Being a small business owner goes hand in hand with showing up and being visible.
It's all very simple when you think about it but it's one of the hardest things to put into practice when it's just you.
Because, if you are a small business - it is just you, isn't it?
No one else can do it for you (unless you are fortunate enough to have hired a marketing team). You are your business and you have to work both in it and on it.
And unless you have an all singing, all dancing shopfront and presence, no one knows of your products and services unless you tell them.
And we do what we can with what we have available, don’t we?
But it does mean you have to be visible. Whether that means face to face or online, you have to give people the opportunity to know what you are about so that they can decide whether they want to become your client. That’s the hard part. Because it can make us feel exposed. And that exposure can sometimes hit like a ton of bricks.
Like many of us, you will have got the memo about having to market your business but what you didn’t realise was how much of yourself and all of your inner fears and worries would start showing themselves. And the only way I can explain this from my own and others experience is that it makes you feel raw - it’s as though you’ve had your skin taken off and everyone is peering in. You just didn’t realise how much of yourself you would have to put out there in the spotlight - right?
Now, let's just take a moment here to acknowledge that it’s not just you that feels that way?
Or the other small business owners out there.
Because this is the bit that no one tells you about.
And the reason it comes as a surprise is because you have been happily working away for others for years successfully and none of this stuff has come up before. That’s because it’s always easier to serve others than yourself. Women are very good at that.
So, of course you feel raw and exposed.
But THE worst thing you can do is start beating yourself up about. You will, I know you will but please don’t. You don’t need more stuff to worry about.
What I do want you to know is that this is all about mindset. Because we do all have it within us to do the things that we need and want to do if we can face off the fears as they arise.
Oh, and by the way - the worst thing about these fears is 'fear of the fear'. It's rarely in the doing.
The fear of the fear is the bit that is a real waste of time. Let me at least save you a few hours there!
Let me also tell you that there is a space waiting for you to show up and share all that you are with those that you want to.
That’s the exciting bit! You get to choose.
You get to choose how you do it and when you do it too.
Because you’re in charge now!
And the reason I have chosen to write about visibility today is because it comes up for everyone. It comes up for me and it comes up for the people I work with and it comes up for other business owners.
In fact, it comes up for women full stop. On a number of fronts.
It needs an airing.
More importantly, our warped vision goggles often tell us that everyone else is winning and that they have it all sewn up. And all that does is make you feel ‘less than’ and it’s simply not the case.
Over the next few weeks and months, I shall be sharing more around visibility and the different perspectives. I will also share the things that have helped me and continue to help me.
There are also lots of things that aren’t helpful and I’ll be sharing those too.
Remember - once a fear gets an airing, it loses its power over you!