I recently ran/walked my first 5K. Simply committing to this event and showing up was a big success for me personally because my whole life I’ve never been a “runner”.
For this particular event they let us customize our bibs and I very proudly customized mine as follows:
As I started the run I was delighted by the number of people who cheered me on from the sidelines, as well as many fellow runners, when they saw I was participating in my first 5K. People would clap, give me thumbs up, slow down to talk to me for a moment, and mostly make me feel so proud of myself for undertaking this feat. People are so good!
And then we came upon the heckler. Yes, there was an older woman in the crowd, perched in her chair, vocalizing her discontent with those of us that had to slow to a walk. Her exact words were, and I quote:
“RUN! PEOPLE ARE WATCHING!!!”
No, this was not said in an encouraging way.
My husband Pete was at my side and his usual calm and happy demeanor gave way to something I rarely see; he wanted to turn around, defend my honor and tell the woman that at least we were up moving vs. sitting on our butts (ok, not his exact word).
As we proceeded on our run/walk/walk/walk/run I figured there must be a business/life lesson in that experience or why else would I have had it! And then it dawned on me…
How many times have you felt like there were people standing at the sidelines basically shouting to you to GET GOING, GO FASTER, and PLAY BIGGER?
Sadly, in our entrepreneurial community this happens far too much by what I believe to be mostly well-intentioned experts and mentors.
And sometimes that well-intentioned PUSH can feel a little bit more like judgment and at its worse, manipulation.
Are you still with me? Have you ever felt, through the messages you receive and perhaps even people in your life that sometimes there are messages tossed your way that don’t exactly HELP and more than anything make you feel very unseen?
I’ve had many conversations about this exact topic with my colleagues and clients. Sometimes PLAYING BIGGER, or MAKING A MILLION, or DOING IT FASTER can feel severely out of touch with what is going on in YOUR life. And that’s sad because…
YOU are brilliant.
YOU have your own divine pace.
YOU have your own unique dreams.
YOU have your own way of doing things.
YOU have your own obstacles to overcome.
And NO ONE really knows what is right for you. No one. Only you.
My point is this: sometimes people standing on YOUR sidelines (everyone other than you, including experts) get it all wrong and really don’t understand what you’re going through. And just because they get it wrong doesn’t mean you don’t have a big dream or have what it takes. It just means they don’t see YOU.
My friend Natalie reminds me often of how important it is to march to the beat of your own drummer. I couldn’t agree more! Now, marching to your own beat doesn’t mean it’s always a good idea to go it alone. Let me be clear, I do think if you have gaps in your knowledge about building your business it’s good to fill those gaps with insightful, proven information, from a trusted expert. And yes, I completely believe that having a gifted coach/mentor in your corner can make all the difference.
I think a shift is occurring where many of us are becoming fed up with in your face marketing and tactics that are designed to fill us with fear and dread and that feeling we have to hurry.
Just like the woman shouting, “Run! People are watching” had much more to do with her own insecurities than what all of us fabulous walkers were up to, I feel in your face/fear-producing marketing actually often does more to keep people stuck than move them forward. And that’s so sad, isn’t it? I mean, I do know fear can be a powerful motivator but there’s a very fine line between motivating someone and manipulating them and far too often too many marketing messages tread into manipulation.
I know for certain one thing: I love working with people and experts who HONOR me. See my brilliance and get out of judgment and honestly over themselves. I can honestly say I will never work with any expert who doesn’t truly see me, want to get to know me, build a relationship with me, and fill me with possibility. All I want is my gifted support system to SEE me, not SAVE me. There’s a powerful distinction in that! (And if you think you need saving there are plenty of experts that will prey on that insecurity so please be careful.)
Now, admittedly, there is a fine line when it comes to clearly communicating the value of your product and service. I do think it’s OK to point out the obvious such as (Not closing enough sales? I can help with that!)…a message like this is very clear and to the point and doesn’t get ugly.
I think this is an important conversation to continue in our Passion Into Profit Community. I’d love to hear your comments so please leave them below. Let’s start a conversation about this! It’s important. Let us know how you have felt about some of the fear-producing, too in your face, bordering on manipulation, marketing you’ve seen experts use. You have a voice here!
Bottom line: I ask you, soooo what if people are watching (I had to seriously ask myself this question during the 5K)? And then I remembered my favorite Dr. Seuss quote: “those that matter don’t mind and those that mind don’t matter.” I say hallelujah to that!
Finally, there are a few more lessons the heckler-woman helped deepen for me, yet again. (So yes, after I got past her rudeness, she did deliver to me a gift of clarity!)
1) OWNING your place and pace in the world is key!
2) We all have our own DIVINE timing to everything!
3) Hecklers can only get you down if you let them.
4) Don’t let yourself be manipulated or bullied into thinking you’re not enough…you are and the right coach/mentor/expert will support you in discovering YOUR keys to success
5) And more than anything, without question, the world is filled with amazingly supportive people. Just enter a 5K to see what I mean. The world is lovely and there are many people that would rather support you than fill you with fear and dread. Surround yourself with those fabulous human beings!