Folks, I have a confession to make.
I’ve written and erased subject lines for Reader Quit articles more often than Cordelia’s Mom comments on her blog. (Which is so insanely adorable, isn’t it???)
For over a year now, I’ve known I wanted to write for Cordelia’s blog, but I can never settle on a topic.
I look at all the other guest posters and think, “Wow, they know what they want and what they’re doing, and they’re making it happen. Too bad I just don’t know. Maybe after I get my website all finished and work with some clients and really figure out what it is that I do, exactly, I’ll be able to write a Reader Quit as good as theirs.”
Do you see the problem?
It’s all fear stuff. It’s a way of hiding myself from the world.
And I’m so over it.
And So It Goes
I’ve been doing the same kind of hiding in my business. I get really excited about talking about lifestyle design, marketing, and connecting in a new way, and then I utterly freak the fuck out.
“Wait, if I talk about marketing at all, I’m going to be a marketing person forever and ever and ever, and I don’t even like the word marketing. Or lifestyle design! Maybe I’m doing this all wrong. I need to write new copy!”
You guys. I’ve been writing my website copy for A YEAR. It has been on my to-do list since before I quit my job last June.
And as someone who helps people put themselves and their thing out into the world, this is completely and utterly embarrassing.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve said to a friend or client, “It’s okay if the sales page isn’t perfect. If it’s a sticking point for you, just put something up for now. You have permission to change it later, but your people can’t work with you until you tell them how.”
It’s All About the Trust
I notice in clients that these kinds of sticking points often indicate self-confidence issues. And I am no different. (I never thought I had self-confidence issues until I started a business, and then it turned into a self-confidence issues open house party up in here.)
And this is totally legitimate. Putting oneself out there can be terrifying. Many of us are taught, through school or family or what have you, that we can never let anyone see our flaws. Only our game faces will do.
But when it comes down to crafting a life and business that are the truest expressions of your essence, then it’s the imperfections—the things that make you different—that matter most.
The Moral of the Story
Well, guys, if you’ve been hanging around here long enough, I’m sure you can already smell the moral of this one by now.
(Can one smell morals? I’m not sure, but it sounded good.)
My website, my business, my life…it’s all a work in progress. There is no perfection to be reached.
But by holding myself back until everything is “ready,” I’m not giving myself the opportunity to do the work I was meant to do in the world.
My right people are not suddenly going to find me because I’ve written the perfect site copy. They’re going to find me when I stop hiding and start showing up in the world.
What I Need
I need a lot of permission with this Quit. I’m still allowed to change my site copy. This, in fact, is not failure; it’s learning. When I work with people, I get to incorporate the things I learned about working with them into how I want to work with other folks in the future.
And at the same time, this Quit requires a lot of courage, too…because I have to start putting myself out there, where people can see me. Vulnerabilities and all.
I need to embrace the uncertainty that comes with a new business and trust that my right people will get it and accept me how I am.
Blazing new trails is scary, but blazing them in one’s backyard is selfish and small. It’s a way of hiding oneself away from the world and preventing your help from getting to the people who need it.
So here I am, gentle audience. Beautifully and imperfectly here.
Won’t you join me?
Sarah Goshman is a unconventional life and marketing coach and mindful badass who likes to help freaks, geeks, and creative people design lives and businesses that are unique and delightfully their own. She’s offering a special discount to Cordelia’s readers for her upcoming class on Talking to Fear. You can also find her making bad jokes and sharing weird things on Twitter @sarahemily.
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