I should be writing right now, but when the blog post inspiration faerie arrives, there’s absolutely no ignoring her!
Something suddenly struck me today, and I am going to try to explain it, in the hopes that if anyone out there has a similar experience, it may help.
In the last few months, I have had a couple of experiences with people who I have considered to be respected experts in their field, who are worth listening to, and taking their advice. They are very successful, have a lot of experience, and have based their businesses on helping others to achieve the same success.
Earlier in the year, I had the chance to attend an evening workshop with a lady whose book had inspired me years ago, but whom I had never met until then. I had a lot of respect for her because her story was so inspirational, and she was devoted to helping others to achieve their true potential.
I arrived at the event, I was having a good time, and was joined by a dear friend of mine for the evening. As part of the workshop, she was doing some short coaching sessions, and my friend was chosen to take part. When my friend said what her aspirations were, which included self-publishing her books, the lady’s response was – “Bulls**t. You will never make money doing that.”
When my friend tried to explain that self-publishing was quite different these days to how it used to be, the lady was not interested. She said that why anyone would want to self-publish was beyond her.
In that moment, my respect for her began to slip.
I could understand a traditionally published author having that point of view ten years ago, but the industry really has completely changed since then, surely, if she is advising people on their businesses, she would know that?
While chatting later, I spoke to her a little about how different the industry is, and she seemed surprised, but not particularly interested in learning more. And when it became apparent that I was not in the financial position to pay for one of her coaching packages, her response was – “Come back to us when you have the money.”
Wow. Bubble totally popped. In fact, the copy of her book that I had kept for so long, found its way into the car boot stuff a few weeks ago. And when it didn’t sell, it went to a charity shop.
I recently had another experience with someone who I thought wanted to help my business (my book writing and publishing) to flourish and grow, but it turned out that what she wanted was for me to create ‘products’ like video series’ and courses, to sell and make money with. It didn’t even really matter what the product was, as long as it sold. I felt uncomfortable with the concept, and I didn’t get the feeling that she liked me very much, which made me even less inclined to get more involved and put a lot of time and energy into her business. Later on, she even said several times that writing books was not the way forward, it takes too long. Videos are the only way forward. Unfortunately, I am a writer, and that’s not going to change.
When I finally admitted that I didn’t want to be a part of her business, her response confirmed my feelings – she really didn’t want the best for my business at all, and in her opinion, I wasn’t ‘ready’ to be a part of what she was creating.
It was after this experience, that I realised something. When around these successful experts, who are building their businesses around empowering people to follow their dreams – I feel completely disempowered. I feel like a small child who is below them. I’ve been thinking about the reasons for this, and I am fully ready to accept that it may well be my issue not theirs, but I wonder if I am the only one to feel this way?
I’ve been reading The 7 Graces of Marketing recently, and there was a story recounted in there about a coach trying to sell the author a course, that cost thousands of dollars, and when the author declined, the coach tried to make her feel like a failure for doing so.
After reading about the old paradigm of marketing in her book, I have come to realise that perhaps those who have been in business for a long time, are just accustomed to these old marketing tactics – as we, the general population, are conditioned to respond to these old marketing tactics. And when someone says – actually, this doesn’t feel right to me – their response is to make us feel like we will never succeed because we are not doing things their way.
But then it all comes down to your definition of success. If success is having lots of money – then I am a failure. If success is selling lots of products – then I am a failure. If success is being famous – then I am a failure.
On the other hand, if success is helping people to feel a little less lonely in the world – then I am a success. If success is encouraging people to listen to themselves, to really get to know themselves and then to dream big – then I am a success. If success is inspiring others to changes their lives because of your words or actions – then I am a success.
When it comes right down to it – success and failure are just words. It is our perception and attachments of feelings to the words that causes them to mean anything at all. All I know is, whether I succeed or fail, I want to be able to say – I was authentically myself, I followed my heart, I listened to my gut and I did my best.