Today’s topic comes from a reader, Steve, who asked that I explore how to be yourself, especially when there are so many shiny object courses out there that can actually be misleading. And ultimately, how do we find a personal plan for ourselves in our business?
(Before jumping in, this is part of a new series where I answer reader questions. If you have questions or a topic you’d love explored, share in the comments or shoot me an email).
Okay, onward! My first thought when reading his suggestion was, “Oh man, I’ve been there.” I’ve purchased many courses, expensive ones at that, because I felt that it would be the thing that clicked my business into place. I’ve been caught up in launches, in FOMO, in feeling like if only I could tackle This. One. Thing. everything would move forward swimmingly.
This doesn’t just apply to courses, it applies to webinars, invitations for sponsored posts, or to do free work, or to share your energy in any number of ways. These are all the shiny objects that come across our path as entrepreneurs.
My intention isn’t to bash these individual things, some of them are great, and sometimes we need them as part of our process, however, my hope is to help us feel grounded, carve out our own path, and feel confident about which things to seize and which to let go of.
So how do we do this?
1. Get clear on what you want your creative life to look like
Get clear on what you want your creative life to look like, then work backward. Once you have a clear picture of your individual map, you can decide if the opportunities coming your way fit into your overall plan. This can be a question about fit, as well as a question about timing. Knowing the bigger picture, and your steps to get there, will help answer these questions.
2. When you are faced with shiny objects, slow down
Often times when we feel FOMO, or excitement of needing the next thing, it’s an invitation to slow down. Sometimes the feeling can be a sign of an internal story that needs some working on — Maybe it’s a story of not-enoughness, of scarcity, insecurity, or of disempowerment. Having these stories are not bad things, they are part of being human. Slowing down gives us the opportunity to take a step back, find our footing, and ground into our power more consciously.
3. Go Your Own Way (Anyone else a Fleetwood Mac fan?)
Roadmaps can be great, but you have to remember to tailor them. Shiny objects promising big change in 30 or 60 days don’t often pan out. They can get you started, but to really get mileage you’ll have to adapt it to work for you.
Adjust time frames, know which platforms best serve your audience and your personality.
You want to be different. This is a good thing.
4. Take the time know the core elements of your brand
How do you stand out? What sets you apart from your competition? What’s the heart of what you do? What does your audience truly want? The answers to these questions create a lovely filter. You can say no more, and you can say yes with more confidence.
5. Remember, you know more than you think
After following different courses, webinars, opportunities, I’ve realized I know more than I realize.
This is both simple and powerful. Mine your own knowledge before rushing to the next thing. What can you figure out on your own? What feels in alignment. Maybe it’s getting that course, maybe you realize you have all the answers already (or can at least figure them out).
To put the microscope on courses for a second, there are times when they are great:
- When you love the teacher and get a lot out of how they present and share things.
- When it’s a topic that is hard to unpack or compile on your own. For example, I’m taking a course at my local junior college on astrology. I love it and know I couldn’t figure it all out online. Being able to raise my hand and ask questions, is priceless.
- When you have a clear sense of where you want to go with your business and where you need extra learning or where you need to beef up your skills.
It takes courage to not jump on bandwagons and to do things differently. The ancient Greeks advice to “know thyself,” is more important than ever in the online space.
Courses, webinars, and various opportunities can be assets when we are intentional about why, and how, we decide to follow them. Just remember, we have more information and resourcefulness at our fingertips than we sometimes realize, it’s an advantage to do things differently. Trust your gut about what you need, not the hype pulling you in different directions. Your map is uniquely your own.
Did you enjoy this post? Share on with your friends and I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Have a topic or question you want covered? Let me know!