Moment of honesty: I struggled with getting this blog post going. I am not a motivational speaker. I can be overly passionate about the way I feel which in turn can lead me to come across as crass. But I am who am I so this is not going to be a sugar coated fluffy “you go girl!” post. So let’s get down to the nitty gritty. A lot of you are not starting a business or following through on an idea because you simply do not trust yourself. It’s you. While lack of support, lack of resources, lack of credentials all seem like legitimate reasons to hesitate, they are simply excuses. These are all things that can be gained and earned along the way. The only thing you NEED to get started is actually allowing yourself to do so. Let me explain…
I asked the ladies in my social media audience for their best excuse on not starting their business idea. The top two answers where lack of support and fear.
So let’s start with support.
It seriously makes my skin crawl when people start throwing this word around. What exactly do you mean by support? Do you literally mean customers to buy your product/service or people cheering you on for the journey? It is my honest unfiltered opinion that both of these are to be earned. Customers are earned by consistently producing a quality product & service and consistently investing in your own product/service to make sure that it is evolving and getting better with time. You simply may not have garnered people’s trust on day one, week one, year one of establishing your brand. Throw that instant gratification shit out the window because that’s not how it works. Building trust for people to spend their hard earned money is a process. One that may require you to do some undesirable work, build a portfolio, expose yourself to people outside of your daily group chat. Just because you pick up a camera and snap a photo does not entitle you to people’s money for photo shoots. You need to learn the trade, invest in the proper tools, shadow professionals. Build a portfolio that people cannot deny. My motto is people do not know who you are until you tell them and they don’t care who you are until you give them something they can feel. Put some passion behind what you are doing, buy into yourself, see the value in your own work, then and only then will you naturally attract paying customers and clientele. Attracting clients is primarily about being real with yourself. Is my product/service quality? Am I promoting to the correct people? Do I have unrealistic expectations and an innate sense of entitlement? Yup, have that chat with yourself… ASAP.
Now let’s move onto that other ugly side of support people love to fixate on. Let’s get one thing cleared up. Your best friend, sister, cousin, professor, whoever, for one may not be your target audience and for two does not owe you support. Now we are not going to act like people who intentionally don’t root for you, don’t exist. They do. But whyyyyyyy are you giving them so much energy? People will launch a brand, get a handful of their actual target audience interested, then rant for two weeks on twitter about how their family didn’t support them. Have you lost your mind? Not only is this a slap in the face to the people who have uplifted you (and spent money) but it’s also counterproductive and a complete waste of time. What you give focus to WILL grow. When I see people complaining about support constantly, it unconsciously makes me not want to have anything to do with their work. You are literally creating a campaign of negativity for your own brand. When I see support rants I think to myself, look at all the time this person could have been putting into making their brand unfuckwithable and here they are giving energy to people who the brand may not even be meant for. Most of the support entrepreneurs receive is unseen and unverifiable. Make your brand so on point that people can’t deny it and individuals you have never even crossed paths with become advocates by sharing your message with others. For those who have yet to launch, please stop focusing on support. Support is like a ghost meant to haunt you on your journey to completing your vision. Just remove this word from your vocab because frankly you don’t deserve support yet and once you do it will certainly come naturally.
One last aside about support… please stop expecting people to give you the complete recipe to your industry then being upset when they won’t. If you need specific information on how to get started then you need to seek a consultation with a subject matter expert in your field and that will likely cost money. If you understood the time, money and resources that goes into educating one’s self you would respect people that don’t give up their resources with ease. People have hopped directly into my business account direct messages and ask “how exactly do you do this?” Aht Aht! Six months of researching, purchasing, testing, fucking up, throwing money away, arguing with distributors, working in the burning sun and freezing cold will not be handed to you on a platter via instagram. Sorry not sorry. Most people’s hold up is they are not resourceful (or too lazy to even try to be resourceful). Invest the time & money into learning your process and if you simply can’t wait, be ready to pay for the blueprint. Personally I prefer to get it honest. It drives me to know how much I put into my brand & myself. I am a lifetime learner and if I have to stay up until 3AM scouring the crevices of the internet to find an answer, so be it. And when I hit a roadblock, I can honestly admit I don’t know something and I need to save my money up to seek professional help. Here’s some free game: follow some leaders (and newbies) in your industry. Turn notifications on. People love telling their stories and giving behind the scenes looks at what they do. Make them a coach-in-your-head. Study, take notes, catch the gems. I have learned so much just from the instastories of women in business I admire. You can do the same.
At this point I’m tapped out on writing and you probably feel the same about reading! Let’s table “fear” for another session. This whole stop saying support thing is a big pill to swallow. Sit with it. Tell me where I’m wrong or not making sense. Like I said we are going to figure this starting a business thing out together. I’m open to the support conversation. I believe the underlying issue with support is self-confidence. I understand it doesn’t come easy to everyone but you HAVE TO trust yourself first. You have to build yourself first before you can build a brand. Those insecurities will expose you and take you down every time. You are your own worst enemy. Do what you have to do to believe that your work is of value. Because it likely is but we’ll never know because you keep tip toeing around the idea. Until next time ladies!