Have you ever noticed that it is often easier to do something on behalf of someone else than for yourself? It is a lot easier to sell someone else, or a sell for a brand, than to sell your own work. Showing up and selling our work and ourselves can tap into our deepest anxiety.
There is a great documentary film, 20 Feet from Stardom, about backup singers who, in many cases, have just as much talent, if not more than the lead singers. What most of them lack is the drive or courage to put themselves out front.
This romp down memory lane focused on some of the great R&B groups and singers that did backup. Their strength, in general, came from using their voices to fit in with others, and for the most part they were more comfortable in a supporting role. There is nothing wrong with being a backup singer. The good ones are in hot demand, but when someone wants to be a lead then they have to be willing to bring it.
All week I found myself in conversations with people who were struggling with taking their place in the spotlight. One woman felt down about her lack of motivation to do certain things for her business she knew she needed to. A little later, when we started talking about someone else, she perked right up and had all sorts of energy and ideas for his business.
Then there was a talented young woman who had left an agency to go out on her own and needed a website and a business name. She, was thinking about a name for her business that was a random item not usually associated with consulting. This cool idea would take a lot of time for people to understand it and for it to catch on. Using her own name would be the quickest way to get her business going but she felt uncomfortable about using her name by itself
It is always a struggle to find the balance between enough of you and too much, between extroversion and privacy, to let yourself show up on your site while remaining customer centric. And just when you start to let yourself shine, that little voice will rise up inside to say, who do you think you are? What will people think?
It is important to trust that you are enough and that you can step out without a fancy business name, a specific credential, or an impressive posse to back you up. There is a time and a place for those things. If you are building a company to sell, or you are selling a product, the rules are somewhat different.
If you are selling your services, then step out there and do it. Even if you are selling products, the best way to sell them is to tell the story, your story, and engage with your customers to show them you know what they need.
If you want your business to be a lead singer, then step into yourself. It is more than okay, it is essential. Go ahead. Create an irresistible presence and see what happens.