecting with others in ways that feed your soul.
There's no better place to practice this than your marketing. Sharing your brilliance does not have to put a wall between your and others. Your brilliance is a beacon that draws them to you. In her book A Return to Love, Marianne Williamson writes, “who are you NOT to be brilliant?” It’s in each of us. Our brilliance wants to be made manifest through us. Our playing small does not serve the world.
As entrepreneurs, we are risk takers. Yet, we often stop short of risking our comfort zones for our brilliance. Our very survival seems to be linked to blending in. What I want for you is to leave that behind and bring your full self to the world.
This is our work together.
Summon your courage.
Get support to help you figure out what makes you stand out.
This will open the flow of clients to you – I promise.
Let's leave the camouflaging to the toads. Women, it's time for us to shine.
* * * * *
If you’re ready to make marketing work for you, and get clear on your message – with fun and full integrity – let’s talk.
Click here to visit my online calendar and schedule a no-cost 30-minute consultation. Together, we'll discover what you need to get this turned around.
Are you hiding these days? Why or why not? Comment below and let's talk it out.
Author and Branding Consultant
I am passionate about helping mission-centered business owners share their message through compelling written and visual content.
My memoir, What I Gave to the Fire, is available in both print and Kindle formats on Amazon.com.