Crazy-Making Business Envy & How to Tame Your Short-Cut Searching Insecure Inner Troll
Ever look at someone else you admire in business? Someone who's farther ahead, they've got their sh*t together, they're booking clients 6 months in advance or making the kind of money you still only fantasize about.
And then you promptly look at your own biz and go, what the heck? How am I f*cking this up? What am I doing that's so wrong? Am I a leper? A socially awkward pariah?
And suddenly you're chasing every free promo promising the "solution" (*gag* that word is definitely at the top of my marketing sh*t list) to get more clients in your door. And you're clicking on every damn free PDF even if it means you'll be subjected to a ton of emails you really didn't want. And even if it means that PDF ends up in the graveyard of downloaded promises collecting digital dust on your hard drive.
It's all a little crazy-making.
But it's so damn hard to keep your eyes focused on your own paper sometimes. To concentrate on your own journey. And to tame that short-cut-searching, green-eyed, greedy, insecure little troll that pops up his head and says "Why'd it have to be so EASY for her?!" "Why can't I write one magic Facebook post that solves all my client/financial problems?"
And of course, if your troll is anything like mine he also has the most nasally, whining voice ever.
So here's how to kick your troll's butt and send him back under your ribcage.
1. Be Kind To Yourself
There's no point in beating yourself up for having a troll. We all have one. No one's highly evolved enough to never have moments where that troll's voice doesn't pop up now and again. We're just highly evolved enough not to admit it.
Instead of looking at all the things they've already accomplished. And you're (sigh) lagging behind in, why not make a list of all the things you HAVE accomplished. Big and small are valid here.
Did you book a client? Bravo! Did you figure out how to send your first Mail Chimp campaign? Applause! Did you just find a new app or program that allows you to save money? Congrats! Maybe you changed/touched/impacted someone's life (that's not a small thing).
Now, do something to celebrate. Right now (ok, it doesn't have to be this minute). Wine with dinner tonight. Flowers for your desk. Ooh, a massage or a trip to the spa. Turn on your favourite song and sing along loudly. Anything. Stop. Celebrate. Feel good.
2. Flip the Script
I made this in Canva this week and I LOVE it.
This is so true.
How is the story you're telling yourself holding you back? (Hint: that troll isn't doing you any favours.) How can you tell a story that will help propel you forward? And make sure you're not just moving forward chasing someone else's dream or definition of success but take the time to figure out what it means for you. So the story you tell yourself moves you in the right direction.
Pro Copywriting Tip: There's also no more important story than the one your client is already telling herself (or himself). That's the story you need to find a way to tap into with your copy.
3. Get Creative
All of this comes from "if only" thinking.
"If only" I had a bigger marketing budget.
"If only" I had more time.
"If only" I had more experience.
"If only" I was more tech savvy. etc. etc. etc.
Now that I've told you to stop focusing on all the things you haven't accomplished. And flip the script on the stories you're telling yourself that are holding you back. It's time to get a little creative.
Don't have a big fancy marketing budget?
Welcome to the world of bootstrapping my friend. It doesn't cost you anything some to join some Facebook groups and start offering up some of your wisdom and support to your target market. (I don't mean spamming them with your sales pitch, I mean be a human being and have helpful conversations). Just make sure you set a timer so you're not sucked into the social media void for hours without noticing.
Think you aren't tech savvy?
Well, Google that sh*t. I'd never switched a domain before I Googled it and did it. Same with the first time I added a snippet of code to the backend of my website. Or set up my site to accept Stripe & Paypal. I'm not tech savvy but I can Google my way out of most problems and when in doubt you live chat tech support 'cause their job is to deal with folks like us who know just enough to break things :) Just last night I spent an hour with live chat tech support and then on the phone fixing router problems (tell me we haven't all been there :P).
Can't find the time?
This is my personal favourite. Well, there are a gazillion (approximate number) of productivity articles, apps and advice out there. I hardly need to write another one because what works for you might seem like agony to me.
I've gone way overboard on this, though. In university, I literally felt so overwhelmed by all I had to do I scheduled every waking moment of my day into 1/2 hour chunks. Not kidding. Now I prefer a more free-flow approach to the day. I like having 3 must accomplish tasks (and then everything else is bonus!) One personal thing (time creating/thinking/ learning for me). One business thing (usually marketing). And one client thing (time thinking/creating for people who pay me). I also really like the Eisenhower Model and try my best (need to get better at this though) to stay in the Important/ not urgent quadrant. If you take care of those things they don't have to become urgent.
I need more experience.
So go get some. As creatives we create. Who cares if it's for a client or not. Put it in your portfolio. It shows your style, your passion, your drive to work whether or not anyone's watching.
Maybe this seems easy for designers, musicians and writers. Maybe you don't fall into that group. Well, this is under the title "get creative" isn't it? How can you show your work? Even without a customer, I'll be there's a way.
The point (before this blog post turns into an ebook) is to find a way to work around your "if onlys". To find creative answers that show your ingenuity and your inability to be stopped. To stop paying lip service to that overused inspirational quote "seeing obstacles as opportunities" and actually make it happen.
Because even though your troll may whine about not having it easy. Or being able to waltz into a 7-figure income off the back of a single Facebook post. Your journey is going to come with a whole lot more battle scars, wisdom and warrior status. Which means once you get there you'll have a hell of a lot more to talk about.