Over the past eight years, I have worked with hundreds of business owners, across 4 continents.
One thing that has really stuck out for me in these experiences is that many of you, worldwide, really struggle to get their stories out to the world and talk about your business.
And it bothers me.
Because if you’re unable to talk about your business and you remain a big secret, you’ll never get customers.
And without customers, your business won’t survive.
why you’re struggling to talk about your business
Talking about almost anything comes pretty natural to me.
I have little hesitation in talking to strangers, online or offline. I thrive off hearing and sharing stories.
I know this is not the case for many people. And even though I consider myself to be good at talking about business, it isn’t always easy for me either!
Here are some common reasons why.
1. you’re naturally shy
This I get. I get shy too 🙂 And sometimes I don’t really like being around people, particularly in large groups.
There have been plenty of times that I’ve not make the best use of conferences and events because I just don’t feel like talking.
But I also recognise how important it is to talk to people about what we do. That’s how opportunities come about. How we learn valuable information. How we make a contact who could shape the course of our business. And I have experienced all of these benefits when I’ve opened my mouth!
So we have to just keep trying! With time and practice, all things become easier.
Some ways that I’ve combated shyness include:
bringing along a friend or colleague for moral support
identifying specific people you want to speak to and what you want to speak to them about
setting a target for the number of people you want to speak to, even if it’s just one
understanding your desired outcome from a conversation / event / conference / etc.
2. you lack clarity
Sometimes you can’t talk about your business because you don’t really know what to say. When you lack clarity in your message, several things are likely to happen.
You might remain quiet and don’t say anything at all.
Or you might say something, but it comes out tangled up and unstructured.
Or maybe you even talk for ages, but the person you’re speaking to still doesn’t understand.
I tend to be more patient than others and give people a chance. Plus I tend to ask some more questions to understand.
But you can’t expect others to be generous with their attention.
You only have one chance to make a first impression. To get super clear on your message, check out this earlier post.
3. you’re afraid someone will steal your idea
And so, you don’t want to talk about your business.
Yes, sometimes people steal ideas.
But, an idea is just an idea until it is executed. Execution is what will turn an idea into a sustainable business.
I truly believe that there are greater benefits to be had by talking about your idea than by remaining the best kept secret.
Talking about your idea to potential customers…
leads to insights you haven’t considered on your own. These insights will enhance your product or service, possibly getting you to a viable business model faster than if you tried to do it on your own.
Sharing your idea with potential collaborators…
opens up opportunities that you never imagined. Sometimes you find that you share a similar passion as another, and that can lead to really amazing things.
Talking about your idea to an objective ear…
provides a perspective which pushes you more than you may push yourself, helps you to think about things from a new angle and teaches you things you don’t already know. Find people you trust and whose opinions you value and let yourself be challenged from time to time.
4. you fear rejection & embarassment
Sometimes things don’t work out as we plan.
People say no.
It takes longer than we anticipate.
We waste money.
We make mistakes.
You can choose how much or how little to share of your own journey. And you can choose who you share it with.
I know what it’s like to have those closest to me not fully support or understand my vision. And it can be both frustrating and lonely!
But these are our choices. Our dreams. Our futures. And we have to do this for ourselves.
Talk about your business to people who are willing to listen. If you have a coach or mentor, be honest with them! It doesn’t matter if you haven’t made as much progress or if you have “nothing to show”.
One conversation can change everything.
surround yourself with people who get it
Business isn’t for everyone. It takes a special breed of crazy to find satisfaction from uncertainty, instability and consistent hard work.
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