As an online small business owner with a wonderfully visible woo-woo side and a heavy dose of introverted characteristics, I’m frequently asked how I balance the overwhelm of social media and the energy of ‘putting myself out there’ on a daily basis with the delicate aspect of self-care, family boundaries and energy levels.
Firstly, I will say that it hasn’t been easy!
As someone who comes from a face to face business background, the initial lure of social media, websites and the internet was incredibly enticing, fun and a gave me a massive learning curve.
But that came at a cost: addiction!
It’s so easy to get hooked on to online coaches and Facebook groups and feel like the people you meet are your new best friend and saviour and that their magic, golden ticket will solve all your problems. Before you know it you’re sucked deeper and deeper into a tangled web of poorly qualified ‘experts’ and ‘coaches’, handing over hundreds of dollars for services you never knew existed just six months earlier and falling prey to narcissistic sales strategies.
Rather than becoming the next ‘six figure leader’ you’re left with crumbling self-esteem, a clunky website that doesn’t really reflect who you are and a bad taste in your mouth from being the victim of trolls, money-grabbers and an unregulated, and sometimes downright nasty, online industry.
Except it doesn’t have to be that way.
Every week I hear these kind of horror stories from women who have an incredible gift to share with the world but have been burned by their experiences. They’re wondering whether they even want to continue.
- Should I go back to the safety of a regular job?
- What if I show who I really am? Will anyone like me?
- Do I even want to be online 24/7?
And it makes me really sad to think that women (and some enlightened men) are pushing their dreams, talents and special unique qualities aside because they just can’t figure out how they fit in to the online space.
As I recalled my journey to one of these beautiful women today, I realised how my online lifestyle has changed in recent months and how grateful I am for the truly life-changing experiences I’ve had and the amazing women with whom I’ve formed incredible connections.
If you’re currently feeling stuck, unsure of which direction to take or feel like you’re drowning under the pressure of balancing your personal life with small business financial pressures and raising your visibility online, then my top tips might just offer you the lifebelt you need to pull yourself out of the water and see the horizon again.
- If you feel like you need time out, then take time out. Turn off the screen, go for a walk, take a long weekend off, even take a holiday. Just step away from what you feel you should be doing and tune in to what you really want to do. What lights you up? What makes you feel creative and inspired?
- When it all gets too much, ask yourself this: ‘If I could completely re-start my business again, what would I do differently? How would I do it differently? Why?’ Spending some time thinking about (and journalling) around this will often give rise to a whole cacophony of new ideas and inspiration.
- Remove yourself from most of the Facebook groups you hang out in and remain only in the ones where you feel a genuine connection to the leader and the people in it. Some groups have an amazing vibe and others are a breeding ground for negativity and constant in-your-face selling and promotion.
- Have a healthy balance of Facebook groups in terms of those that you’re in for personal development and meeting like-minded souls and those who teach you the skills you need to achieve your business goals and to network with other small-business professionals.
- Join a paid membership group (or two). Joining a membership group instantly raises the energy within the group because everyone wants to be there and is making an investment in their business or self-development. Depending on your personal goals, I would suggest one paid membership for business goals, strategy or support and one for personal development, soul journey and sisterhood.
- Take the time (online) to form genuine connections and relationships. I can honestly say that some of the women I’ve met online have become some of my closet confidantes and give the best hugs in real life! I know I would never meet this many vibrant, passionate, spiritual, like-minded women locally who just ‘get’ me. When we meet in person all around the world it’s such a different relationship to having a social group of girlfriends (often from school, college or work) with whom you have next to nothing in common. There’s none of the jealousy, insecurity or worrying about what to wear, how to split the bill or whether anyone will tease you for not drinking alcohol. Meeting like-minded souls just feels ‘right’; there’s no other way to describe it. And it’s a beautiful experience.
- In your personal, family and home life, set some really firm boundaries. Create opportunities to give those you love 100% of your attention. No one wants to be pushed aside for a mobile phone, and no-one’s business is more important than life, love and laughter. Ditto for the teenagers and partners in your life. Ensure everyone takes time to put their devices down, step away from the computer and create real life experiences together.
And finally, the biggest and most exciting, life-changing switch for me came about by sharing more of my unique essence; more of the things that really light me up and make me feel connected, grounded and complete. I realised that the kind of people I wanted in my life were like-minded souls who were passionate, curious, interested in exploring their spiritual side, compassionate animal lovers and people who were always ready to learn and grow.
In order to attract those people, I had to step outside my comfort zone, knowing that my message was bigger than my fears. I had to show up as who I really was deep inside and have trust and faith that the right people would appear and those who weren’t would walk on by.
It was about releasing the expectation of who I thought I should be and just being me.
If I can inspire one woman every day to share more of her brilliant inner light, then that makes me one very happy, very lucky and very content girl.
Lorraine is a magical blend of intuitive feminine energy and creative, word-whispering talent. Her skills for writing go far beyond the basics of grammar and professional copywriting and enable her to deeply understand her clients’ unique essence and special talents so that she can help them to shine more brilliantly across their website and social media. In uncovering their hidden truths and sparkly gems, Lorraine not only creates beautiful content but also boosts her clients’ confidence, enabling them to step up, become more visible and attract their tribe in a way that creates a greater impact and a lasting legacy.
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