My Dirty Little Secret

A few weeks back, I was out of town at a marketing event, and during dinner with a few colleagues I had a 01-its-a-secretbreakthrough…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.

despondentIn 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.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.



  • Estra

    Hi Tammy!
    Thanks for being so real in this article! It encourages me to focus inward and connect with who I am and to have the confidence that the clients who match with me will come to me through being genuine. I get barraged by everyone with their marketing strategies to the point that I often get confused as to which one “works”. I have been coming to the conclusion, as well, that the system isn’t the point. I’m sure ALL of these strategies work for the people they match with. I just need to get into alignment with what feels good to me.
    By the way, one of my “idols” in my business is Marci Shimoff–not only because of the great teaching she offers, but because she is always right out there and genuine with who she is and what her obstacles are. Good job!

  • Jane

    This was so well written. I can relate as probably so many can. Thank you for sharing from your heart and having the courage to share your struggles. Warmly, Jane

  • Cindy Schulson

    Hi Tammi,
    I’ve known you for a few years now and we’ve been through the ups and downs together. You’re so right. So many people are tired of the “showmanship” that often accompanies the internet marketing space, as was evidenced by the reaction to my recent video: Goodbye Hollywood.

    We need to be honest with ourselves and with the people in our communities. That’s why when I help my clients find their niche, we don’t just look at what they’ve achieved, but what they’ve overcome. And when we create their message, we don’t just create a “marketing message” but the Core Messages that represent who they truly are and what they stand for.

    Thanks for sharing Tammi!
    warm wishes,

  • Ligia

    Hey Tammy,

    I can totally relate with you on this article. That’s how I felt at some events I attended two years ago. I felt I didn’t know enough about Internet marketing and was afraid to say the wrong things. I just kept quiet and listened.

    Today, I’m not a guru or anything, but I’m coming out of my shell.


  • Laurie Dupar

    Hi Tammi! Thanks for this great message…so much for all of us out here making our way in this world to relate to. I am happy to be one of your clients…I love the work you do…always have…always will. “Worth every penny”. 🙂 Most fondly, Laurie Dupar

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