Shadows stifle success

You’re amazing at what you do. I know that, because otherwise you wouldn’t have had the guts to buy the domain name, agonise over the logo, and head out at all hours of the morning and night to attend networking and training events. You bothered to step out of your comfort zone, finally gave the coprorate job the finger, sucked up your pride and told your parents and friends that you were “now open for business.” You made the move because you know deep down that you can do that ‘thing’ better than anything else and anyone else.

What I reckon might be happening now though is that you’ve made it to the end of year one, or two, or even three (if you’re lucky) and you’re not feeling the rush of momentum anymore. The sparkle of newness has fizzled, the excitement of being a ‘start-up’ has faded.  You’ve exhausted all your networks and you’re wondering where your next clients will come from. It’s getting tiring but you kid yourself because you’re ‘busy’ that you must be progressing.  You’re doing ok, but be honest, you’re not really soaring are you? You’re paying your way, but you haven’t exactly lived up to the dream promised in that first ‘entrepreneurs get rich’ seminar you attended.  There’s a fair bit of spinning in circles, doing the same things on a different day hoping for a different result. You tell yourself there’s still so much to learn and you get distracted by the beautiful shiny things “because they might just be the missing piece of your puzzle”.  You fumble about continuously trying to figure out which one should be next on your To-Do list…the ever-growing To-Do list.

Well you know what? You already know enough.  You really do. In fact I’m positive you do. You definitely know more than I do about your thing! And that’s all you have to do really…is be one step ahead of those whom you serve.  You don’t have to be a magician or genius – that will come with time and experience (sorry, you may already be that genius like me, but I’m just generalising here 😉 ) The truth is you just have to be really good at and, more importantly, confident with what YOU do. And people who need your thing, will find you.

Now, I’m not suggesting you be lazy or sit on your laurels and never extend yourself, but there comes a time when enough is enough and you just have to get on with ‘doing’. There is a seriously worrying trend amongst business owners and entrepreneurial circles at the moment…and that is the trend of overwhelm. And it’s happening because everyone has suddenly become a coach, teacher, expert and most of them have never even practised the thing they’re trying to teach! Everyone is so bombarded with new ideas and new-fangled ways of doing things, thanks to social media, and it is completely overwhelming and exhausting.  Really worrying is the fact that it’s making perfectly sane and perfectly clever people doubt their abilities.

So here it is. The plain truth. You’ve read enough, seen enough, attended enough.  The learning needs to stop now. It’s time to get started on the doing.

Hiding in the shadows of your office and under the cloak of social media is not going to win you clients.  Contributing to conversations in groups, responding to comments, posting, liking, friending, hastagging, pinning…..are all necessary parts of the marketing mix, but they are not an end unto themselves.  You still have to do the work, and that work is telling people about the value you offer, letting people know what results they can expect from hanging out with you, and coming out from behind the veil and confidently letting people know why you are the right choice.

Success is measured by whatever is important to you. It may be money, it may be love, it may be number of clients or the amount of free time in your week. Whatever the mix, success will only come to you in business if you get back to basics: establish your value, create an offering, tell people who care about it.   You can’t hide in the metaphoric shadows of your mobile or laptop and hope that the people will just arrive on your doorstep. And no amount of webinars or programs will help get you more clients unless you IMPLEMENT the learnings.

You already know enough. You already are enough. It’s time to let people into your world. Time to go out there and ask them to hang out with you and do your thing. No more lurking in the shadows.

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