The Entrepreneur Journal #6: Owning your story as an entrepreneur
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Being an entrepreneur is a scary thing. It’s also a thrilling, super exciting journey where every day is a new opportunity to discover something new about yourself, not only about your business. One of the hardest things I had to do was owning and sharing my story.
I’ve been working as a digital marketer for about 10 years now. I’ve worked with clients all over the world, in so many different industries I lost the count. I wore so many hats: as a digital marketing manager, content editor and writer, website developer, visual designer, video editor, PPC manager, email marketing manager, growth hacker and learned tremendously during this time. I even have the case studies, the results to show off my game.
But when it came to presenting myself as an entrepreneur, and not a freelancer anymore, it was hard to pinpoint my assets, my experience, my worth. I discovered I had a big case of imposter syndrome. And it wasn’t easy to accept it, or overcame it. And that made it hard for myself to build a personal brand, to own and share my story with the world, with my clients, with my family and even myself.
But coming from a digital marketing background I knew I had to do something about it.
An entrepreneur unaligned with their personal story, an entrepreneur scared to share their worth and uniqueness with the world, can’t succeed. So step-by-step I exercised my opening up. I actively sought opportunities that would challenge myself, that would make me more determined and familiar with my story and the primary goal of telling it: helping people grow their own business through digital marketing.
Here’s what helped me own and share my story:
1. Joining and being active in Facebook groups for female entrepreneurs
In the past few years I’ve grown more and more annoyed with the entire Facebook environment. The entire channel felt more and more like an artificial reality where everyone is sharing their best and hiding their mediocre and even their worst. It had become at one point depressing to scroll the newsfeed.
But, in 2018 I made an unexpected discovery. I found there were Facebook groups that actually worked.
Communities built by and around leaders and ideas that inspired members to become active story-tellers and problem solvers.
Female-only communities where the rule of thumb is offering support and encouragement.
These Facebook groups have inspired me to tell my story and have boosted my self-confidence. Seeing that others overcame similar challenges gave me hope. Getting to know awesome female entrepreneurs all over the world gave me power. To all of those awesome women I give thanks. Your stories, your support, your positive words and your sincerity have encouraged me to open up, own my story, my experience, and ask for help when I couldn’t find a solution or just pondering between too many choices.
2. Opening up and offering my advice and support during coaching sessions
In November 2017 my friend Cristiana, a fellow female entrepreneur, took to her Facebook wall and asked if anyone would be interested in a sort of reciprocal coaching thingy. At that time I was also looking for a way to overcome my mental blocks.
I was freelancing from home, spending a lot of time by myself and not bouncing my ideas and thoughts with anybody else. I was struggling with low self esteem and trying to figure out my own entrepreneurial endeavor.
I PMed her and started our reciprocal coaching sessions just a few days later. Fast forward to one year later and we are both new persons, with increased confidence in ourselves and our entrepreneurial projects. We boosted our confidence so much that in the process we finally became comfortable with video and now I have a vlog, a marketing talk, a video course in the making, and together we just launched a podcast.
That was the first time I have actively sought help. And during our coaching sessions I got the confidence to own my story. And what an awesome story it is.
I could talk about the benefits of coaching for days and days. But I promise I’ll tell you more in a new edition of my entrepreneur journal.
3. Bouncing off ideas during co-working sessions
I just recently finished a one-week co-working session with Cristiana, my coaching bestie. Surprisingly, our productivity levels were off the chart. We combined coaching and mastermind sessions, one-on-one work, personal development challenges, good food and yoga.
One week later I had launched my first vlog, and built up the confidence to start working on a new way to generate leads for my Pinterest business, a video course.
I had managed to achieve all the goals I set up for myself before the start of that co-working week. I had managed to be more productive and focused than what I would normally be on my own.
Co-working came about as an alternative to the lonely days digital entrepreneurs would usually have. You know those days when you spend morning to evening in your pijamas, at your desk, trying to come up with the next big thing in your business. You’re bouncing ideas off your cat, off your walls and maybe off a very confused partner.
I initially had a very different understanding of what co-working could be. But what I disregarded was how useful co-working sessions can be, especially when you’re doing it with a mastermind-type partner or group. Now I’m looking forward to new such opportunities and I’ve seen them becoming ever more popular among female entrepreneurs. I’ve got one on my mind that’s set for Ibiza, in May 2019, and it’s being hosted by one of those amazing female entrepreneurs that have inspired and helped me grow this year, Katie Colella.
I met Katie in one of the Facebook groups I have spent a lot of time this year and she has helped me a lot in overcoming a mental block about my own business. She was a great partner to talk to about business, setting up objectives, and she helped me get clarity and vision in my entrepreneurial projects.
Katie will share the strategies that worked for her in growing all her businesses from scratch but she also aims to help female entrepreneurs meet like-minded spirits and grow their business through workshops, mentoring and mindset work (there will be a mindset coach joining the retreat). You can learn more about Katie’s business retreat here.
I hope this little journal edition will help you. I want you to know it’s going to be OK. I want you to know that you are an amazing woman, and that you have a unique story that’s worth being told and listened to. You are amazing and beautiful. Unveil your beauty. Own and tell your story proudly.