I’ve taken May off social media as part of running my How To Market Your Wellness Business Without Social Media course.
It’s always refreshing to step away and I get lots of realisations while I give myself that headspace. ‘Downloads’ some might call them.
This time my biggest one is this: you’re not doing anything wrong.
A large part of my own personal problem with social media is constant comparison. And I know I’m not alone in this.
When you log on you naturally see a lot of similar business owners to you doing things that you feel you ‘should’ be doing or getting results that seem to be constantly eluding you. For me that’s seeing things like:
I’m fully booked!
I made 6 figures in my first year!
My clients are all raving success stories!
I sold out my group programme in 20 minutes!
I’m running another amazing challenge, you should come!
Can you relate?
All these things make me think one thing: what am I doing wrong? If I’m not getting these results, I must be stupid, slow, or incapable. That’s what my mind tells me.
We all know the truth, at a basic logical level. Social media is not reality. It’s not the full picture. It’s not the nuance. It’s not the ones falling between the cracks. It’s not the honest reality of the day-to-day for 99% of us. Seeing all these things on social media doesn’t mean we are a failure.
I know what the real day-to-day looks like. I see the day-to-day. I live it in my own business. And I also see it in the conversation I have daily with my audience, clients and members of my communities.
They say things like:
I’ve launched this but no-one’s buying
It feels so hard to get people to listen to me
No-one seems to value what I do or want to pay
I’m terrified to be visible and be judged
I need to get a part time job while I make this work (that’s a story I’ll go into another day!)
I loved receiving an email from Maggie Patterson from Small Business Boss recently which said exactly this too. In it she said:
[O]wning a business is hard. But trying to wade through the BS online is even harder at times.
So I’ll say to you what I said in the room many times over.
The thing you’re dealing with? Normal.
Feeling like you’re missing something? Normal.
Wanting to burn down your business? Normal.
All of this is normal. Every last bit of it.
The next time you feel like you’re doing it wrong, I challenge you to consider if it’s “wrong” or if those are just the loudest voices in the room.
Thank you Maggie. We all need to know and feel reassured that we are normal.
Sometimes I get a bit cross about this urgency for speed and results (please bear with me for a small rant).
If we’re not careful, there can become a huge sense of entitlement that comes with the expectation that you ‘should’ be fully booked within weeks of getting your business started. Or, to be quite frank, be seeing any mailing list growth, hits on your website, enquiries and bookings in those early stages.
As much as I know he’s a crowd divider, I loved listened to PT James Smith on the Diary of a CEO podcast earlier this year talk about how he worked on his email marketing and sent out emails for a year before he saw any clients and results from it.
Can we all just take that on board for a second please.
James is now worth half a million dollars, runs a coaching academy helping thousands and has 1M followers on Instagram who want to hear what he has to say.
But he spent a year talking to no-one, just so he could get good at email marketing.
Weirdly this reminds me of my days working in the classical music industry.
I worked my way up, stuffing flyers into envelopes to promote concerts, making tea, running errands, buying musicians biscuits (musicians are always happier if you have biscuits) and doing all the boring grunt work to make concerts happen that no-one notices.
I gradually climbed the ladder, becoming a manager and then an associate director by the time I stepped away at the end of a decade.
About 4-5 years into my career I became aware that there were recent university graduates coming into the industry who seemed to have a sense of entitlement. Myself and my peers bemoaned it.
These new starts wanted managerial roles, bigger salaries and more responsibility. Straight away. Before they could even prove they could be trusted with a sandwich run or operate Outlook and reply to an email without cc-ing in the whole company.
It’s the same with running a business.
Sadly thanks to social media and the like we are conditioned to believe we can and should get results fast.
But the reality is that in order to be truly amazing at something, be great at both the practical set up of a business and have mastered the mindsets we need to be truly entrepreneurial, we require time.
And look, I know you’re not entitled.
You’re passionate. And excited. And so skilled. And you want it to all just happen. You want to be helping people. Right now. Not figuring it out and feeling like you’re getting it all wrong. All the time. And that it’s taking forever.
Of course, there are things that I believe will be more effective and things I think that will be less effective in growing your business at a good rate. This is why I streamlined the process and created the Core Content for my Just Start Now course and community.
We can all be ‘busy idle’ – there’s plenty put in front of us that create distractions. I am kind but firm on where this happens with clients and members and encourage you too to look at where you could be doing more to move the needle (if you don’t know what those things are, then you need to come inside Just Start Now!).
You’re finding your way of doing things and if you just start now, you will get there.