Here's my take on building businesses
Since I started building my business I started to become aware of the different approaches like-minded small business owners are using. For a long time, I have felt a pressure to pretend that success only looks like one particular thing. Namely the image of “sitting on a beach with your laptop”, or the headlines of “ How to create a portable career in 5 days” or my all time favorite “ How to make a 7000k month within your first quarter of starting a business.”
I was lulled into believing that I had to be somewhere else than where I actually am at this moment in time. Because every time I looked at my peers, collaborators, and competition, I could see the different tactics they use to build businessess, many very educational and genuine. But more and more I would see people who were using scare tactics or using jealousy marketing strategies which were making me feel small and praying on my confidence levels as a new business owner. I know this is actually the point of this strategy, however, this is not the way I wanted to build a business I could be proud of.
I also got fed up with being told that I had to be visible on every platform, that I had to use google+, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Facebook, Tumblr, and God knows, how many more platforms I have to slay, to be successful. Building a tribe is a must and you should build your own groups, here, there and everywhere. And finally how to work on a beach doing yoga while you’re slaying your online presence, bringing value to your tribe and giving exotic coaching sessions, whilst wearing gowns and heels and diamonds… Oh, the joy of my portable career.
All of the above is great, for someone else. It simply does not work for me, because I believe in authenticity, I believe in honest work, but also being honest about both the struggles and the successes. Mostly I believe in identifying what success looks like for me.
I’m here to tell you what business building really looks like, and I will be honest. It actually looks like the picture you see here most of the time. The moments where lack of confidence, fear, guilt, and worry creeps in. When in the process of creating something that’s important to you, something that brings value to your clients, and something you live and breathe is not working out. Or when you have to go back to the drawing board and start over. It also means to fall hard, but you pull up your big girl panties, get up and try again. So please don’t be fooled into thinking these jealousy tactics are real because they are not to most people.
My personal truth?
First, it’s not to make other people feel guilty, jealous or small, by portraying an image that is not true, no matter how good it looks. My success comes from how much I can make a difference in the lives of my peers, clients, the people around me. My success comes from how empowering and inspirational I can be, and how I can help lift the burden that might be holding you down.
“My success ultimately comes from knowing that I can make a difference and that I can use the privileges I have for good.”
Bad business model? maybe, but in the end, that’s what makes me feel successful, powerful and content and it drives me to go on. I’m not going to ignore the fact that I’m hoping for both karma and cash because I do and I am! It makes my day to know that I can live authentically and decide myself who and where I can help and in what way. It also makes me happy to be able to go out and spend some of that hard earned cash.
I fell into the trap of believing I would not make it if I didn’t do what those people were doing, so I tried to make that work for quite some time. I couldn’t take it anymore, I got so fed up with myself for trying to master all the different social platforms and feeling like a fraud and I was so tired of seeing all these coaches trying to scare and guilt me into buying their products and portraying an image that for me was and is not real.
Now I do acknowledge that some of them are in fact living that way, but the reality is or lets me say my reality is that many do not and I’m personally is one of them.
My personal truth is that building a business or a career for that matter, takes grit, personal sacrifice, patience, courage and a good portion of humor and resilience. If I didn’t have my husband to help me, my dream job wouldn’t be possible, you see building a one person business without funding or a large income can make it tough to pay the bills at times. It’s a lonely business and it’s easy to be sucked into believing that it’s only “you” who are struggling to make ends meet.
Now does this make me or my business a failure? No, I don’t believe so, because looking back at all the things I have done from starting a business until now, that’s impressive work and something to be proud of. I will not list them here but feel free to reach out to me if you want to find more about those projects, or simply take a look at my profile.
“Just because I’m not making a million is not equal to being a failure.”
The same goes for working as an employee, when you look around and see people get promoted, flying around the world to conferences or moving up the career ladder, it’s important to be completely clear about the fact that person has a story and behind those images or updates you see on social media, there is a personal sacrifice they made for this to be possible at this time in their life.
I encourage you to take off the social media glasses, look deep and be truthful to yourself, don’t be fooled into thinking that everything these days comes easy just because it looks like it. Because I’m here to tell you it doesn’t and if you ever feel you’re not good enough or feel that everyone else is succeeding and you’re stuck or failing, ask yourself this question:
“ How do I define success?”
Open up your confidence drawer and pull out all the examples of giving your all, this is a great way of building some renewed confidence to prove to yourself that, you’re good enough and remember without the hard times, you wouldn’t know how to identify the good times.
As i’m writing this I’m sitting in bed enjoying the fact that I do have a portable career… and I’m scared shitless that I won’t get any more clients again…..EVER… like in… FOREVER!
Written bySascha Fogel
You can connect with Sascha on LinkedIn. Sascha Fogel runs her Coaching Business Sassy Training & Coaching from Amsterdam where she is now located and has clients across Europe. She is the founder of Sassy Girl Global Mentoring community for Sassy Girls who wants to be courageous and bold enough to go after their goals and dreams.