Category Archives: staying present

A Marketing Path With Heart

A Marketing Path With Heart

I’ve hired a wonderful Marketing Coach to help me market my coaching practice. Marketing is, of course, the process of building relationships with prospective clients and collaborators. Marketing to your current clients is a way to maintain and strengthen your relationships with them, as well.

So how do we market our Creative businesses in a way that is true to our Creative Selves? My biggest concern for the longest time was that I would be in the position of offering something that didn’t feel like “me”. I’d struggled with a feeling of rebellion against doing what all the business and marketing books/videos/blogs/teleseminars told me to do, just because they “said so.”

I was filled with questions and worry. How do I market my business from my authentic self? How do I stay true to my message that everyone is creative? How do I balance doing it “my way” with doing it “the right way”?

This morning, I remembered Jack Kornfield’s wisdom about the “Four Rules of Relationship” and thought about how it might apply to marketing my Creative Business:

Show Up. To me, this means to show up fully as myself. Don’t hide or diminish what you do in any way. Remember and celebrate all of your accomplishments and how they have positively influenced others. Be willing to be vulnerable. Share who you truly are.

Be Present. This one can be a challenge. Being present, to me, means being focused on what I am doing, what I am saying, how I am being in this moment. Marketing my business from this state of being present allows me to approach tasks from a calm and centered place, rather than a state of worry or anxiety, which is not the best way to attract others!

Speak Your Truth. Here’s where you get to express your true Creative Self. What is your Truth as it relates to your Creative Business? What is the message you wish to express to the world? Is it about beauty? Courage? Passion? Speak it – in your Marketing message, in your newsletter, on your business cards, website, promotional brochures, etc. Your Truth is a reflection of who you are and what you bring to the world.

Let Go Of Outcome. This is by far the toughest part. But it can also be the most rewarding. When we put our message out there to the world, when we share who we truly are, when we are vulnerable, passionate, caring and Creative, we connect and build relationship with the people who need us, our services and works, the most. By letting go, we free ourselves to be ourselves in our business and our lives. When we cling to outcome, worry about what others might think or how we’re going to pay the bills, we limit our capacity to build relationship. When we can let go, we open the door to others and keep it open, inviting them to come again and again, to view our work, to visit our seminars, to read our newsletters and blogs. When they are ready, the will choose us because we have kept that door open long enough and consistently enough for them to know, like and trust us. In this way, the clients and customers we desire the most will also be the ones who desire us and our work the most.

When I choose to market my business with these four basic rules of relationship in mind, my marketing “efforts” become “effortless.” I attract the clients I truly want to work with and who truly want to work with me. Marketing in this way is an opportunity for me to share all of who I am and my Truth with the world. Even for those who do not choose my services, I am providing a message which may inspire them. When I choose to be in this state of non-attachment, I can see that Marketing is truly just about expressing myself, who I am and what I hope to bring to the world, building relationships along the way.

That feels so much better than worrying about “getting it right”!

How will you choose to market your business with Heart?

The Failure of Fear

The Failure of Fear

As any entrepreneur can tell you, running your own business can be a downright frightening thing at times. Times when you wonder whether you’ll be noticed or stand out from your competition. Times when you have to stand up in front of a group of strangers and try to explain what it is you offer – in a compelling enough way to attract clients or customers. Times when you hit the “publish” button on your blog or website and hope that what you’ve written hits its mark. Times when you wonder if you’ll be able to pay your bills, the rent and still have enough to buy groceries.

I’ve lived with fear a long time. It’s been such a close companion, for much of my life I didn’t even know it for what it was. I assumed it was normal to worry like crazy, feel anxious and berate oneself for failures. Most of us do it all the time, behaving as if we all should somehow magically be prepared for any possible contingency, every possible outcome. “What an idiot I am! Why didn’t I realize that was going to happen? I should have known! I should have seen the signs!!!”

Lately, I found myself worrying a lot about whether my business will succeed or fail. Am I doing everything I can to promote myself? Am I doing it right? Do I even know what I’m supposed to be doing? What if it doesn’t work? What if I can’t do it???

The questions were swimming around in my head, keeping me up at night and waking me up in a state of panic in the mornings. “I’ll be OK,” I told myself. “I have faith that it will work out; I’m in a learning curve, that’s all.” But no matter how much I tried to hush the panicky voices inside me, they only seemed to hang on tighter and get louder.

I finally sat down to confront them the other night. I wanted to truly understand why, no matter what I said or did, I still felt this anxiety. Finally, it hit me: what my fear needed to hear was confirmation that I have failed. I HAVE FAILED. I’m doing it even now. Oh, my. Wow. I am currently failing. My business success is not happening the way I wanted it to right now.  I’ve FAILED!!!!! Aaaarrrrggghhhhh!!!

And then I started laughing. Because as soon as I admitted to myself that I am failing, I have failed and I no doubt will continue to fail, I FELT BETTER. My anxiety lightened up a little. The problems I’m dealing with didn’t go away, but the panicky questions in my head – the constant stream of “what ifs?” – got quieter.

I’m still giggling a little as I write this. What a relief to remember that it’s OK to fail; in fact we do it all the time. How lovely to revel in failures and the lessons they can teach rather than shy away from them. Now that I’ve admitted to failing, I am open to possibility. Instead of the nagging “What if?” I can hear the exhilarating “What’s next?!”

Try it. Admit to your deepest fear. You can fail. It doesn’t have to be spectacular; it can just be. I wonder what will happen when you do.