Have you ever experienced an identity crisis? (The business/branding kind?) I have. In fact, for me, this past year has been one huge question mark. And instead of tackling it head on I froze. You see, sometimes, when I get really overwhelmed, that’s what I do. I simply shut down.
For the past 8 years, I’ve been building a successful small business marketing consulting practice but last year I realized that I can’t grow unless I make some changes. I had to figure out how to scale my business or create another stream of revenue that would afford me the opportunity for future growth. So, I made a plan. I thought it was a good one, but I wasn’t completely convinced, so I sought the advice of several well-respected experts in my industry.
And then, I got a lot of mixed messages. On one hand, everyone I talked to was SO encouraging. Because they saw potential in me. And that was really validating. Some said, “Get out of small business.”, others said, “Stay in small business and scale.” So I froze.
Why? Partly because I trusted everyone’s opinion more than my own gut. And partly because I was afraid. I mean, I didn’t receive ANY “bad” advice. Just lots of ‘different’ advice. Any one of those growth paths would have undoubtedly worked if I had pursued them. But something just didn’t feel right. And I threw my “plan” into neutral and slowed down to a grinding halt.
I was now more confused than ever. But one thing kept gnawing at me. New York Times Best selling author, Chris Brogan, said something during his session on Blogging at Social Media Marketing World in 2017 that pierced me through and through. He said, “HAVE AN OPINON.”
You see, I was so laser focused on everyone else’s opinion, that I never stopped to consider that maybe, just maybe, my 20+ successful years in Corporate Sales and Small Business Marketing might lead me to develop my OWN opinions. (Wha??) Ironically, I pride myself on confidence. But isn’t that the way it is? We trust others more than we trust ourselves. Here I was, on the front lines of main street marketing, helping my clients grow their businesses, encouraging them to be true to their brand, have their own voice, and all the while, I was silencing my own.
So, in the words of Chris Brogan, HAVE AN OPINON.
Going forward, I intend to be a voice, not an echo. Wanna join me?
Strap in. This is going to be a bumpy ride.