When I first stepped into the marketing world, especially that of being a small business owner, I had an idea of what that was “supposed” to look like. I had to dress a certain way, act a certain way, have the perfect office, post perfect pictures, pretend I didn’t have kids when answering a business call from home, and overall give off that career-woman-vibe—whatever that is.
But let me tell you, it was EXHAUSTING. I had more anxious and sweaty video calls (afraid my kids would make a sound in the background), more stress about my attire, and significantly less sleep. For some reason, I had to fight to live up to this unrealistic expectation in my mind, which was likely built on movies, social media, and utter nonsense.
If I could go back in time and slap myself, I would! Trying to be someone I wasn’t was a HUGE waste of time.
Don’t get me wrong, I know what it is to be a woman in a professional world. There is this underlying pressure to exceed unsaid expectations of everyone around you, and you desperately want to prove that you belong.
But, and it is a BIG BUT, please don’t be like me! Be like yourself! Learn from my mistakes, choose to fight the imposter syndrome, push the fear aside, and be the best version of yourself.
Regardless of gender, the workplace can be daunting. When we get caught up in the fear of who we are we devalue the most important part: the amazing products/services we provide to the world.
Choosing to fight against comparison, to unapologetically stand firm in your uniqueness, will only strengthen your campaigns. This applies to both marketing your products/services and marketing yourself.
If you find yourself in a meeting and you are busy worrying about how you look, adjusting your clothing, stuttering when you talk, not looking people in the eye, there is a good chance you will discredit a majority of the words coming out of your mouth. But if you walk into that room with excellent posture, a smile, eye contact, and confidence in what you are discussing, you have a much better chance at convincing people to agree with you.
In the same way, when you are marketing a product, reach your audience in such a way that builds a relationship, reveals your authenticity, and highlights what makes your brand different.
If you want to dive deeper into this topic, I recommend reading, Get Different: Marketing That Can’t Be Ignored! By Mike Michalowicz.
“The term “marketing” can get a bad rap. But hear this: Marketing, good marketing, is your responsibility as a business owner. It’s also your responsibility to stand out among your competition so your offering can help those who need it now.” – Mike Michalowicz
Choosing to spend years trying to be like my competition, I inadvertently deprived our clients of the quality services we now provide. It pains me to think about how many clients we could have helped achieve their goals sooner if I’d simply been more mature.
This article is not to be a total downer. As a coach, there are times I have to speak plainly and honestly, as I wished someone would have done for me all those years ago. The decisions we make today can be the ones we look back on in 5 years and say, “that was it, that was my moment!”
For those of you that need to hear this: Your customers and future customers deserve better. You deserve better. End the self sabotage and use what makes you different to change the world