As an entrepreneur, frequently I hear, “Wow! You’re all over social media!” or “You travel all over the place, don’t you?” Why, yes, I am, and yes, I do. A year ago, I said adios to a steady paycheck in Cubicle Land and jumped headfirst into my entrepreneurial adventure. I made the commitment to stay productive.
I often joke that if my business was a church, I would name it Our Lady of Perpetual Motion!
Why am I all over social media? I want people to get to know me. People want to work with someone they trust. If I share my real-life adventures, you will know who I am. In 2017, I took the amazing Martha Beck Wayfinder (life coach) training. From that great experience, I borrowed the acronym “TAO:”
I love this! I always strive to be TAO. To develop any relationship, you need trust. I don’t want to come across as someone with something to hide because I don’t trust people who operate that way.
How do I stay TAO?
· I stay transparent by admitting when I know something and when I don’t. When I started as a publisher, I did not know all of the answers. While I know more than I knew a year ago, I still don’t know everything. Actually, if anyone tells you they have ALL the answers, run away! Experience is great, but so is admitting when you don’t know something. I wouldn’t succeed if I pretended to know something I don’t.
“I don’t know, but I will find out for you.”
“I haven’t done this before, but we will learn about it together.”
· I stay authentic by sharing my real self. This was frowned upon in Cubicle Land. I am authentically loud and boisterous. I snort when I laugh. I smile a lot and greet people. I have the energy of a Jack Russell terrier on crack. These are some of my superpowers. People have a decision when they meet me of whether they want to work with me or not. All of this energy coming at you can sometimes be too much for peeps. What you see is what you get…I’m smart, talented, creative, empathetic, and kind. And I am a ball of energy. I snort when I laugh. And yes, even though I am a professional and create professional products, I let my hair down and I am my own goofy self.
“I can’t wait to work with you!”
“Giggle! Snort! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”
“Let’s connect! You crack me up and I love your ideas!”
· I stay open by listening to others. I respect opinions other than my own. You may approach me with an idea and change my entire mindset about something. In return, I will be open with you by telling you what I really think. That’s tough sometimes. I’ve had to tell people I don’t connect with their writing. That sucks! I love supporting authors, but if I don’t “get” their writing, they are better off working with a writing coach who does “get” them. Honestly, that’s my least favorite part of the job…telling someone that I don’t want to work with them. But ultimately it is the best gift I can give to both me and to them. They won’t end up with a half-hearted writing coach. I don’t end up resenting working with someone whose vision I don’t share. Plus, it is fairer to the clients with whom I do work. They get my whole, 110% attention, focus and love.
“I’m sorry but we’re not a good fit.”
“OMG, your idea is AMAZING! I can’t wait to collaborate!”
In addition to being TAO, I SNORT! Yes, I snort when I laugh, but SNORT is a also great acronym for my credo as an entrepreneur:
Stay Focused – I write a to-do list and keep up with it. I keep distractions to a minimum when I have a deadline. Yes, I am in perpetual motion! My business is my baby and it will only grow if I keep “feeding” it with hard work, hustle, and love. Which leads me to…
Never Stop Dancing – I’m so blessed to get to do what I love to do for a living. I don’t give myself the luxury of watching TV or staying on Facebook too long during the day. I never stop “dancing” during my work hours. I keep asking myself – what else can I do to help my clients? What do I need to learn to be my best? What do I need to do to be successful? You will see me on social media and all over the map because I document what I do and I go where the work is.
Original Medicine – Another cool concept I learned as a Martha Beck Wayfinder is that each of us has unique gifts we bring to the world. We Wayfinders call this your Original Medicine. It’s your secret sauce, your unique brand of whatever it is you do. My Original Medicine is all about writing and creating. I tried for a long time to fit in as an IT Project Manager. I was successful as a PM but it was not why I was put on this earth. I finally accepted my mission to assist in bringing people’s ideas and visions for their books into published form! How cool is that? I’m a co-creator for dreams! I make magic! Every day, I remind myself that this is my mission – even on the crappola days when it seems like everything is going WRONG! I have helped 11 other authors bring their books into the world in one year! And I’ve just gotten started. By sticking to my “original medicine” – my ability to empathize with potential authors, my gift for sifting through ideas and sorting out the best ones, and my talent for editing, formatting and putting it all together. I work like a dog to make that happen every day.
Rely on others – Part of being TAO is knowing when you don’t know something. I have learned that it is better for me to ask for help when I need it. I can’t tell you all how hard it is for me to do this. I’m quite hard-headed and nothing makes me happier than doing something by myself. Well, I have to admit, I am changing! I reach out for help from experts when I don’t know something. I used to think I was pretty good at putting documents together. And I am incredible at it when working with text alone. I learned, however, I am not a graphic designer. When it comes to books with lots of illustrations or photos, I holler “Uncle!” and ask for assistance. The cool thing about this is that not only do I create a better product for my clients through these collaborations, but I also grow as a person. My business benefits because I have a wide network of awesome resources – graphic designers, illustrators, marketers, web designers, etc. I can help my clients find who or what they need!
Trust my gut – This may be the most important principle I follow. For years, I followed the advice that said, “Get a good paying job.” Nothing wrong with making money! But I’ve learned it is much more satisfying to make money while also doing what you love to do. This felt so counterintuitive to me at first! All the advice I had received throughout my life said, “You will hate what you do but you will make good money, and that’s the way it should be.” Yuk. I have discovered I can use all of the talents that made me a successful IT manager as the manager for my own business. And now I love waking up every morning (after sufficient amounts of coffee). I trusted my gut when I realized I love writing, I love helping others write, and I love books! If I listened to the naysayers who said, “There’s no money in writing” or “No one reads printed books anymore,” I’d still be in Cubicle Land, probably about to take the elevator to the roof and jump off.
You will continue to see me on social media, posting about my life and my work. I will continue to stay in motion, because I am so on fire that I don’t want to miss a thing! There are a lot of writers who need my TAO and need my SNORT.