Friday I went to my first Zumba class in maybe 6 years. A woman there asked me “Do you have any advice for starting your own business – I’m scared but plan to leave my job at the end of the year”. I thought and said. “Get comfortable with marketing. I assume you are an expert in something”? (she gave me an impressive work history and qualification list). OK you’re Golden on that front. But what you need to do is get comfortable with Marketing, because when you go out on your own – you’re it. You are your own *All the departments*. So that’s it really – get cheeky. Give people access to you. And the article linked below holds true on that front.
When you are out on your own, if you don’t do anything or give people access to you and learn to understand that it’s NOT your job to please everyone IT’S YOUR JOB TO DELIGHT YOUR PEOPLE you will end up psychologically exhausted and potentially defensive and not having much fun. And in order to do that – they need to have genuine access to you first. Access = marketing. It’s going to take humility, adrenaline and getting super honest about what you offer (do not under or over-sell yourself – that is not genuine and the wrong people may find their way to you and the right people may go elsewhere). It has taken me years to have this really sink in. Like really take cellular space. The sweet spot is – I know my offering, I know what I am good at and have technical knowledge in (this is called confidence, authenticity and humility). I give people access to it (this is called marketing – false modesty will kill your business. Fear is part of the package, though not always and failure may be a teacher too. You may need to re-assess, tweak, change, iterate, reinvent but believe me when I tell you you can’t know perfectly everything until you have done something. “Launch and Learn” in the inimitable words of the great Seth Godin. (You want confidence, humility and the king of access – look up Seth) Keep going. Just keep giving people access to your honest to goodness usefulness).)
I really enjoyed this interview last year and it kind of speaks to this notion somewhat.
Basically – false modesty does not let you experience yourself genuinely.
It does not let other people experience you genuinely.
But MOST IMPORTANTLY YOU YOU YOU – You must experience yourself genuinely, truthfully and witness your real contribution and successes. If not, false modesty will kill you with false stories and nonsense.