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Ordinary People Taking Action
Back to Blog
Just shy of two business days in, I can already say that it’s been an interesting week. As I write this it is only Tuesday afternoon.
As I have expressed in previous posts, I am someone who truly views feedback as a gift. That hasn’t changed. But right now, the daily feedback, whether asked for or spontaneously given, feels overwhelming. It’s as though I have reached the limit of my ability to accept the gifts being offered.
What have I been told? For starters, I have been told that I care too much about others and I need to put myself and my needs first. It’s a message I’ve now heard from five people in two days. That is a confusing message to hear because for more than fifteen years, I have been told that putting the needs of others first is the way to approach business, to lead a team.
That’s not the only reason this piece of feedback is confusing. It’s also because I truly value having people around me to help me – and I love helping people. Yet, now as a small business owner of exactly one employee, I realize that my interactions need to be different. That is a reflection point – a growth point – for me. For the first time in my career, it’s not my responsibility to take care of a team. It’s something I need to embrace, even though it may feel weird.
I have also been told multiple times that I am selling myself short. That is a hard message to hear. I have been told that it doesn’t matter what tool or program I use. That people aren’t hiring me for the tool or program, they’re hiring me for my expertise. And that my expertise can speak for itself and stand on its own. That is odd feedback to try to take in. Recognizing that being confident in my skills is not the same as letting my ego take over.
This afternoon I had a meeting with a potential client. In preparation, I reflected on all the feedback given to me – that I need to take care of myself, that I need to sell myself. That I need to stop leaning on the crutch of a tool or other people – not because I don’t want to work with others, help others or represent a tool – but because I am fully capable to stand solid on my own two feet. That I can sell from a place of knowledge, experience and credibility.
During my meeting, I decided that if I tell others that coaches are important – and necessary – then I should take my own advice and listen to all the people trying to help, to coach, me. With my stomach in knots and palms sweaty, I stood solid on my own and sold me. I talked from a place of my vision – what I see as the need of this potential client – and how I can meet that need. I didn’t undersell myself. I didn’t oversell a tool. I stood squarely planted in my own garden – confident, insightful, visionary, and experienced.
It worked. It worked. It worked.
The reaction from the potential client? “Welcome back, Amber, I’ve missed you these last few months. Let’s get to work!”
Here is what I know to be truth:
You’re more powerful than you think you are. That is my new mantra and I hope helps you as well.