Here’s something I’ve learned over the last 9 years – the way I talk about my business directly affects how I show up in my business, which directly affects my growth.
If I talk about myself as a entrepreneur vs a CEO vs a freelancer vs a coach it really does shift my mindset around the impact my business can have, how big my business can get, how many people I can reach, and what my work and life looks like day to day.
None of these are better or worse, right or wrong but digging into and potentially elevating how you speak about your work may make you feel more confident and make it easier to show up consistently.
In this episode I’m sharing some examples, ideas for elevation, and action steps you can take today.
Resources + Links
Rachel Rodgers’ book We Should All Be Millionaires
Susan McPherson’s book The Lost Art of Connecting
Tori Dunlap’s @HerFirst100k
When I first started my business I was still working a corporate job and freelancing on the side. I knew that when I left that job I was going to take a pay cut and I expected to be living paycheck to paycheck because this was before online business really blew up, before digital products became popular, and before I realized how much money it was possible to make with a small business.
I had zero expectation for reaching tens of thousands of people, making more than I did at my corporate job, or making any sort of impact. I was working with 3 or 4 people at a time so my vision for my business wasn’t much more than me working from home, being able to pay my mortgage, and not having to eat ramen for every meal.
For a long time at the beginning I called myself a Badass Boss Lady. That was my title. Maybe because I came from a corporate job and I was rebelling against any business buzzwords. Or maybe it was that giving myself a more formal/normal title felt a little scary – like a bigger business than I could handle. Or that a title like that came with expectations – a certain salary, employees, team meetings.
And if asked about my business I’d say I’m a freelancer or a self-taught web designer, not that I was running a company. Even though I was.
Now, nine years later, I refer to myself as the owner or founder or CEO. When people ask what I do I say I run a marketing education company. And I’ve realized that upgrading my title and how I describe my job makes me want to upgrade the vision for my work.
For example, thinking about the change my work can create in the world and not just thinking about the handful of people I’m working with at this moment. I’m not just teaching marketing, I’m helping women create their own future, helping them find confidence that will overflow into every aspect of their life, helping them create more freedom, wealth, or grow to the point of hiring other women.
What outcomes could you create if you were helping 1000 or 10,000 people? Because if you keep going you will eventually get there. I didn’t start thinking about helping thousands of women, I just wanted one more person to hire me, and then one more after that, so I didn’t have to go back to my corporate job.
But what I’ve found is that expanding my vision of the change my business can create gives me more drive to show up every day.
When I started changing the way I spoke and thought about my job and my business I also started upgrading the way I work. Instead of doing my bookkeeping in a spreadsheet I switched a bookkeeping system. It connects to my bank accounts, automatically pulls in transactions, so I’m looking at my money every week instead of once/month. I got serious about taking nights and weekends off so I had time to recharge. I got serious about my learning and joined a mastermind, invested in coaching and courses.
I started saying yes to bigger opportunities. If you’d asked me in the first year or two in business if I wanted to go on stage and speak at a conference I would’ve been an enthusiastic NOPE. But when I started realizing the impact that was possible (not even the impact I was having, just what was possible) I decided to say yes to opportunities that were a little scary or uncomfortable.
I started showing up on a schedule and being more outspoken putting myself in a position to lead my audience instead of just putting info out there like…it’s there if you want it….
Because I believe we are all able to make an impact in whatever areas are important to you. Maybe it’s family, maybe it’s climate change, maybe it’s health or travel.
This is kind of about two things – elevating how you see yourself and your business and then using that to elevate how you show up for your audience.
Because when you are so freaking excited about something it’s contagious and other people who are into that same thing will start getting excited about it too. And when we’re excited (or feel any emotion strongly) we’re more likely to take action.
I’m reading this book called The Lost Art of Connecting by Susan McPherson which talks about how to grow your network and build relationships without icky, uncomfortable “networking.” One of the things that stood out to me was that “research has shown people who are happy in their jobs are rated by others as more likable, more trustworthy, and more deserving of attention and respect.” Those are the things you need to be able to sell products and services. You need to be likable, trustworthy, and get some respect and attention from your audience, and if you don’t have those things going on, selling products or services is very difficult.
There’s literal research to prove that if you are excited about your job and love what you do every day, just that excitement can attract other people into your space and make them more likely to trust you. Being excited is the easiest cheapest way to boost your growth. You can start being more excited right now.
And it doesn’t just have to be excitement that you create. Any emotion will spur your audience to action. I’ve been reading Rachel Rodger’s new book We Should All Be Millionaires (I agree, and highly recommend) and the beginning covers the history of women, black women, women of color being underpaid, undervalued, not given the freedom that men were apparently born with the rights to. And it made me MAD. When I get mad about things like that I spend my money differently, I share my knowledge differently, I show up differently because I am passionate about right-ing that wrong.
Another example is Tori Dunlap from Her First $100k. She is a financial coach and she’s taking a stand on two things – one that women should have a shit ton of money in the bank and understand their finances. And two, she is positioning herself as the anti-Dave Ramsey who is one of the most popular financial coaches of the past 30 years. His advice goes against what she believes, her values, and the strategies she teaches. She picked a big scary mountain to stand on but her audience is attracted to her because of that.
Now the impact you’re making doesn’t have to be that intense. Maybe you are a knitter, maybe you sell blankets, maybe you teach people to knit. You might think that knitting isn’t that controversial but you could take a stand around sustainability or animal rights or knowing where your wool comes from. Or maybe you’re encouraging your audience to knit hats and scarves for the homeless.
In any niche, in any industry, there is something that you can take a stand on and going back into your values and what’s important in your day-to-day life can help you figure that out.
My values and my goals with teaching marketing connect to women’s rights, women having money and power, and women being able to control their lives because I know that that creates safety and well being and opportunity and that creates a better world for everyone.
So I’m not just teaching you how to get more Instagram followers, I’m using all my design, marketing, copywriting, productivity skills to help elevate the position of women all over the world.
You’ve probably heard the saying – no one else is going to show up with more passion and excitement about your business than you. So you have to look at your position, your business, and your potential impact to elevate what you’re doing because that is going to give you more of an internal drive to show up and do the work every day.
And this doesn’t mean that suddenly you have a 25 person team and travel all the time – it can still just be you at home, in the corner of the living room, on your laptop. (Like me!) But it’s a lot easier to do the hard work and show up on the days you don’t feel like it or get through the months where money is short when you have that to drive you.
So lets talk action steps:
First, take some time to think about how you talk about your job and your business. And see what comes up when you think about being a CEO vs a freelancer. Or a founder vs a coach. You might want to have a journal handy to work through some of those feelings and thoughts.
Second, look at your personal values and the impact you’d like to make. Because if you keep going you will eventually help hundreds or thousands of people and your business could really make a dent in the universe one person at a time. My favorite way to get this answer is to think about what really pisses me off. And seeing women undervalued and underpaid is at the top of that list.
Third, and this might be the hardest one…make a big deal out of upcoming events, podcast interviews, new posts, your/your business milestones. Because if you aren’t super excited and making a big deal out of something, your audience isn’t going to think it’s a big deal, and then they’re not gonna sign up for it, download it, or buy it. As women we are conditioned to shrink ourselves and to not show off. Which makes sharing our big vision or success uncomfortable and causes us to worry what other people think. And then we downplay our excitement or our success. Don’t do that. If you have an event coming up, if you’re launching something, if you finally hit that goal – show up and talk about it and let your audience get excited with you.
And I know there’s always that worry that if we promote something and no one shows up people will judge us. But that isn’t going to happen. Your audience will think it’s brave of you to show up and create and sell. Even if only 3 people show up or buy your thing they will be so thankful that you create it. I had only 2 people show up to my first live and I was just listening to Tony Robbins speak – he only had 7 people show up to his first workshop but he rented a room that held 500 people.
We’re super lucky to be doing this stuff online where no one is really going to know what we aimed for. So make a big deal out of everything so your audience gets excited to join in.
And then lastly, scroll through your followers on Instagram and look at all their gorgeous faces and remind yourself that you are not talking to a bunch of avatars. I still do this to remind myself that I’m talking to thousands of individual women who are going to see real change in their lives when they hang out with me. No matter the size of your audience you’ve got real people following you too. And making that impact starts with just one person.
So let’s discuss – hop over to Instagram, you can find me @xosarahmorgan and tell me – how do you describe what you do? What impact could your business have? And do you think elevating those things could help you show up even more??