I didn’t think I would ever be able to consistently post on social media. I had always left working on my own business to the last job on the to-do list.
At my worst, I would plan to do my own marketing at 2 pm, enough time to be visible before the school run or that’s what I told myself anyway. In reality, I was lying to myself. As 2 pm approached I would start to make excuses; still finishing the work for my clients, need to put a wash on, a quick call to my mum, a nappy to change… I let anything and everything get in the way.
Having the courage to face the truth
I never contemplated if there was any deeper reason for my marketing neglect. Life was busy and I just couldn’t seem to get my shit together. It was easy to use time as an excuse because there was genuine truth in it.
I lived this narrative for years. Blaming time, blaming life until I couldn’t keep hiding anymore. It took courage to face the truth; it was up to me to take responsibility. No one was coming to save me but I had the power to save myself. Time might be short, life might be busy but none of this was helping me move forward. If I was serious about really changing my life I had to take action.
So I did.
One of the first things I did in this particular mission was to set my alarm early and commit to posting on social media before I even got out of bed. Some of my peers told me this was a bad idea. They told me I should start the day meditating, walking or yoga. In other words, anything off social media because this is considered self-care. I totally understood their point and I admit that now, I would much prefer to start my day offscreen. Back then though, I had a fire burning, I knew in my gut this was what I had to do. This was MY version of self-care because it was part of my commitment to myself, my family and my future.
The courage to take risks
Once I started posting more regularly, I had to find new courage. I had to be brave enough to face rejection.
What if I put my offer out consistently, did everything I was supposed to and it STILL didn’t work. What if no one wanted me? After all, I would think to myself, I was no Denise Duffeild Thomas. Instead, I was a copywriter without a marketing degree and to top it off, quite a shit speller. Who would want to work with me?
Writing for my own business felt so vulnerable, every word I wrote felt like it was wrapped in a blanket of my own insecurities. I was always waiting for someone to point out a mistake, to tell me that the advice I was giving was wrong or that my prices were too high for my skill set.
I knew that to get more leads and make more money I had to be more visible but it was the visibility that scared me. The more people saw me the more people could criticize me. It took courage to step out of this place and into the online light.
The courage to face self-doubt
People started to comment on my visibility and how easy I seemed to find it but this wasn’t a true reflection of what was going on. It wasn’t the whole story. Each step brought more doubts. I told myself people would be fed up with me, that I was repeating myself and that I was boring everyone. I expected to get to a place where I stopped caring about what people thought of me but ever the people pleaser, that never happened. It still hasn’t. As much courage as it took, in the beginning, to get started, it took continuous courage to keep going.
I discovered that the doubts were never going away, the difference was that I was no longer prepared to listen to them. I didn’t try to fight them, I just did my best to pay them no attention at all. Instead, I focused on two things; what I wanted to achieve for myself and the difference my content was making to my audience. This is what gave me courage when I felt myself lacking.
The courage to be unapologetically me
Being visible wasn’t just impacting my business but it was having an impact on me as a person. I have often said that running your own business is the biggest personal development journey you can go on. You can’t hide behind other people or a job title. You have to own your own shit and deal with it or else you stay stuck.
The concept of being ‘unapologetically you’ is something I had heard many times but I never really understood the power of what it meant until I became more visible. I had to ask myself,
Who do I want to be? How do I want to show up to the world? Who the fuck am I?
My answers to these questions have evolved over the past two years and they get stronger all the time. I used to think I had to have it all figured out before I started being super visible but I know now I will never be perfect, and that’s ok. I will continue to evolve as long as I keep next stepping forward.
You just have to have the courage to take the first step and trust.
Courageous visibility is more than just posting on social media. It is deciding who you want to be, letting go of perfection, and owning your own truth. It is facing the truth and taking responsibility and most importantly it is an act of hope and self-belief.
Courageous visibility completely changed my life financially and enabled my business to quadruple in 2 years BUT it also made me a stronger, more resilient person.
Are you courageously visible?