Your Inner Compass Is Better Than You Think

You know those success models you think you’re supposed to be following? Like from the loud guy on that marketing webinar that left you hyperventilating?

Consider the source for those models:
It is almost always from someone trying to sell you their course by using words like “This is THE way or you’re doomed.” Right?

Too many people are letting those salesy messages get under their skin, which makes them feel like a loser. I’ve had people come see me in tears after taking on those external expectations as gospel. With all the email and social media messages like that, it can be an onslaught of “You’re not enough.”

I’ve been there, comparing my messy side to those supposed success stories. And comparing my quiet style to those extroverted ways of selling. Their messages can be so compelling! And so paralyzing.

[Image: Your inner compass knows the way.]

Your inner compass knows the way.

When I naturally resisted doing it their “expert” way, because it just didn’t feel like me, I found things went much better! Wait, you mean my way, off the beaten path, can actually work for me? It was freaky to me when that first happened, and I didn’t believe it for a while, even after it kept on working.

I see in hindsight that doing it my way IS where the gold is! It’s not a fluke, it’s what works for me.

Ya gotta tune into your own instincts and your audience’s responses, not someone else’s prescription for you.

Your inner compass is better than you think. So much better than you think.

How Do You Hear It and Trust It?

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That Dreaded Writing for Your New Website

My first coaching client came to me because she had been trying to write the content for her website for … years. And it was driving her crazy.

Every time she thought about that unfinished website that wasn’t getting launched, she would have anxiety about putting herself out there. Her business was so important to her, so close to her heart, that to write about it, in public, felt too exposing, like the whole world could trample on her heart.

Do you know that feeling?

F1-help

Most helping professionals, especially the quiet or introverted ones, go through this struggle. It’s usually the worst when they are first thinking of publishing a website. They might go hire a web designer first and then that designer says “What do you want your website to say?” and there’s the big gulp. “Ummmmmm, hmmmm, well uh, lemme get back to ya’.” And it sits and sits and sits.  Continue reading

The Secret to Easier Marketing for Self-employed Introverts

Marketing Head Spin!

Marketing Head Spin!

Marketing angst is probably the most common concern I hear from people who are self-employed or considering self-employment, so I want to bring some hope to the cause right now.

I’ve been writing a business and career advice column for introverts that appears on Quiet Revolution and Huffington Post, and most of the letters I get from self-employed people are about some kind of dislike of marketing.

Here’s a question from a self-employed service provider that captures it well. I’ll give you an excerpt from that column plus a link to read the whole answer.  Continue reading

3 Quick, Easy, Effective, and Free Steps To Get Clients

You will rarely find those 4 words together: Quick, Easy, Effective, and Free. So I recommend you take this seriously because you might not find that combination again.

These are concrete steps that get real results. I’ll walk you through step by step. No catch. I’m just providing this list because I see too many people struggling when it can be much easier.

No need to go take another marketing webinar, read another book, make more lists, or wonder if you should hire that telemarketer who “can get you listed in Google.” Let those go for now.

These steps are bound to help you attract clients sooner than any of those things can do.

Pre-requisites? The only thing you need before these will work is that you have something to offer that you believe in and that you know has value to others. You don’t need a website or business cards before doing these things.

I’ve explained each step clearly so it’s easy to go step-by-step. Let’s begin.  Continue reading

Why You Get Tongue-Tied About Your Work and What To Do

tongue-tied[I almost titled this post, “Stop Worrying About the Words.” You’ll see why.]

Even if you have some memorized answer to “What do you do?”, you probably still worry about whether you’re using the right words. There’s so much stress over the words related to our work. You’re not alone in that struggle.

I especially notice this struggle when it comes to describing a new business or cause that you’re really excited about. It feels like there’s no possible way to capture all that is in your heart about it. Using only a few words to capture it feels like you’re cheapening it somehow. Sound familiar?

And if you get really tripped up on the words and you’re rethinking it over and over, you might be an introvert. We’re at higher risk of over-thinking our words. That’s me! While it’s also an asset to naturally think things over thoroughly, that can cause trouble too. The worst is when you’re thinking and thinking, then you start feeling more nervous about getting it right, and negative thinking can take over. You know that feeling? Yup.

Think about all these words you have to come up with for a business. The list itself is overwhelming.

  1. Business name
  2. Tag line
  3. Your title
  4. A brief description of what you do (the dreaded “elevator pitch”).
  5. Business card words (It’s so small!)
  6. Words for your website’s Home page (What the heck?!)
  7. Words for your website’s About page (Credentials? Your personal story? Your philosophy? Huh?)
  8. What to say in an introductory video
  9. Your Linkedin profile description
  10. Your email signature
  11. What to say when a reporter interviews you about your work
  12. Your bio for an upcoming presentation
  13. Then there’s the presentation itself!
  14. I’m sure you can think of a few more.

If any of these items on the list cause you to tense up, you’re in good company. Finding the words is one of the hardest parts of having a business. And the same goes for a cause you’re working on, a new career direction you want to pursue, or anything to do with what you do.

OK, now you get the extent of the tongue-tied problem.

Here’s why it’s so hard, and what to do about it. Continue reading