“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” -Friedrich Niezsche
I love words. For as long as I can remember, I have loved words.
When I was little, I used to write little notes filled with “I love you’s” and “your the best Mom and Dad” and leave them on my parents bed before I went to bed. Somewhere along my journey, someone (I can’t remember who) expressed that I must have done that because I was insecure about my parents love. I call that drivel. (I think that’s the first time I’ve ever used that word.) I wasn’t afraid to tell my parents how much I loved them and I’m not ashamed of that.
Birthday gifts always included words, often rhyming, expressing how I felt, how I loved, and how I appreciated people in my life. For me, Thank You notes were not just a ‘must’ after a gift or a nice gesture, rather it was an opportunity to express how people have touched my life. Thank You notes were annoyingly long. I don’t apologize for that.
As I’ve grown, my love for words has only grown. Not only my own expression of words, but the expression of others. I’m amazed how others can string words together so precisely to capture my own experience. I keep notes everywhere filled with words that have touched me. Moved me. Grabbed my heart and made me breathe deep on their truth.
Last month when Chad and I met with our mentors they pushed me hard. One of my main purposes for our session was to figure out how I can market myself–our business. When asked, I tell people that I am, hands down, “The Worlds’s Worst Marketer”. I have friends who are marketing experts. I know there are courses, classes and entire majors built around marketing. But for me, marketing feels much like wearing my shoes on the wrong feet. It just never feels right.
I am inherently quiet.
An introvert, by nature.
In college, I would quickly sit in the back of the room.
In church, I select the seats in the back.
In a room full of people, I will typically be near the door. (If, in fact, I would ever be found in a room full of people–which is rare.)
(Sidenote: introvert does not mean shy–a common misconception.)
Anyway, when it comes to marketing, screaming out into the world LOOK AT ME!!!!!! goes against everything that is natural to me. It is everything I am not. Our mentors tried to understand my resistance to some of the suggestions they were making. And after much talk and some gentle pushing and prodding they asked again, why do you not want to do these things?
The room was quiet for a time, while everyone gave me time to think. And finally I said what I’ve been feeling for so many years as I’ve run my little business and written in my little blog in my tiny corner of the world. . .
The world is so loud. . . I don’t want to add to the noise.
For a moment everyone just let my words float through the room while my face grew red and tears formed behind my eyes.
I waited for what seemed like minutes, but was likely only moments.
Okay, one of our mentors relented. I get it. Maybe there is something to this. Maybe there is a different way. Maybe there is a way that fits you.
Relief swept over me as I felt permission to be me. Permission to feel what I feel and maybe, find another way. To fight the noise.
I can’t say that I have all the answers. I don’t think that there is a way to “quietly market” a business. I laugh even as I write that as the words go together like peanut butter and mayonnaise. What I can say is that I am trusting the process. That I trust that if I continue to move forward and follow my passions where they lead, I’ll land exactly where I’m supposed to be. And while I may never have thousands of “followers” or a business known around the world, the one thing I will have is the “privilege of owning myself.”
And you never know, maybe “quiet and marketing” can go together. In fact, I grew up with my Mom making me peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches and they tasted pretty good.
Lately around our house. . .
We’ve welcomed Spring with open arms. . .
The grass has turned from brown to green. . .
The basket ball court is open for business. . .
And creating happens everywhere. . .
I mean everywhere. . .
EVERYWHERE. . .
Lounging inside has turned to outdoor lounging. . .
Winter blues have turned to spring joy. . .
And these moments fuel our souls. . .
Have a lovely weekend, Friends.