What a Little Dog Can Teach You About Being Brave

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Earlier this year, I’d been feeling pretty stuck. I’d been wanting to offer new services and programs for quite some time, and I had lots of ideas, but nothing I came up with felt right.

I know for sure that more than anything, I want to help women build a business that supports them emotionally and financially, in a way that is authentic and brings them and me joy. That, in a nutshell, is my whole reason for being in business.

That is so clear to me, and at the same time I was feeling really stuck. Why couldn’t I figure this out?

I spent a lot of time mulling this over, going back to my purpose, my values, my perfect customer… but I wasn’t finding the answers I wanted. I started to doubt myself, my work, and my value.

Was it not the right time? Is it not the right work? I didn’t believe that, either. Being stuck is a really crappy place to be, and something had to give.

So I turned within, looking even deeper, searching for answers. Then I realized that what I was experiencing was classic resistance. The question then, was what (and why) was I resisting?

Resistance always is related to fear — always.

Sure, there’s always fear when it comes to starting something new, to putting yourself out there — you’re fully exposed and completely vulnerable. But I’ve been down this road with fear before, and I thought I knew how to handle it. Fear, however, is a crafty beast, and never fails to keep me on my toes.

And then early one morning, as I was sitting out on my front step, enjoying the fresh air of spring, Theo came over and dropped his tennis ball at my feet. (If you don’t know Theo, he’s my constant companion. When he’s not wrapped up in a blanket napping, he’s dropping a ball at your feet, begging for a game of fetch.)

I tossed the ball for him. It bounced to the edge of the yard, down over a bank, and rested next to a tree at the edge of the woods. This was a place where Theo doesn’t go. Ever.

He stopped, not sure what to do next. I could tell that he wanted his ball more than anything, but he was afraid to go get it. 

As he stood there, I could see his little mind working, trying to figure out what to do next. I whispered under my breath, “be brave, buddy, be brave”. At that moment, he cautiously took a step forward. He slowly crept down the bank, to the tree, snatched his ball and ran back to me, joyfully, with his head held high.

And then I realized that those words were actually for me. I needed to be brave. What had been holding me back was fear, and without realizing it, I let that fear paralyze me. Suddenly it was all clear.

If you don’t try, you can never succeed.

The thing is, fear will never go away completely. It will always be with you. So if we can’t make it go away forever, we need to learn to walk with it.

The funny thing about fear is that when you face it head on, you take away its power. This frees up your energy to move forward. And the more you keep moving forward, the more confident you feel. It’s quite empowering, actually. I’m even practicing what I preach by sharing this story with you, and for sharing my new offerings.

So my very simple message to you today, is to be brave. You’re not alone in this. Hold your head up high and know that you can do anything that you really set your mind to.

And if you want to practice being brave with your own business on a daily basis (so it becomes easier!), I invite you to join me in Marketing for Introverts. Doors close in just a few days. Claim your spot.

Is Your Branding Missing This Critical Element?

WHAT are YOUR CORE VALUES_I’ve been talking quite a bit lately with women who aren’t sure how much of their personality they should be sharing with their readers. They want to put themselves “out there” in an authentic way, but they don’t want to give up their privacy in the process.

This has so much to do with your branding, whether you realize it or not. An effective brand takes into consideration your personality, your authentic voice, your core values. And if you’re a solopreneur, you are your brand.

When people think of branding, they often go straight to the visuals — the logo, website, social media images, etc. And while all that is important, none of it will be effective if the foundation isn’t built on what you believe is important, and who you are as a person.

What is a core value? Simply put, it’s something you regard highly. So when identifying your core values, ask yourself questions like, “What’s important to me?” and “What do I stand for?”. Those will give you the answers.

Your core values are largely determined by your personality and the way you view the world. For example, if you strive for deep relationships with your clients and you consider yourself a natural connector, then “connection” might be one of your strong values. If your services include spiritual practices of some sort, then “faith” might be one of your values.

So this week, I’d like you to identify your core values. There is no right or wrong here. You share these values with the world through your work, and they show up every day, whether you realize it or not.

For example, here’s my list:

authenticity
fairness
honesty/ethics
connection
kindness
respect
empowerment

Once you have your own list, write it down on a sticky note and put it where you will see it every day. This is the foundation of your brand. When you’re stressed out, feeling defeated and overwhelmed, look at this list. Focusing on your core values will always bring you back to center.

I suggest you take some time to sit with these values—really sit with them and consider their connection to your brand. HOW does authenticity connect with your brand? HOW does connection make things better for your clients? HOW does creativity show up in your work?

How can you convey your core values—those things in this life that are closest to your heart—through your brand?

Write it all down.

That’s your challenge for this week. And I’d love to hear what you come up with. I’ve asked the question on Facebook. So go over there and tell me!

Have a fantastic day!

P.S. – We’ll talk about this topic in the Marketing for Introverts course. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can check it out here. And don’t forget to use your coupon code to get 50% off (SURPRISE50)

Is your site Mobile-Friendly?

is your site mobile friendly?You may have heard me talk about Google’s upcoming update on April 21st to their ranking algorithm. This change means that mobile-friendly websites will get higher rankings than sites that aren’t mobile-friendly. For some websites, this is a big deal because they will need to completely re-work things to make their site meet Google’s criteria, but for others, there’s a simple fix.

First, if you haven’t heard about the update, or you don’t quite understand it, you can read more about it here:

Next, check out Google’s online test. Just enter your site URL and see right away if your site is mobile friendly or not.

If you use WordPress, a simple fix is to use a plugin such as WPTouch. It only takes a few minutes to install, and you can customize it with your logo and website colors. There is a free version, but I don’t particularly like it because it’s very limited. I recommend the paid version because it gives you much more control over how things look and behave. The Single license is $59 and will cover most everything you need. If you have a WooCommerce store, you can get the Agency license for $199 and your store will be covered as well.

This is a quick fix for every WordPress website that isn’t already mobile-friendly, but for some it’s just a temporary bandaid. If the plugin doesn’t allow key elements to work, such as booking widgets and interactive content areas, then you’ll want to start thinking about a more permanent solution. We can look at your current theme and see what it would take to make it responsive, or even look at a new theme altogether.

If you do choose to use WPTouch, be sure to hide all the pages that shouldn’t be visible on the site. The plugin will, by default, display every single page on your site — so if you have protected content, thank-you pages, or pages that are no longer being used, they will show up. So just go through the pages in the settings and turn them off.

And if you need help getting the plugin set up, or want to talk about options that don’t use the plugin, just contact us. We’ll take care of everything.