A few weeks back, I was out of town at a marketing event, and during dinner with a few colleagues I had a breakthrough…coming in the form of a breakdown.
As in, a full-out sobfest, right there in the middle of Macaroni Grill. A little embarrassing, to say the least, but it was my saving grace.
Because I realized at that moment that I wasn’t being true to myself.
I realized that in the pursuit of success in my business, I was blindly following others’ advice on what I should be, do, and say…and feeling completely lost and miserable the whole time. I was just going through the motions…and truth be told, I was dreading going to work every day.
In fact, it got to the point a few months back where, despite the successes I’ve had, I wanted to give up.
I had to force myself to get up in the mornings, to put one foot in front of the other, just to make it through the day. I felt like a shell of myself, completely numb, devoid of feeling. It got to the point where the part of my business I used to LOVE – the marketing piece – began to feel stilted. It started to feel like a chore, because it became just another task, instead of a way to truly connect with the people who NEED my help.
And when I did put myself out there, I felt like I was hiding behind a mask, and I was exhausted by trying to always be and say and do the “right” things. Things that weren’t me so much as everyone else that I was aspiring to be. My business coach. Other successful copywriters. I had spent years – my whole life, in all honesty – trying to hide my failures and be the “perfect” person….the one I thought everyone else wanted me to be.
‘Cuz see I’d always felt like if people knew that I struggle with things, or that my life isn’t always 100% peachy, that they’d see me as a total failure. That I’d become a total failure.
Instead of a regular ol’ human being, with my own set of insecurities and mistakes and setbacks.
And because I put off my marketing, my business suffered. Clients dropped off, and I wasn’t bringing in enough new clients to fill the empty spaces.
I was in real trouble, and truth be told, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to turn things around. In fact, quitting seemed like a highly viable option.
And then came the breakthrough. The miraculous, messy, exhilarating breakthrough.
It was in that moment that I realized I was free to do whatever I wanted. That I didn’t have to follow in someone else’s footsteps…that I could really just be myself – and the money would flow seamlessly.
I realized that it’s okay to not have it all figured out, to just be me, in all my flawed glory.
At that very event, I dropped the “act.” I let the mask fall to the ground, and for the first time in years allowed myself to just BE. Without the constant censoring. Without the fears that, Omigosh, what if I say the wrong thing? What if this person sitting next to me will see right through me? What if they think I’m a total fraud? What if, what if, what if??
And you know what happened?
I connected with people. Real, deep connections that are already turning into long-term business relationships, based not on some phony act but on who I really am.
And I came home excited to wake up in the morning again. I started looking forward to my marketing again…the ideas started flowing seemingly out of nowhere…and I was excited to share my message again.
I realized that the sky really is the limit…and that when I let the guard down and feel free to be ME, well, that’s when the magic happens.
Because after that event, clients started flooding into my business. People I’d connected with started referring clients like crazy, and the freedom I felt allowed me to create some brand-new service packages, doing the work I really LOVE, that have already been filling quickly.
And so I encourage you, if you’re in that space of frustration and misery in your business, or if you find yourself dreading putting yourself out there, that you take a step back and really look at who you’re being in your marketing.
Are you letting the real you shine through…or are you hiding behind the person you think you have to be in order to get clients?
If you’re not sure, give me a call and we’ll take a look at your marketing message together – to see if it’s connecting your innate gifts with the clients who need them most – or chasing your ideal clients away.