So, unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard by now that I’m in the middle of launching a new e-course. I’ve spent the past three months working on this, and it’s been a huge learning curve. It’s challenged me and stretched me, from so many angles. Did you know that writing the content for an e-course was as hard as writing a book? And then to stand in front of a camera for three days and film it? And all the while, trying to keep the other balls in the air: my kids, my husband, and running Day Designer!
Throughout this process, people have asked me how I’ve felt about it. My answer has been ambivalent. In some ways, I feel like I’ve never so publicly put myself out there before. I actually tend to be a pretty private person–I’m an introvert, and I have to be alone to recharge. I prefer small parties rather than large crowds. So why on earth would I put myself in front of a camera, and in the challenging position of selling a brand-new product I just created?
The only answer I have to that question is this: I felt like it was something I was called to do.
For years, I’ve been a part of a mastermind group local to my hometown. We meet once a month, and I probably only miss one meeting a year. Those meetings have become incredibly valuable to me, because they connect me with peers and colleagues who can shine a different perspective on what I’m working on.
The meetings are also incredibly affirming. The format we use in the meetings has taught me to be a good listener, and how to ask good questions.
As I’ve attended workshops over the years, I see the skills translate. I love sitting around a table with other entrepreneurs, hearing what they’re struggling with, and then being able to give them an experienced perspective. I’m also quick to admit and fess up if I don’t have any experience in the area they are seeking input on–because I would never want to steer anyone wrong. I’m very careful about the advice I give, but when I know it’s solid, I can be adamant about it.
It’s been a dream of mine, for a while now, to be able to translate that mastermind format into some type of online community. And this #BizDesigners e-course is the first step towards making that dream a reality.
As entrepreneurs, we all need guides. I want to put that in all caps: WE ALL NEED GUIDES. You need a guide, I need a guide. And those guides, if they are good, need to be experienced. In other words, they need to have “been there, done that”. A good guide will see what we can’t see, and help us through the dark spots.
A bad guide is a guide with no experience, who’s never climbed the mountain before. He talks a big game, but he hasn’t really done it. Maybe he CAN do it, but do you really want to be the guinea pig on this first hike up the mountain?
It is hard for me to talk about my experience, because it includes that dreaded word, failure. I’ve seen some pretty extreme highs and lows. But as Kristi Hedges says, “You learn twice as much on the way down as you do on the way up.”
Here’s something I’ve learned in building and marketing this e-course: you have to capitalize on your experience. Who else struggles with that? Who else feels like it sounds like arrogance, bragging, and ego to say, “Hey, I’ve been there, and I’ve done that.”
It’s a huge battle for me.
But if I want to help others, and I do, it means that I have to step into my experience (the good, the bad, and the ugly of it), and say, in the right pockets of time and after lots of listening and understanding: I have been there, and it was hard. And I have done that, and it worked. And I have also done this, and it hasn’t worked. And if I was going to do it all over again, here’s what I would do differently.
There is one other characteristic that I look for in my guides, that I hope I can emulate: true humility. Perfect quietness of heart. No need to be seen, no need to be heard. Just a desire to help.
Being seen and being heard the unavoidable job hazards of being a guide. For some guides, these are gifts. For me, being seen and being heard do not come naturally. They are tasks that officially fall outside my comfort zone. But if I want to help people, I have to find the courage to stand up and say, “See and hear me? OK, cool. Now let’s settle in so I can watch and listen to YOU.”
If you’re looking for a guide in business, I’d love for you to check out the #BizDesigners e-course to see if you think it might be a fit for you. I’d love to help you if I can.