I’ve been debating whether to write this post / record this podcast. It’s a vulnerable post, which as we know isn’t so comfortable.
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I’m not just sharing my vulnerability here though, because I’m telling you something that I teach my clients. To get your business seen you need to be visible.
Now here’s the problem, I was kind of done with being visible! I was ‘over’ social media. I was sick of showing up on social media day in, day out, tired of all of the advertising and the ‘buy me’ promoting, bored with being consistent and wondering what it was all about, this ‘machine’ that takes over our lives.
I’ve noticed it’s not just me that’s tired of social media, it seems that more and more people are finding it exhausting and not how they want to do business. Lush being one company recently saying they are coming off social media and Leonie Dawson saying how she’s tired of it too. It can be relentless. BUT we do have a choice in how we play. We don’t have to push ourselves so hard. We get to set boundaries and ‘work it’ how we want to.
In contrast to my recent ‘I hate social media phase’ though, I’m very aware of how amazing social media is. If it wasn’t for social media I wouldn’t have a business, not a successful one anyway. Facebook has been the lifeblood of my business over the past few years. I’m starting to enjoy it again, but I needed to take a break.
A break to recharge.
A break to reflect.
A break to process.
I still showed up for clients, but I didn’t do Facebook Lives, I didn’t do that many blog posts. I didn’t ‘do’ visibility that much at all really.
We had a life-changing year last year, with two house moves, one ending up with a move from England to Scotland, my husband leaving his full-time job to run his own self-employed business, moving from a busy town life into the middle of nowhere and leaving behind many beautiful friends. Add to that our youngest moving to London to go to Uni and empty nest syndrome kicking in.
It’s brought up a lot of emotions, mostly the empty nest syndrome being the hardest to be honest. I’ve found it way tougher than I thought it would be, and I miss my ‘little girl’ like crazy.
There have been times when it’s been incredibly lonely. You can’t just pop to a local cafe very easily when you live up here, and it takes time to build friendships.
There aren’t the same numbers of local networking events that you can go to, so you have to create your own way of connecting with business owners. Online is lovely, but when you live in a remote area you need offline connections too. Even more so when your top values are connection, as in my case.
I became a hermit for a little while, and felt incredibly sad, ‘grieving’ my little girl no longer living at home.
Put it this way, there have been many times when I’ve cried by the tumble drier after a visit from her, and finding the odd lost sock that she’s left behind (why do we always end up with odd socks?!!)
I fell out of love with social media.
I knew there must be a different way.
I was bored with my content.
I had nothing to say.
So I didn’t say much at all.
It’s been tough, but it’s equally been refreshing not living and breathing social media.
In an interview I did a while back with the fabulous Alexandra Franzen, we talked about how one of her blog posts really got me thinking. She’d worked out that if she carried on at the pace she was going, she would have lost 3.2 or 3.4 years of her life to Twitter alone.
I’ve personally made the decision to come off Twitter. I don’t enjoy it and it doesn’t bring me clients – Two things I always say you should consider when choosing a social media platform. (I can’t quite bring myself to hitting delete on my account though, so I’m getting my lovely VA to do it!!)
So, what do you do when you completely lose interest in marketing your business?
Check in on what’s going on – Ask yourself if you’ve lost complete interest in your business or if you need a change.
Keep the content rolling out – That way you can decide when to show up.
Do a LOT of soul searching – Why do you want to run your business? What excites you? Who do you love to work with? What’s the real problem?
Talk to people about how you’re feeling – I talked with friends. Many friends. They were amazing (you know who you are!)
Mix things up a bit – I did lots of things unrelated to business. (I am growing veggies, gardening and about to check chickens people – who is this new woman who’s moved to Scotland?!)
Slow down – I still plotted and planned, but in a calm way.
Create a daily routine to allow some thinking space – I started meditation and doing Qi Gong daily.
Think about the bigger picture. I started creating a vision board about what I really want. That bit was tough. At first I didn’t know what I really wanted. I just felt incredibly sad, and really lost. Over time I started to pull together some ideas.
Get help – I coached myself, I got coached.
Release any emotion around it – It’s okay to feel how you do, let it all out. Emotional release is a strength, not failure – I cried. A lot.
Be gentle with yourself – I’m coming out the other side now, and ready to show up more, but I’ve learned that I can be gentle with myself.
Give yourself permission – I am giving myself permission to stop when it’s just not happening.
I am giving myself permission to let go of any beliefs around how you ‘should’ run a business.
I am giving myself permission to focus on only 3 main things each day, and honestly, that is liberating!! It’s amazing how much you focus your mind when you only allow yourself three things to do.
Trust that this too shall pass – When the time is right you will know what you need to do.
So, I’m back! A different, perhaps calmer, and wiser version of me now. The one that knows it’s okay to have a business AND a life, and that you get to create it all on your own terms.