The great thing about building websites is that we get to help build people and their platforms to share their gifts with the world. But how do you avoid the potholes on the journey to this special magic? It’s not easy understanding what you bring to others, believing that the world needs your wisdom and (this is big) resisting the chance to catapult yourself into a trajectory of success.
Case in point: One of my best friends, Carol Sue Young, who has just truly launched her business as a certified expert on sexuality and relationships.
Several years ago, Carol Sue worked with me on some webinars at New Tricks. I taught her how to plan them, create and send out newsletters, input blog posts and get updates out on social media. She was a big help to me.
Carol Sue longed to develop a business for herself but was tentative about it. She wasn’t sure about how to go about it or how to get clients. She didn’t truly get that there were people out there that really needed her specific knowledge and skill.
I helped her create her website, and encouraged her to start writing posts and sending them out. But for the past few years it has sat there, as so many websites do.
It takes faith and commitment to get going and some people just aren’t yet believers in themselves or the power of building an online platform.
I push and cajoled Carol Sue to write blog posts with her expertise and unique way of explaining things. Who wouldn’t want to know how to have a better sex life? Her point of view is that sex and pleasure are essential to a fulfilled life, yet we have little training on how to identify what we want and need, much less know how to communicate this to our partners. I knew she could fill a book with her wisdom on this topic, so how hard could blog posts be?
As with many talented people who have an idea and a passion to start a business, Carol Sue experienced immense resistance to doing what it takes to get started and to be successful.
The mental roadblocks to a successful website are many, and any can stop you in your tracks:
- Who is really out there?
- Do people really care about what I have to say?
- What I do and know has been done or said already.
- I wrote one post, maybe two, and I can’t get around to it any more.
- I am too busy.
- I don’t like blogging.
- I don’t want to be self-centered.
- People get too many newsletters.
- What will people think?
I could go on with these “reasons” not to do the work, which I categorize as resistance. And resistance is especially toxic for someone who lacks clear evidence of their purpose and confidence in themselves. It’s hard for him or her to believe that getting their words out in the world can be effective.
To move away from tentativeness and resistance, sometimes you need an assist. Here are some suggestions on how to get out of your head an into action.
A few months ago, Carol Sue’s business related to sexuality and relationships was going along with a few steady clients, but she still hadn’t realized her potential, when I saw a notice for a call for speakers for Sex Down South, a conference on sex and sexuality in the Atlanta area. The conference planner happened to an acquaintance of mine. I passed on the link to Carol Sue with a quick note that I thought she should apply to speak.
The next thing I knew, she called to tell me she applied and was accepted to talk about orgasms. To get ready for the big stage, she wrote out her presentation and scheduled a free seminar to rehearse her talk. The 25 people who showed up for her preview gave her great feedback, and this proved something big to her: By putting herself out there, she became convinced that a lot of people really need and want the kind of information and coaching that she offers.
It was the turning point that her career needed, because she already had an online presence and web marketing skills ready to go and she took off!
Knowing that she could give her conference audience only so much information in an hour, and anticipating that they might want options for going into more depth, Carol Sue planned a four-week follow-up workshop. She added workshop information on her website with a way to register and pay. She was so excited that she was able to do this all herself. So was I!
To promote for the upcoming conference, she and the conference organizer were interviewed on a local radio program for an hour last week. She realized how important her message was.
As Carol Sue got busy, she saw more visitors to her website. In just two weeks, she scheduled several new clients who were excited to finally find a trusted source for information on better sex.
My friend has stepped into her power and now understands her training, expertise and experience have come together. She’s put herself in the right place to bring valuable information to people who are hungry for it.
It is beyond exciting to watch Carol Sue “finally” take off. She has the fuel to blast her rocket off the pad.
You know how rockets are. We have to keep adding the fuel to keep them soaring.
And that can be the harder stage. This takes making a commitment to write and share your work and keep in touch with your small but growing list—no matter what. I recently wrote about my own experience with getting my newsletter off the ground.
Just know that it is normal for your enthusiasm to wane. You will have one of those days, weeks or months where you question whether it is worth it. Is it working? Does anyone care? Those questions surface all over again.
That is resistance talking and resistance is a natural part of the process. Expect it and understand how it undermines your self-worth. When we really know what we should be doing but don’t do it for whatever reason, we feel bad. Rationalizing and finding excuses are ways that we diminish ourselves and sabotage our well being.
Resistance weakens when you develop a practice and keep it up. Your habit of sharing your work will help weather the dark times when you don’t have the “evidence” that typically fuels your work.
A practice builds faith and knowledge in your heart and soul that you have a gift, and there are people in the world that need what you can give, delivered as only you can provide.
Once we know in our heart of hearts that we have a gift, we understand that developing that gift—and making it available to people who need it—is our dharma.
It is our driving force and purpose.
I can’t describe fully the joy of seeing my friend Carol Sue claim her special magic and watching her take off.
What do you need to trigger your take off?