In this week’s episode of The Meaningful Business Podcast, Holly Worton and I discuss one of the biggest fears we’ve experienced, something that we also see in clients on a regular basis: What will they think of me? Will they like me?
This is something that I’ve personally struggled a lot with, and it’s something that really held me back in the past. It speaks right to the heart of Feminine Conditioning – we know that as women we’re judged and there are SO MANY ways we can be found wanting (in fact, it is literally impossible to be 100% acceptable as a woman – actually as a human, and yet we keep on trying because that’s what we’re conditioned to do.)
It’s something I talked about with Airial Clark in regards to her work teaching women how to give less f*cks – the thing is, we give SO MANY f*cks about so many things – including what people will think of us.
It’s something that comes up a lot less for me these days – I think it’s partly because of the amount of work I’ve done in this area over the years and partly a by-product of getting older (I’m too tired these days to care nearly as much about what people think of me!) but that’s not to say it doesn’t happen. Like most things, our fears morph and regroup and have a habit of returning when the next big new thing you’re doing happen.
I can be moving forwards, planning my next big thing, feeling all confident until it’s time to put it out into the wider world. Then the thought will occur to me, along with the sickly, itchy feeling: What will they think of me? Will they think I’m an idiot/too scatty/unqualified/overbearing/pushy/crass? or whatever my brain is throwing up that day.
Even with all of the work I’ve done in this area, that fear of ‘what will they think of me?’ can catch me off guard.
So in this episode, Holly and I share some of our experiences around how you can work with the fear of what people will think of you in your business – and when you should (and shouldn’t) care.
What You’ll Learn
* What our own journey has been like in dealing with these fears and how this shows up for us
* Why this happens and why we have these fears
* How this shows up in business and how it holds us back
* Why this is a problem and why we need to work on it
* How perfectionism comes into play and why we need to get used to taking imperfect action
* How this is related to resilience and how we can strengthen our resilience muscle
* Why we need to step outside our comfort zone in all areas of our life, not just business
* What you can do to change this and release these fears so you can take action more easily
* Practical baby steps you can take to get used to speaking out and taking action
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It’s been a really fucking awful week. In an age of fear, bigotry, and fascism on the rise, seeing children in cages was a new low for an already horrible regime.
With Brexit still on course to wreck it’s cultural and economic destruction in my own country, the ongoing Windrush scandal revisiting my own countries vile ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy, the summer refugee ‘season‘ heating up in the Mediterranean (when God how many people fleeing unimaginable terror in Syria will drown after being turned away by Spain, Italy, and other European countries), the seemingly endless horror of the war in Syria, the sight of children screaming for their parents was too much to bear.
Yet bear it we must. Bear it we did. Not because there’s some sort of moral medal to be won for absorbing human tragedy, but because to turn away risks becoming complicit.
And yet this is really fucking hard.
I lost many hours of ‘work’ time this week because I was too upset to do the things I’d planned to do. Most of my calls with clients and colleagues also focused in part on the horror we were witnessing. We emailed, we called, we raged, we shared on social media, we donated.
Some even went and put themselves physically in front of detention centers. Some were protesting this weekend.
And many, many, many of us felt guilty that we couldn’t do MORE. Felt guilty when we had to pull away. Felt conflicted about getting with work, doing the things to run and grow our businesses.
Because there are times when it feels too much. When it feels like to retreat, to withdraw, to forget about the horror is a betrayal. is giving in and letting the evil win.
So how the hell do you grow a business when the world is burning?
It’s too big a question for me to answer on my own. So I put in an emergency call to my two besties in business – Lara Heacock from Kind Over Matter and Liz Applegate from the Midlife Schmidlife podcast. Liz, Lara and I talk about this stuff repeatedly – how Do you keep going? How much is enough? How to care for ourselves without feeling guilty for taking the time out? What do you do when you want to fucking scream at the cruelty and the horror unfolding?
Like I say, I don’t have the answers. But between us, we came up with some suggestions. Some things that can help. Some things that can give perspective. And I recorded our conversation. And you can listen to it here.
- Self-care in the age of Trump
- Share what we do when it all feels too much
- Share practical things we’ve done and are intending to do that contribute to the reduction of harm being done.
- And what has actually given us some joy this week – even in the midst of all this horror.
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Email marketing is changing – and this is a good thing. For a LONG time, there’s been a certain set of norms and practices in the online marketing world when I came to building communities. Namely – you have to build a big list of subscribers so that you can sell them stuff. So far, so good.
But dig under the surface of this and it starts to get kinda icky. We use an ‘ethical bribe’ to get people to subscribe – give them a freebie (often of dubious quality) in exchange for their email address. Then, once you have that email address you can send them newsletters, marketing materials, sale letters, pictures of your dog – whatever you want. This has before such common place than within the email marketing world we raretly even question this practice.
But think about this for a minute – the person signed up to get your freebie, not to have lots of additional stuff sent to them. And while you might be thinking ‘but I don’t spam people – I only send them useful stuff’, ask yourself the question – ‘did they ASK for the additional stuff?’
No matter how useful your newsletter and content might be, the fact is, the norm of automatically adding people who’ve signed up for a freebie to a newsletter list does so without their consent. And while YOU might be super respectful of that email, many others aren’t
GDPR came into force a few weeks ago and I’ll admit, at first it seemed like one enourmous beurocratic headache. But once I realised that not only was it not nearly as complex as I’d feared, it could actually lead to a great cultrue shift in the way we do email marketing.
And that’s got to be a good thing. No more bait and switch. No more 20% open rates on your emails. You’ll only have those people on your email list that actually WANT to be there. Who have consented to be there. Who genuinely desire to hear from you, engage with you, and yes, may very well want to hire you.
In this week’s podcast episode, Holly Worton and I discuss this new era of email marketing, and make a case for not just accepting it, but embracing it.
What You’ll Learn
- What the new culture shift with email marketing looks like
- Why list building will no longer be the most important thing in marketing
- Why this will help us disentangle our worth as entrepreneurs from the size of our list
- How this will affect the numbers game we all got used to playing
- What we need to focus on instead of just counting the numbers
- How to focus on creating real connections with people rather than blasting out a message
- Why conversational marketing works better than broadcasting
- New things you can do to truly connect with people as individuals, not as numbers in a list
- Why consent leads to healthier relationships
Things We Discussed
- For more GDPR fun: The G-D-P-R Song
- Tara Gentile article: List-Building Is Dead! Long Live List-Building! In Praise Of The GDPR
- Tanya Geisler
- Tracie Nichols
- Lara Heacock
- Jenny Mahan
- Jo’s Garden Party + link to the replay
- Joanna Penn’s Patreon account
- Amanda Palmer’s Patreon
- Amanda Palmer’s book The Art of Asking: How I learned to stop worrying and let people help
- 1,000 True Fans by Kevin Kelly
- Rebecca Woodmass
- Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin
- Kelly Diels and her Blazing Epistles of Righteousness