Yesterday, I caught up with Meg of Root for Food, an Insta-famous food blogger I had no idea lived right down the street from me until we got connected. We met at Love Food Central with her pup Iroh and though we hadn’t hung out but once in a group before, we clicked immediately like old friends.
We touched on a lot of topics - some health and nutrition, the book Better Than Before which we’re both reading, and largely: running online businesses.
I’d spent the better part of the day building a marketing portfolio, culminating my work and seeing what it meant to me to be in marketing. I didn’t go to school for marketing (though I did take Intro to Marketing, ha), I don’t have much formal training, but I have plenty of trial by fire under my belt.
According to the book we’re reading on habits, I fall into the Obliger category in relation to the Four Tendencies (you can take the quiz to see where you fall). In a nutshell, this means I’m super driven by accountability outside myself but am relatively lax when it comes to my personal accountability. I thrive on getting things done for others, solving problems for others, creating for others.
This is low-hanging fruit, by the way, as I found by creating for myself, I was jacked on a creative high for hours following.
In my current role, I work as a bit of an “anything goes” problem solver/project creator. Process streamlining? Awesome. eLearning? Cool. Video production? I’ll give it a go! Marketing? It needs doing, let’s do it!
Over time, I realize I’ve developed a ton of experience and actionable knowledge in business development, strategy, and marketing. And I give it all away for free in conversation.
With Meg, I expressed my frustration with my Obliger status. I felt compelled and overjoyed to share helpful marketing insights for her business and was obviously passionate when it came to the strategic design of her communication. However, my main complaint was that I couldn’t seem to create a business for myself doing just that - consulting, advising, developing strategies.
Plenty of people make money consulting. It’s insane to me - people make their living, sometimes even a very above-standard lifestyle, giving people actionable advice based on experience and results.
Why haven’t I been able to do this for myself?
Meg was completely honest with me - it’s about knowing your worth.
I like to think that I know myself, but as I sat down to build this portfolio, I realized how many blind spots I actually had.
- All of my work was SCATTERED in folders all over my computer
- I actually create more extensive documentation than I expected, but I fail to record the changes and impacts my work has
- My graphic design isn’t amazing, but when I gave myself time to be inspired, my best work happened and it often wasn’t for a deadline-bound assignment
My biggest blind spot of all that Meg helped me to uncover:
Not everyone has the knowledge and experience that I have, and to many, it is valuable.
- pause -
I could add value with information I have? This stuff isn’t common knowledge?
I’d been selling myself short in my mind, thinking I was running behind and trying to catch up to all the marketing and strategy gurus out there in the world, “faking it til I made it”. While I’m in no way under the impression I’ve made it, I have come to a sound conclusion based on some advice I’ve picked up along the way:
Start where you are.
Maybe 99% of the entrepreneurial world knows everything I do or doesn’t believe they have it in their budget to get the experience they need, but that 1% is out there and I can provide them value. I can bring them growth, profit, direction, systems, and most of all - proficiency.
The only way to continue the path I’m on is to continue the path I’m on - so while I am currently working in strategy and communications and assisting a few friends with strategy and communications, I’m opening my world to new opportunities - realizing that I have something to offer and am capable of offering it.
What I won’t be doing is, as Gretchen Rubin puts it in Better than Before, is:
Raising the bar.
To take a desired habit and make it prohibitively difficult to adopt.
For this new endeavor, I won’t be going out and building a brand new website, starting a social media for a new business, getting business cards, telling everyone and their grandmother what I’m up to. I’m going to keep doing exactly as I’m doing, only with two new principles:
- Knowing my worth
- Giving before getting
For that second principle, I’m opening it up to you.
Do you have questions? Do you have feedback for me? Do you want to explore what's possible?
Contact me via the link at the top right of the screen and let’s grab coffee, talk about what you’re passionate about, and see how we can work together to create new possibilities.
Side note: I sincerely appreciate your comments here, on Facebook, and via my Instagram. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and engage with me. You make my world smaller and bigger all at the same time.